A few months ago, AfroTech announced the launch of the Black Founders Build with Alexa Program’s call for participants. The program is designed by Alexa Startups and the Alexa Fund to amplify Black talent and entrepreneurship and help build the next generation of voice, AI, and ambient experiences with Alexa.
We are excited to share that after Amazon reviewed applications from so many incredible Black founders, the following seven North American startups were selected to be part of the Black Founders Build with Alexa 2022 cohort: MYAVANA, One Stop Wellness Inc., Kiddie Kredit, DOSS Group Inc., Seam Social Labs, moment.ai, and PayTalk™
Over the course of four months, each startup will build Alexa integrations, receive individualized technology support from the Alexa Startups Solution Architect and Business Development teams, and garner increased visibility through networking events, panel discussions, and demo showcases. Each startup will also have an opportunity to receive up to a $100,000 investment from the Alexa Fund. With access to funding, as well as networking and technical support, Black Founders Build with Alexa will help these startup founders take their visions to the next level.
Founder & CEO, Candace Mitchell Harris
MYAVANA is an innovative hair care technology company that uses artificial intelligence to recommend the ideal products for customers’ hair. Founder and CEO Candace Mitchell Harris leads the company’s mission to transform the hair industry, using her computer science background to support innovation. And people are taking notice. Harris has been recognized in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, WWD’s Top 50 Beauty Innovators and Sephora Accelerate. She’s also on her alma mater’s inaugural Top 40 Alumni list. MYAVANA has been featured in Marie Claire Magazine’s Next Big Thing in Beauty, CNN’s Small Business Success, ESSENCE and more.
One Stop Wellness Inc.
Co-Founder & CEO, Romy Antoine
One Stop Wellness Inc. is a health literacy program that incentivizes employees to identify chronic health risks and educates them to improve their behaviors in a few minutes a day. Each user has a wellness plan personalized to their health risks, and they can engage in on-demand virtual classes with leading experts. Co-Founder and CEO Romy Antoine is a fitness expert, certified nutritionist and human resources thought leader. Antoine has worked with clients all over the world to improve their habits and help companies design on-site wellness programs to have a first-hand approach to the industry. Antoine has won numerous awards, including the inaugural Young Wellness Professional Award by the National Wellness Institute and is a grant reviewer for the NIH Institute of Minority Health Disparities as a subject matter expert in digital health.
Kiddie Kredit by Leaping Harts, Inc.
Founder & CEO, Evan Leaphart
Kiddie Kredit by Leaping Harts, Inc. is an activity management tool that helps parents teach kids about credit through productivity incentivization and rewarding good behavior. Evan Leaphart, Founder and CEO of Leaping Harts, Inc. is passionate about teaching children and families to have honest conversations about credit. He brings expertise in financial literacy and innovation with a commitment to solving problems in order to help the community around him. Leaphart is also the Co-founder of Black Men Talk Tech, an entrepreneurship collective that promotes collaboration between Black men and other members of the tech ecosystem. Its mission is to create a cycle of access, insights, capital and inclusion for Black male representation in tech.
DOSS Group Inc.
Founder & CEO, Bobby Bryant
Doss Group Inc. is a company that aims to create an end-to-end fair-priced digital real estate solution. Bobby Bryant, Founder and CEO of DOSS Group Inc., has a vision to develop a next-generation real estate search portal built for buyers and real estate agents. The company is currently developing a voice-activated intelligent assistant built into a proprietary search and transactional portal that empowers users to ask any question about properties across the world to get accurate, instant answers 24/7. Architecturally built on an intelligent user interface (IUI), users will be able to access everything there is to know about a particular property and its surroundings by speaking, texting or typing their questions into any desktop, smart speaker or smartphone.
Seam Social Labs
Founder & CEO, Tiasia O’Brien
Seam Social Labs helps public sector communications, customer experience and planning teams use the voices of today to design a better tomorrow. Through co:census, which is Seam Social Labs’ cloud-based solution, teams can gather feedback from their communities and get real-time insights using natural language processing tools. Founder and CEO Tiasia O’Brien is a third-time social entrepreneur with a decade of experience across strategic communications, business development and public-private initiatives. O’Brien is a qualitative research scientist with an advanced degree in data analytics from NYU and a master’s degree in sociology from The New School, where she researched civic and community innovations.
Founder & CEO, Megan Gray
moment.ai is on a mission to reinvent the human and vehicle connection. What started as technology for drivers with pre-existing health conditions has evolved into one of the most advanced in-cabin AI systems in the world. moment.ai optimizes in-cabin experiences and increases safety with driver biometrics and physiological data. Megan Gray, Founder and CEO, is an AI engineer and former Googler who’s been featured in Amazon Developer, NVIDIA and Forbes.
PayTalk by Wiscount Corporation
Founder & CEO, Neji Tawo
Wiscount Corporation creates innovative solutions to carry out transactions and utilizes groundbreaking blockchain technology, biometrics and artificial intelligence to deliver world-class solutions. Through products like PayTalk, Wiscount facilitates secure transactions with a simple, verbal command. Neji Tawo, Founder and CEO, is a software engineer with over 20 years of experience building innovative applications. He’s a serial tech entrepreneur who developed his technical expertise working for renowned financial institutions.
We can’t wait to share more about this cohort’s journey as the companies expand their businesses in partnership with Alexa Startups. Stay up to date with the latest mentorship, funding and inclusion-focused opportunities by following Alexa Startups!