Ashley Edwards Might Have Become The First Black Woman In New Jersey To Raise Over $1M In Venture Capital Funds
Photo Credit: Ashley Edwards

Ashley Edwards Might Have Become The First Black Woman In New Jersey To Raise Over $1M In Venture Capital Funds

When it comes to setting trends and establishing viable businesses, Black women are at the forefront. From Madam C.J. Walker to Beyoncé, the range of goods and services provided by Black women are endless and necessary.

According to a report by the Harvard Business Review, Black women are more likely to start a business as compared to white men and women. Ashley Edwards is a testament to this success with her business MindRight Health, recently announcing a $1.8 million seed round.

Eliminating Barriers

MindRight Health provides mental health services to underserved teens through a text messaging database. Using a specially trained team of coaches and counselors for the mental health services, youth receive daily check-ins that help them manage day-to-day issues and any crises that might arise.

The cohort of unique and qualified coaches was a significant part of what attracted investors to the platform. Another selling point for investors was the ease and use of text messages to provide mental health services. Since access to cell phones is ubiquitous, the service works to alleviate barriers to tech and affordability. According to Forbes, Melinda Gates and Lifeforce Capital were a part of a team of investors lured by the technology and access MindRight Health offers.

“I saw how much trauma students in my community were going through,” Edwards told Forbes. “There was not any readily available mental health support that was culturally relevant to lived experiences of communities of color or low-income families.”

Black History In Action

Before having a high-profile team of investors, Edwards told Forbes that she raised $1 million in a pre-seed round in 2020. With this fundraising amount, the 31-year-old might have crossed the threshold to become the first Black woman to get to this level of VC funding in New Jersey. What’s more, the  June 2022 seed round brings the startup’s total funding to $2.8 million, according to Forbes.