Engineer and Entrepreneur Launches $50M Fund For Black-Led Tech Startups
Photo Credit: Nadiyah Johnson
Jet Constellations, a Milwaukee-based software company founded and run by Nadiyah Johnson, has embarked on a mission to raise $50 million for Black-owned tech startups.
Johnson, a product manager at General Electric Healthcare, holds a B.S. in computer science from Marquette University and is currently studying for a master’s degree in computational science there as well.
She founded Jet Constellations in her spare time as “a way to address lack of diversity in Milwaukee Tech. ” Initially, the company offered consultation services, however, it has morphed into something much bigger.
According to their website, Jet Constellations is focused “on helping industry experts in the community to start, launch, and fund the next wave of high-growth tech companies in their space. ”
Jet Constellations also runs The Milky Way Tech Hub which is focused on advancing diversity in the Milwaukee tech ecosystem. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, The Milky Way Tech hub has already put its money where its mouth is, by giving $12,500 to women-led tech companies.
They made these investments in partnership with the venture capital unit of American Family Insurance, American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, with which they partnered in mid-2019.
Jet Constellations is raising the $50 million fund with the support of IP Zone, an IP deals platform formerly started by American Express in 2011, which is led by Tracey Thomas, a former American Express executive.
Thomas also has deep ties to Wisconsin, having received an undergraduate degree from Marquette University and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.