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Women-Led Startup Using AI To Provide Buyers With Wig Customization Receives Backing From Serena Ventures

After raising $5 million in funding, Parfait is on its way to disrupting the wig industry with the help of technology. The women-led startup is said to be the first to integrate facial recognition and artificial intelligence to provide buyers with customizable wig products. According to a press release sent to AfroTech, the seed round was spearheaded by Upfront Ventures and Serena Ventures. Ulu Ventures, Unshackled Ventures, Contrary Capital, Visible Hands, TRUE Capital’s Culture Fund, Omar Johnson, Chamillionaire, Tristan Walker, and Upland Workshop participated in the round. “Parfait’s mission to leverage Al to solve core issues for both the tech industry and communities of color is something we, at Serena Ventures, have believed in since the beginning,” said Serena Williams, Managing Partner at Serena Ventures, in a statement. “She went on to say “It’s been inspiring to witness their incredible achievements so far, and we’re proud to invest in this next phase of Parfait’s...

Samantha Dorisca

Apr 11, 2022

Inside the Win of the AfroTech Pitch Competition by Kliit Health, Sponsored by the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact

Start-up company, Kliit Health, Inc. won the opportunity of a lifetime at the 2019 AfroTech conference that took place on Nov. 7-9. The Los-Angeles-based femtech company took home a $10,000 prize after winning the pitch competition sponsored by the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact. Kliit Heath Inc. is a female sexual and reproductive healthcare platform founded in December 2018 by Crystal Evuleocha and Cassy Gibson. Kliit enables multicultural women to connect with a network of clinicians to ask questions about their sexual and reproductive health virtually through their mobile devices, according to the company. Evuleocha and Gibson competed against a host of other founders including: Erik Young of Audios, Chloë Rogers of Community X, Michael Garrick of Fitnesse, Branden Criss of Rap Plug, Christian Hines of Semy, Ty’Lisha Summers of Spendebt and Zachary Johnson of TicketDM. They each had a three-minute pitch presentation followed by a two-minute...


Dec 5, 2019

My First Experience at AfroTech Went a Little Like This

My first time attending AfroTech was an amazing experience. I got to connect with so many people from all walks of life (I even made some friends from Canada!). My goal for attending was really to expand my network and experience an environment where I wasn’t the only Latino/Black in tech. Day 1  JFK -> SFO 6 hours. Real Intimate Setting; Jackie Bavaro on the right. The first event I attended was the Product Manager Chat with Jackie Bavaro, co-author of “Cracking the PM Interview” (FYI: she has another book on the way called “Cracking the PM Career”) hosted by my now good friend, Olumide Longe . As someone interested in becoming a product manager, I thought it should be a priority this weekend that I push my narrative and promote myself as someone in that space. We traversed many topics from the road to PM to how to handle interviews, what makes a good PM, KPIs, etc. After the session, I got to ask an extra question to Bavaro which was: “How do you balance the relationship between...

Joel Durán

Dec 3, 2019

AfroTech 2019: How the Official Homecoming for Black People in Tech Changed My Life

AfroTech 2019 has come to an end, and this elderly millennial is exhausted but feeling revived and renewed. For the first time, I had a chance to brush shoulders and connect with 10,000 Black programmers, engineers, founders, and entrepreneurs from over 100 companies focused on scaling our collective power in the culture, innovation, and tech. It is the official homecoming for Black techies proving that diversity and inclusion in tech is not a pipeline problem. Let me preface. For almost ten years, I have been fortunate to have a seat at the table where I can be curious about the future of AdTech, leading strategic partnerships to bring advertising and entertainment solutions to life. Despite all of the challenges, I am proud to be a part of an exciting and rewarding industry surrounded by talented people. The AdTech industry has been a lonely place for me as a person of color. It is evident that we have made significant progress with diversity and inclusion in creative industries....

Alicia Ray

Nov 14, 2019

Bernard J. Tyson: The Leader, The Icon, The Man

The world was dealt a dizzying blow on Sunday as Bernard J. Tyson — Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente — passed away in his sleep. To say this news hit me hard would be an incredible understatement. Just a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure and privilege of interviewing Mr. Tyson . I was left in awe of not only his accomplishments but also his genuine passion for serving his customers and community. Who Was Bernard J. Tyson? Mr. Tyson’s passion for health care began when he was a little boy. He admired the doctors who cared for his mother during her illness and was also inspired by the way they cared for his family as a whole. The experience made him want to become a doctor, but he later found his true calling in health care administration. He studied the health care system during both his undergraduate and graduate programs. Post-graduation, his career took a trajectory which many of us can only aspire to as he served in all major aspects of Kaiser Permanente’s health care...

Colleen Williams

Nov 11, 2019