Samantha Dorisca

AFROTECH STAFF

Samantha Dorisca

Samantha Dorisca is a Houston-based journalist and photographer whose mission is to impact communities through the gift of storytelling using the written word or visual media. She completed her B.A at The University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing a M.A at The University of Memphis. Her work can be found on platforms such as Houstonia Magazine, Girls' Life Magazine, and Blacque Magazine. Samantha mainly reports on tech, trends, and entrepreneurship.

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How 2 Morehouse College Graduates Left Corporate America And Secured An Investment To Take The Golf Apparel Market By Storm

Founders Olajuwon Ajanaku and Earl Cooper are shaking up the golf sector. As previously mentioned by AFROTECH, the Morehouse College graduates behind Eastside Golf kicked off 2024 with stellar news, raising $3.4 million in a funding round led by EP Golf Ventures. The investment is based on a partnership with the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) and Elysian Park Ventures. The funding will support the founder’s plans to expand their team in light of their New York City, NY, headquarters. Before this, it was announced that the company generated $4 million in annual revenue after initially generating $100,000 within its first year. Reflecting on their growth, Ajanaku shared with AFROTECH, “I feel like the progress that we made last year, the people that we have to hire, processes that we have to put all together, but we clung to that last year, we’ve come so far. It’s honestly remarkable, and I get a chance to run a business with my best friend, and we get to influence...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 21, 2024

Nathan Brown Is Making His Mark In Houston, TX, As A Franchisee Of A New Orleans-Inspired Coffee Shop

Nathan Brown is the proud franchisee of a New Orleans, LA-inspired coffee shop. However, he didn’t grow up as a coffee consumer. Instead, the graduate of Indiana’s Ball State University developed the interest while working for a Big Four accounting firm, which he described as a “grind house.” “Working late hours pretty regularly, a part of the culture developed into a habit, and I became an avid coffee drinker,” Brown, 33, told AFROTECH in an interview. “As the years went by, I got more into quality. So, I started off getting any sugared-down caffeine I could find. Then, I graduated to drinking black coffee. Then, I started to be able to decipher the taste of coffee.” Brown moved from Indiana to Texas in 2015 and became a homeowner four years later. While living in Third Ward, a neighborhood in Houston, TX, he discovered the nearest coffee shop was a 15-minute drive. He then felt led to open a coffee shop closer to home, and it became possible with the help of a family member and...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 21, 2024

After Birthing Twins, Founder Jade Kearney Dube Has Raised $2M To Help Mothers Identify Concerning Symptoms During Postpartum

After birthing twins, Jade Kearney Dube developed a tool to advance her efforts in the maternal health sector. As AFROTECH previously mentioned, Kearney Dube founded digital health platform She Matters after feeling “invisible” in the healthcare system during postpartum. The platform requires professionals working with Black mothers to complete cultural competency training. In 2023, Kearney Dube was faced with another epiphany after being dismissed from the hospital after giving birth. At home swollen, with two babies who were just 5 days old, she was simply given a magnet to place on her refrigerator to help her determine if her blood pressure was high. She recognized this was an issue. “You can be a culturally competent physician and healthcare network and give all the resources, but once the mom leaves, she’s gone, right?” Kearney Dube told AFROTECH in an interview. “I’m on the third floor, and I have kids all around me. There needs to be something that’s on my body that can tell...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 20, 2024

Grammy Award-Winning Audio Engineer Derek 'MixedByAli' Ali Raises $7.5M For His Music Tech Startup EngineEars

Derek “MixedByAli” Ali has a decade of experience in the music industry and remains dedicated to enhancing the field. Forging A Lane In Music Fresh off a recent Grammy win, the 33-year-old recording and mixing engineer, who has stamped his name alongside hit records such as “The Box” by Roddy Ricch, “This Is America” by Donald Glover, and Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” and “Humble,” was not raised with a musical background or training. Growing up with severe ADHD, he began to tinker with remote-controlled cars and computers and became fascinated with their functionality. When he learned he could experiment with music, it birthed a new passion. “I started in high school — making ringtones. I was a hustler when I was playing football. I found out how to crack the Nextels and Boost Mobile chirp phones and put real songs on there rather than the model ringtones that were out during that time,” Ali told AFROTECH. “I would have friends come over after football practice and come record and put...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 20, 2024

Black-Owned Whiskey Brand Uncle Nearest Reportedly On The Brink Of Reaching Unicorn Status

Founder Fawn Weaver’s Uncle Nearest is on the brink of reaching unicorn status, Fortune reports. As AFROTECH previously mentioned, Weaver leads the Black-owned whiskey company created in 2016 to commemorate Nathan “Nearest” Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniel how to make whiskey. The company has made significant strides in the spirits industry and is currently available in over 30,000 stores, bars, hotels, and restaurants in 12 countries, per Fortune. The company also boasts a 432-acre distillery located in Shelbyville, TN, which attracted 200,000 visitors in 2023, and has expanded to include an estate in Cognac, France, which encompasses “over 100 acres with Charente River frontage and a unique island.” A part of the company’s continued success has been its ability to secure funding from individual support. Weaver previously mentioned to AFROTECH that the company has raised $225 million that way, its total since launching. “I’ve never sent a pitch deck,” Weaver...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 16, 2024

Dr. Kingsley Okonkwo To Open A $28.3M Multi Sports Complex In Corpus Christi, TX

Dr. Kingsley Okonkwo is looking to create sports hub in Corpus Christi, TX. KRIS-6 News reports the Nigerian-American is living out his vision to become a businessman. Now, he is fortunate to combine his pursuits in entrepreneurship with his interest in sports, particularly soccer. It’s why he founded the Corpus Christi Football Club (CCFC) in 2016. “I realized we didn’t have anything like that in Corpus Christi,” Dr. Okonkwo told KRIS-6 News. “So the idea and the concept came, can we build something here?” In 2017, the football club was official and able to bring a soccer franchise to the city, which became known as the CCFC Sharks. Now, Dr. Okonkwo is looking to establish a facility that not only offers a field they can have as familiar soil but also open doors for other sports. “What we’re building is what will be a world class facility,” Okonkwo explained, per the outlet. “Our athletes will be able to play soccer, baseball, softball fields. We will not need to travel every...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 16, 2024

SoFi And Jayson Tatum Partner To Establish $1M Fund That Will Help Individuals Become Homeowners

Jayson Tatum is looking to support individuals in becoming homeowners. According to a press release, SoFi will partner with the Jayson Tatum Foundation to create the SoFi Generational Wealth Fund, an ambitious $1 million commitment to improve financial wellness in families. Per KSN-News in Wichita, KS, the investment will go toward grants that will provide a down payment for homebuyers in Tatum’s hometown of St. Louis, MO. For Tatum, who was raised by his mother, Brandy Cole-Barnes, and entered the world when she was only 19, the partnership is a reminder of the resources that would have been impactful during his upbringing. “Me and my mom, we didn’t know about investments or savings accounts when we were growing up. But obviously when I got to the NBA and started to make money, we had to ask questions and learn about things,” the Boston Celtics player said, according to KSN-News. As AFROTECH previously mentioned, Tatum made a deal with Cole-Barnes that he would not be living off...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 14, 2024

Bakery And Cafe Owner Ter'Dricka Fresh Makes 'History' During Black History Month

Ter’Dricka Fresh is making history during Black History Month. WLKY-TV in Louisville, KY, reports the entrepreneur opened her first brick-and-mortar shop on Feb. 9. She is the proud owner of bakery and cafe Drick’s Treats, which was three years in the making, according to the self-taught baker. The outlet states Drick’s Treats is reportedly the third Black- and women-owned business to open in the Prospect area, outside of Louisville. “I’ve taken it all in. Like, I’m breaking history in Black History Month. What could be better,” Fresh told the outlet. The shop’s opening was a soft launch, as it is currently testing out its business model. According to the Drick’s Treats Instagram page, customers have a chance to try baked croissants, hot cocoa, cakesicles, chocolate-covered strawberries, and cupcakes that come in flavors such as strawberry crunch, banana pudding, and blueberry, among others. View this post on Instagram A post shared by 🌟 Drick's Bakery + Cafe | Norton Commons 🌟...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 13, 2024

Former NBA Great Tony Parker Raised $1.1M For His New Wine Venture — 'I've Dreamed Of Being In The Wine Business'

Basketball legend Tony Parker is set to release a wine. Per Bloomberg, entering the wine sector has been a long held goal for Parker since he was 20 years old. “I’ve dreamed of being in the wine business,” he told the outlet. Born in Belgium, he first tasted wine when he was 17 and was able to explore his pallet after signing on to play for the San Antonio Spurs in 2001, where he furthered his wine knowledge through Head Coach Gregg Popovich. Parker would then dedicate summer breaks to visiting estates in France’s Bordeux region, k nown for its top quality wine, including Petrus, Cheval Blanc, Angelus, and Palmer, among others. “I used to ‘love’ to get them to open bottles of 1982,” Parker explained, according to Bloomberg. Coincidently, in addition to it being his birth year, 1982 is also one of the best wine vintages of the past century. Turning his passion into a business, Parker has been soaking up knowledge as a partner in Chateau Las Mascaronne and Champagne Jeeper. He sees...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 13, 2024

After Her Children Were Hacked, Cloud Security Engineer Zinet Kemal Launched A Children's Book Promoting Online Safety

As a leader in cybersecurity, Zinet Kemal is paying it forward to the next generation. Originally from Ethiopia, Kemal moved to the United States in 2013 with her husband and oldest son, who is now 14, due to a diversity visa lottery. She had previously worked in the legal field and had to make a career change when she came to what she deemed as the land of opportunity. Kemal took this opportunity to nurture her fascination with technology, believing it had the power to improve lives, she told AFROTECH in an interview. She enrolled in a local community college in Saint Paul, MN, and took a computer programming course, which she describes as a “complete reset.” By 2016, she had earned an associate’s degree at Saint Paul College, a community and technical college, in computer programming and transferred to Metropolitan State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science. By her senior year, Kemal had stumbled upon the cybersecurity field by representing her school in a...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 12, 2024

Sony Music Group Acquires Stake In Michael Jackson's Music Catalog, Deal Speculated To Be Valued At Over $1.2B

Michael Jackson’s catalog continues to stand the test of time. As AFROTECH previously told you, it had been rumored that there would be a sale of the late singer’s timeless hits. The deal was projected to set a new standard in the music industry. There’s no need for speculation anymore as Sony Music Group has completed the sale of the music catalog, Billboard reports. The deal is said to include 50% of Michael Jackson‘s publishing and recorded masters catalog. What’s more, the assets are speculated to be valued at between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion, sources close to the matter have said, according to the outlet. Sony Music Group will reportedly pay at least $600 million for its stake in Jackson’s rights. Based on Billboard’s report, the agreement “does not include royalties from the Broadway play and other theatrical productions featuring Jackson’s music.” The Broadway play the outlet is referring to is “MJ the Musical.” Sony’s interest in the legacy Jackson left behind isn’t...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 10, 2024

Kingston Lawrence, A 7-Year-Old Genius With An IQ Between 145 And 150, Is The Next Child To Enter The Mensa Club

Kingston Lawrence has a brilliant mind! KLFY-10 in Lafayette, LA, reports the 7-year-old is a child genius with an IQ between 145 and 150 as proof. The outlet also notes he was in the 99th percentile on an IQ test. His parents, Deidra and Kala, are extremely proud. “He’s always interested in learning new things and trying things. And so it’s just, it’s wonderful to see,” Deidra told KLFY-10. Kala commented, “My initial reaction was very nervous. I was just like, ‘Oh my god, what is this? What do you do with that?’ I didn’t know it was that big of a deal. That his intellectual capabilities were that high, you know.” Looking to nurture Kingston’s intelligence, his parents began to look for resources. In the process, they stumbled across Mensa, an organization founded in 1946 that has as one of its key purposes “to foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity,” its website states. As AFROTECH previously mentioned, in order to join the Mensa community, an individual must score...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 9, 2024

Herman Moore Went From NFL Player To Franchisee Of All Cinnabon Stores In Michigan And Florida During The Early 2000s

The humble beginnings of Herman Moore were not going to stop him from achieving greatness, even beyond his playing days in the National Football League (NFL). According to Detroit Free Press, the former Detroit Lions player was taught by his mother the habit of looking at life from a broader perspective, a practice he maintained even in the face of financial difficulties. “She had me at 21 and worked so many jobs,” Moore told the outlet about growing up in Danville, VA. He continued, “We were a low-income family. We lived on less than $18,000 a year. But she made sure my sister and I always knew the endgame. We lived in government housing and were on food stamps, but that is not an excuse to not excel in life and to also help others.” Moore would lay his own foundation for generational wealth-building in 1991 after being drafted to the Detroit Lions and signing a three-year $2.4 million contract with the team, which included a $1.2 million signing bonus, according to Spotrac. Moore...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 9, 2024

How Ludacris Earned His 'Biggest Check' Ever After Failing To Ink A Record Deal Early In His Career — 'Nobody Really Stepped All The Way Up'

Not signing to a record label was the stepping stone for Ludacris to invest in his artistry. Ludacris, who in his early days worked at an Atlanta, GA, radio station and became known as DJ Chris Lova Lova, would eventually catch the attention of record labels and producer Timbaland, scoring a feature on the single, “Fat Rabbit.” During a podcast interview with “Drink Champs,” Ludacris noted the attention he began to receive from record labels after that. Still, it did not translate into landing his own deal. This pushed him to dive into his pockets to release his debut album “Incognegro” in 1999. “I’ve had my moments with each of those entities, but I never signed with them,” Ludacris said. “Even with Timbaland, there was a time when I was about to get signed to Timbaland because of my first record before ‘What’s Your Fantasy.’ I was on his album, and I had a song called ‘Fat Rabbit,’ which ended up being on ‘Back for the First Time.’ So again, I went through all of these processes,...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 8, 2024

Master P, Snoop Dogg Sue Walmart And Post Foods For Not Receiving A 'Fair Shot' On Store Shelves

Master P and Snoop Dogg believe Walmart And Post Foods are stifling the success of their cereal venture. In a press conference held on Feb. 6, it was revealed the rappers-turned-businessmen have filed a lawsuit as a result of their belief that the “industry giants” allegedly colluded to impact Broadus Foods’ Snoop Cereal’s visibility on store shelves, a press release mentions. Several alleged grievances were mentioned including a breach of the implied covenant of good faith dealing, breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, collusion and conspiracy, and aiding and abetting an infringement, among others. During the conference, a video displayed interested customers looking to purchase Snoop Cereal in Walmart stores. While navigating the cereal aisle, one customer who visited a Walmart in Long Beach, CA, Snoop Dogg’s hometown, discovered the brand was allegedly missing from the store shelves. Other snippets displayed customers with a similar discovery. After further...

Samantha Dorisca

Feb 7, 2024