Several Marketing-Technology firms have decided to take practical steps toward empowering Black entrepreneurs. Executives from Amplitude, Branch, Braze, mParticle, and Radar have joined forces to offer their technologies free-of-charge to Black-founded businesses that have bootstrapped or raised less than $30 million in VC funding, and employ less than 150 people.
Will Crocker, VP, Customer and Partner Marketing at Braze told MarTech Today that mParticle’s CEO Michael Katz reached out to him with the idea in early June 2020.
“We wanted to figure out what we could do within our expertise to give back to the larger community,” Crocker told MarTech Today. “Our mission is to create an eco-system that provides technology to empower these Black entrepreneurs, and we just want to level the playing field.”
In their announcement on Braze’s website, Myles Kleeger, the President & Chief Customer Officer at Braze said:
“Before Braze can make an impact on the world, we have to first start by evaluating what we can do to combat inequality in our own community–the tech industry. More than 80% of venture firms don’t have a single Black investor, and just 1% of venture-funded startup founders are Black. At our current inflection point, we need to take action and catalyze positive change in our communities.”
Kleeger said that this will be a way for the tech company to contribute to making “positive change.”
According to Crocker, since launching the program, the number of companies offering their technology through the program has ballooned and they are hoping to open up the program to well beyond the initial ten startups planned. He also cited the extensive onboarding process required for each customer as a major limiting factor to how many new clients they can onboard at one time.
“We need to be doing more. It starts with things like this but this isn’t the end solution,” Crocker said.
Black Founders can learn more about the program and apply here.