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Startups

Described as The Amazing Race meets Shark Tank, RoadPitch is the Black-owned program connecting Black tech founders with investors across the US. The brainchild of Barley Sober founder Rohan Brown and electrical engineer Meagan Turner, the program takes Black tech founders on weeklong trips to pitch to investors in cities they aren’t native to. The pair met virtually in 2022 while coordinating StartupBus, a national hackathon on wheels. Getting Black founders in the room “Because of the pandemic, a lot of people have gotten accustomed to sending over a deck

Massachusetts-based Black-led startups are getting a $100 million boost from MassMutual’s second MM Catalyst Fund (MMCF). MassMutual announced that it is adding $100 million to its MMCF. The fund will continue to make investments in startups led by Black and historically overlooked founded-companies in the company’s home state of Massachusetts.  MMCF will also invest selectively with fund managers in MassMutual’s First Fund Initiative, which focuses on first-time fund managers from Black, Latine, and Indigenous backgrounds. Building on past success The MMCF has backed 16 companies across various industries since its

London-based healthcare jobs marketplace platform, Nolea Health, has secured £1 million ($1.2 million) in seed funding to tackle mental healthcare staff shortages. The financing round was led by Frontline Ventures, with participation from Calm/Storm Ventures and other notable industry figures, including Anne Heraty, ex-CEO of CPL Resources, and Mahiben Maruthappu, CEO of Cera. Nolea Health’s platform matches mental healthcare clinicians with vacant jobs across different healthcare organizations, reducing the time taken to hire staff by up to 90% and the sourcing costs by up to 85%. Addressing the mental health crisis with

BK-XL, a new Brooklyn-based early-stage startup accelerator for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) founders, has announced its inaugural cohort of 12 startups. With each startup receiving up to $500,000 each, BK-XL’s capital is on par with other big-name accelerators like Y Combinator, and, by relative investment size, is the largest BIPOC-focused accelerator in the US. Clara Wu Tsai, a Brooklyn Nets owner and Vice Chair of BSE Global, created the accelerator in partnership with Visible Hands, a VC firm for underrepresented founders. “We created BK-XL to identify and

Wisdom is an audio-first social discovery app fostering deeper connections and lasting friendships between like-minded users. Founded by British computer science graduate Dayo Akinrinade, Wisdom leverages advanced AI with the power of social audio to make the world a little wiser. “Wisdom offers women a safe space to converse about topics that matter to them, such as women’s rights, domestic violence, leadership, and wellness,” Akinrinade told Apple.  “Our users who don’t identify as women consider themselves allies, and provide support by participating in the conversations or simply listening.” On Wisdom, users

US-based non-profit organization Geekz Ventures has announced the 10 Black and Latine-led startups selected for its inaugural pre-accelerator program. The 10-week virtual program welcomes startup founders in any industry, but the focus is on Media, Connectivity, Entertainment, and Mobile Technology. The program, which kicks off in March 2023, offers Black and Latine founders business training, community, and coaching to refine their startup ideas and attract their first paying customers. Participants receive an equity-free grant and follow-up funding opportunities. World-class mentors The program offers access to world-class mentors and coaches, including

The nonprofit social startup digitalundivided has released its latest Project Diane report unveiling the experiences of Latina and Black women tech entrepreneurs. Catalyzing Latina and Black women’s growth Founded in 2012, the Newark-based startup leverages data, programs, and advocacy to catalyze economic growth for Latina and Black women founders at all stages of their entrepreneurial and funding journeys.  In 2016, digitalundivided launched the Project Diane Report, the first biennial demographic study that captures the experiences of Latina and Black women tech founders. “Building on the legacy of women like Diane Nash who worked

Frequency People is the Black-owned social collaboration platform that lets creators control almost every aspect of the online communities they build. Individual users and businesses can create a public or private community to connect with those with similar interests. Followers can join these communities or networks and choose to pay for access to exclusive content. This means that brands, influencers, artists, and other creatives can seamlessly monetize their followers through ticket sales, ads, subscriptions to exclusive lives, AR content, and NFTs. Atlanta-based duo John York and John McAdory founded Frequency

Every year, Forbes spotlights the under-30s blazing a trail in their respective fields. With the release of the Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list, we’ve rounded up some of the Black and Brown tech founders recognized as powering a digital revolution. Lethabo Motsoaledi Co-Founder and CTO, Voyc Lethabo Motsoaledi is the co-founder and CTO of Voyc, which uses AI speech analytics software to monitor call center interactions and provide valuable insights.  Motsoaledi and her co-founder moved their HQ from South Africa to the Netherlands in 2020 to take advantage of the

Black-owned startup Equipt is using the power of the community to help tech workers bounce back from layoffs. In 2021, Olajide “Jide” Osan and Hubert Dagbo co-founded Equipt as a talent marketplace using upskilling events to connect job seekers with potential employers. After first meeting at Lehigh University in 2008, Dagbo and Osan found mentors who used their skills and networks to find career opportunities in finance and tech, respectively. The pair reconnected during the Covid-19 pandemic and launched Equipt, using technology to replicate the path they followed years prior.

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