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Founder and CEO of mental health tech startup MindRight Health, Ashley Edwards, has raised $1.78 million in seed funding. The funding round led by investment platform Lifeforce Capital included existing investors Acumen America and Impact America Fund. New investors included Hopelab Ventures, Gaingels and Impact Assets, and Pivotal Ventures.  Edwards previously raised $1 million for MindRight Health in 2020. In doing so, became one of only 35 Black women in the US, and was reportedly the first Black woman in New Jersey, to achieve this level of VC funding. This

Ukonwa Kuzi-Orizu Ojo has stepped down as Chief Marketing Officer for Prime Video and Amazon Studios, the company announced earlier this week. During her time at the organization, Ojo was responsible for leading the global brand and power-headed original marketing for the streamer. In addition, she led marketing campaigns for popular movies like “Coming 2 America” and “The Boys.” Using machine learning and human intuition, Ojo also helped keep Amazon in the conversation as a competitive streaming platform, raising the bar for direct-to-streaming film releases and helping them reach a more

Black-owned venture capital firm, Backstage Capital, has cut 75% of its operational staff due to fundraising and growth challenges, both externally and internally. Backstage Capital, founded by Arlan Hamilton in 2015, was one of the first VC firms to dedicate their services to minimizing the funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders of color, women, and LGBT members. The firm, which Hamilton built from the ground up while homeless, invested in over 170 start-up companies led by underrepresented founders. The decision to downsize its team came just three

London-based venture capital firm, Octopus Ventures, has launched its first £10 million ($12 million) pre-seed fund to support fresh startups in the fintech and health sectors. The firm, founded in 2007, works to fill the growing gap in early pre-seed funding for European founders.  Kirsten Connell and Maria Rotilu, veterans of Seedcamp and Uber, will lead the company’s first-ever investment fund. They will bring their extensive experience and knowledge of growing firms from the beginning to the job, enabling them to work closely with start-ups in their early years.  Octopus

Olympian Allyson Felix‘s footwear brand Saysh, co-founded by her brother and business partner Wes Felix,  has secured an $8 million investment in its series A funding round.  The funding round led by Iris Ventures, with participation from Redpoint Ventures saw Gap Inc. acquire an equity stake in Saysh. Additionally, Athleta, a subsidiary of Gap Inc., has agreed to showcase Saysh footwear on their website in partnership with the footwear brand. The news comes after Allyson Felix announced her departure from Nike in 2021, due to claims the company was not doing enough to support pregnant female athletes and

Mary J Blige has teamed up with medical tech company Hologic for her upcoming Good Morning Gorgeous tour. The singer will grace the stage with R&B singer Queen Naija and Grammy-award-winning artist Ella Mai. She will also be dedicating the show to raising awareness about Black women’s health.  The Good Morning Gorgeous tour, which Hologic will present in partnership with The Black Promoters collective, is set to kick off on Saturday, September 17. The journey, which will begin in Greensboro, is expected to hit 23 cities across North America, including

Cayaba Care, a maternity health startup, has announced the closing of a $12 million Series A round that will work to expand the company’s footprint within underserved populations. The funding will be used to increase staff, launch in additional markets, and further invest in technology solutions that will increase access to much-needed holistic maternity services. Seae Ventures and Kapor Capital led the Series A round and new investors include Wellington Partners, Citi Impact Fund and Rhia Ventures. Founded in 2020 with a mission to improve community outcomes by reimagining how maternity and pediatric care is delivered, Cayaba

HoneyComb is hiring on Pocitjobs Alayshia Knighten is a seasoned DevOps Engineer with a love of infrastructure and a focus on breaking down technical learning barriers for customers. She recently spoke to POCIT about navigating life in the tech sector as a woman of color and her role at Honeycomb, an observability tool that lets developers quickly make sense of the billions of rows of data needed to fully represent the user experience in your complex and unpredictable systems.  Since joining Honeycomb as a Senior Implementation Engineer in October 2020,

Precious Drews’ personal story is one of perseverance and passion. She’s the second youngest of eight children and first became an entrepreneur in middle school – making YouTube videos for her favorite artists in exchange for easy money. Although she didn’t consider herself an entrepreneur – anyone that hears her story can be quick to identify her as a natural-born leader. She was also the first in her family to go to college and later start her own small business – a natural skin care line that uses recycled coffee

The face of female entrepreneurship overall is becoming less white. Black women represent 42% of new women-owned businesses—three times their share of the female population—and 36% of all Black-owned employer businesses. Majority Black women-owned firms grew 67% from 2007 to 2012, compared to 27% for all women, and 50% from 2014 to 2019, representing the highest growth rate of any female demographic during that time frame. But there are deep inequities in access to the financial resources needed to create businesses that become sustainable, which is widely recognized as past the five-year mark which is why

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