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Gwinnett County commissioners have recently approved launching the county’s first Black-owned pilot school, the Lookup Flight Academy. This initiative, led by Michael Ojo, aims to empower a new generation of aviators with the skills and knowledge needed for careers in aviation.  Ojo’s passion for flying sparked nearly a decade ago, and his vision for the Lookup Flight Academy is about getting more minorities into aviation while helping them build careers as pilots. Addressing Underrepresentation in Aviation The Lookup Flight Academy, set to operate at the Gwinnett County Airport, aims to address

Venita Cooper and Vincent Sanders have created an AI-powered sneaker resale price-prediction startup – Arbit. According to their website, Arbit is the only price prediction model designed to empower sneaker buyers to get fair prices in the resell market. They collect real-time prices from trusted sites, providing pricing insights and trend analysis that allows users to shop prices on one app. Arbit’s Journey Cooper’s passion for sneaker culture began in 2019 when she opened Silhouette Sneakers and Art in Tulsa, which attracted attention from Brian Brackeen in 2021. After more than four years in the business, Cooper announced

UrbanGeekz, the digital news platform, has announced a content syndication deal with Moovn, a Black-owned ride-hailing service.  The collaboration marks the first time a Black-owned news platform has partnered with a ridesharing app to distribute media directly to passengers. Redefining Passenger Experience Embedded within the Moovn app, the content from UrbanGeekz will be accessible to passengers as they travel, transforming ride time into an engaging opportunity for consuming news, feature stories, and videos.  “I’ve always been someone who thinks outside the box,” said UrbanGeekz founder and CEO Kunbi Tinuoye. “For years, I’ve had this

Nearly 60% of Black small- and mid-sized business (SMB) owners on TikTok say that the app is critical to their business’ existence, a new Oxford Economics report has found. TikTok’s Value For Small businesses  Oxford Economics, in collaboration with TikTok, sought to understand the app’s economic value for local communities across the US. It surveyed 1,050 SMBs and 7,500 users in 2023 to gauge interactions and benefits derived from the app. Small and medium businesses generated $14.7 billion in revenues and supported 224,000 jobs on TikTok supported 224,000 jobs, the

Nourish + Bloom, the first Black-owned autonomous grocery store in the US, is reshaping how communities access fresh food after Shark Tank investors declined them. Founded by Jilea and Jamie Hemmings in 2022, Nourish + Bloom aims to reduce the nation’s food deserts, making eating healthy and convenient. Nourish + Bloom Nourish + Bloom is reportedly the first 100% AI-powered supermarket to be open for business 24/7.  The store currently offers a range of essentials, from produce to toiletries, and a deli for prepared foods.  However, unlike traditional stores, Nourish + Bloom operates

HERide, a rideshare platform focused on women’s safety, has become the first Black-owned company to secure a contract with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.  Co-founded in 2019 by Jillian Anderson and DeVynne Starks, HERide conducts thorough background checks on drivers and integrates in-ride security features to ensure passenger safety.  Focused on women’s safety Anderson’s experience as a rideshare driver highlighted many women’s discomfort using traditional services like Uber and Lyft, especially at night. “There were a lot of women that were hesitant with riding with men at night using Uber and Lyft,” Anderson told AFROTECH. “I

The Source, a new Black-owned tech center in downtown Miami, opened its doors last month. The Source Tech Hub Spearheaded by Miami Gardens native Ted Lucas and his business partner Hilmon Sorey, this new center represents a significant shift in the city’s tech landscape. Lucas, the founder of Slip-N-Slide Records, and Sorey, a seasoned venture capitalist with notable investments in companies like Uber and Lyft, envision The Source as a beacon of hope and opportunity.  “If you look like me, I want to see how you are going to help my community,” Lucas told

Conducive Capital, a newly formed South African venture capital firm, has launched a $50 million fund for early- and growth-stage tech startups across Africa. Meet The Team The fund is headed by Clive Butkow and Mitchan Adams. Butkow is the founder and former CEO of Kalon Venture Partner and former COO of Accenture South Africa. Alongside Adams, the co-founder of Ozow and current CEO of Aions, the two have collectively invested over R300 million, with an internal rate of return of more than 30% over the past seven years.  Their combined expertise is set to invigorate the African

Black-owned businesses can help close the racial wealth gap in the United States, a report has found. The “Gather Against the Gap” report marked a significant step towards addressing the racial wealth gap that critically impacts Black Americans.  The Racial Wealth Gap The data found a $10 trillion racial wealth gap in the United States. The gap was illustrated by the median wealth of Black households at $20,000, in contrast to $180,000 for white households.  This wealth disparity, coupled with an employment and income gap, significantly hinders the economic progress

Uncle Nearest, the top-selling Black-owned spirits brand globally, is close to reaching unicorn status with a valuation nearing $900 million. Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey Black and woman-owned distillery Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey was launched in 2016 by Fawn Weaver and has quickly ascended to global recognition.  Uncle Nearest’s rise is a tribute to Nearest Green, the first-known African American master distiller, and to the resilience and vision of its founder.  Fawn Weaver navigated the brand through an industry where only 0.48% of all venture dollars went to Black founders last year. 

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