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Will.i.am's FYI Partners With Robert F. Smith's InternXL To Expose College Students To The AI Industry

Robert F. Smith’s internXL has launched a collaboration with Will.i.am to provide access to AI tools. According to a press release shared with AFROTECH™, internXL announced that it has partnered with Will.i.am’s FYI (Focus Your Ideas), an AI-driven collaboration platform. Co-founded by tech entrepreneur Sunil Reddy, FYI works to provide creatives with messaging, collaboration tools, file management, and content publishing features to increase productivity, per its website. Now the new partnership’s goal is to provide college students and recent graduates from underserved communities with exposure to artificial intelligence as well as facilitate engineering industry work opportunities. “Joining forces with Robert F. Smith, alongside internXL and FYI, is a dream come true because it shows people from our communities what our future will look like with the support of purpose- driven tech,” Will.i.am shared in a press statement. “By being solution-oriented, we prepare today’s generation...

Jun 12, 2024

Kai Cenat Makes History By Breaking Viewership Record On Twitch During A Stream With Kevin Hart And Druski

Kai Cenat, Kevin Hart, and Druski linking up has made Twitch history. On June 10, 2024, the comedic trio joined together for Cenat’s stream. If you haven’t already seen any of the viral clips, one of the most talked about moments via social media was LeBron James appearing on a FaceTime call with Hart during the stream. In addition to the virality, Cenat’s stream brought in historic numbers. According to information provided to AFROTECH™, the live stream featuring Cenat, Hart, and Druski broke the Twitch North American record for viewership with 712,600 peak concurrent viewers, which is more than a 10% increase. What’s more, the stream had 4.95 million unique viewers across 11.5 hours. “The BIGGEST & BEST STREAM EVER…..@druski x @kaicenat x @kevinhart4real = comedy gold!!!!!,” Hart wrote in an Instagram post. “No scripts and no plans….Just vibing and feeding off one another….Nothing but love for these to jacka–es.” “More coming….STAY TUNED,” he added. View this post on Instagram A...

Jun 12, 2024

Kyle Morrand Started A Digital Platform Empowering Creators As A Side Hustle That Now Reportedly Makes $2M A Year

Kyle Morrand had an idea while living with his roommates. Now he’s turned it into a $2 million vision. The founder leads 302 Interactive, an Orlando, FL-based development studio leveraging game design and emerging technologies to create interactive media, its LinkedIn mentions. It connects clients to resources that supports augmented reality mobile applications, game development, virtual reality and immersive experiences with the aid of its in-house team of developers, designers, and artists. “…The business is a reflection of my own life, ambitions and creativity,” Morrand explained in an interview with Entrepreneur. “…I get to spend my days reshaping our relationship with technology to design lifestyles that are more playful and ultimately eliminate some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety that seem standard to modern-day living.” He says the idea dates back to his time at college in Apartment 302 where he lived with two roommates who were also passionate about gaming. “…The...

Jun 11, 2024

Founder Of Canvas Beauty Shares That She Has Become The First Known Person To Earn $1M Through A Single TikTok Live

Stormi Steele has seen firsthand the power of social media. Steele is the founder of Canvas Beauty, a beauty brand she conceived in a night, Forbes mentioned. It all started with a hair serum made with cayenne pepper in her kitchen, which she introduced to her clients at her hair salon. After her clients’ rave reviews, she was encouraged to sell the product. Now, Steele’s Hair Blossom Serum remains the leading product in its marketing sector, the outlet notes. “It just ended up having a life of its own after that,” Steele told Forbes. Steele found great success since the launch of her business in 2018. In its first year, Canvas Beauty sold more than 1 million units, according to information provided to AFROTECH™. In 2019, going viral led the business to earn 30,000 monthly orders compared to 6,000 before the exposure, per Forbes. However, the influx of orders prompted Steele and her husband and business partner, Courtney Beasley, to learn a quick lesson about running an online...

Jun 11, 2024

Will Smith Says He Was 'Broke-Broke' After Not Paying Taxes For 2 Years — 'I Sold Everything In Philly'

Will Smith learned a tough financial lesson early on in his career. During an episode of the podcast, “7PM in Brooklyn with Carmelo Anthony & Kid Mero,” Smith reflected on a peak moment in his career in 1988. Smith had won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance with DJ Jazzy Jeff for their single “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” Pop Sugar reports. Their win was even more significant because it was also the year that the Best Rap Performance category was introduced. However, that career highlight also came during a time when Smith ran into trouble for neglecting to pay his taxes. “I was like, you know the IRS gets money from everybody, they don’t like need mine, but they felt differently,” Will said on the podcast. “So, I didn’t pay taxes for the two years and won a Grammy and all that. So, they just thought they should take my stuff. So, I was a little down, and I went out to L.A. I sold everything in [Philadelphia, PA], like I was, like, broke-broke sold everything in Philly.” According...

Jun 10, 2024

Supported By A $2M Grant, A Black-Owned 50,000-Square-Foot Co-Working Space Has Opened For Minority-Led Businesses

A new co-working space has opened in Newark, NJ, to support minority-owned businesses. According to Tap into Newark, Equal Space, a 50,000-square-foot, multi-floor, space opened its doors to entrepreneurs on May 14, 2024. A s co-founder and CEO, Citi Medina leads the concept, which was 10 years in the making, Blavity reports. The Brooklyn, NY, native who moved to Newark observed there was not a safe co-working space for talent of color. So, alongside his co-founder and COO, Ralphie Roman, they turned their attention towards creating a solution and birthed Equal Space in 2014, which had previously opened a 16,000-square-foot shared space and incubator ES89. The location includes meeting spaces, an event area, and content creation suites, its website mentions. Now, the Newark area will receive further support through the new downtown ES550 Tech & Innovation Campus at 550 Broad St., which boasts spaces for single founders and teams, “state-of-the-art event spaces” for 300 people, and a...

Jun 7, 2024

TikTok Food Reviewer Keith Lee Stuns The Internet By Reviewing His Brother's New Florida Restaurant

Keith Lee is back with another food review, but this one is special because it hits home. According to Dexerto, the beloved TikTok food reviewer left fans stunned after sharing a video of him testing out his brother’s new restaurant, Braised by Kevin Lee, located in Florida. “Me and my family are in Hollywood, Florida and the food in this bag is from my brother’s restaurant,” Keith said in the May 27 video. “When I say my brother, I mean the same mom and dad. But I didn’t order it and he doesn’t know we’re here.” @keith_lee125 Braised By Kevin Lee taste test 💕 would you try it ? 💕 #foodcritic @Kevin Lee ♬ original sound – Keith Lee What’s more, before their foray into the food business, both of the Lee brothers were heavy in the competitive martial arts world. Keith spent a good amount of his life as a Bellator MMA fighter, and Kevin gained a lot of attention in the UFC before retiring in July 2023. “We all lived in [Las Vegas, NV] but he moved to Miami and opened his own pop-up,”...

Jun 3, 2024

Snoop Dogg To Auction His Memorabilia, Including Master Recording Tapes

Snoop Dogg will be auctioning some of his own memorabilia. Variety reports the rapper is partnering with sports-and-music auction house The Realest — created by producer and radio host Scott “DJ Skee” Keeney — to auction off items through a project titled “ The Shiznit.” Items will include photos, Playstations, production books, autographed TV scripts, platinum discs, autographed jackets and jerseys, master recording tapes (copyrights to the music will not be included), and an autographed Death Row Records chain. “The items he is putting up are iconic,” Keeney told Variety. “Everything from lyrics, awards — like ‘Pimp of the Year’! — unreleased tapes, outfits, sample toys, photos, scripts, concert riders, even a Snoop-authenticated smoked blunt in a crazy display case and ashtray.” Furthermore, Keeney, who launched The Realest in December 2023 and raised $4.6 million in seed funding in a round led by KB Partners, has a rigorous process to ensure the offerings being sold are...

May 22, 2024

Viola Davis, Charlamagne Tha God, And More Among Investors In A Self-Help App Catering To The Black Community

Prominent individuals in entertainment are joining forces to provide self-help resources to the Black community. This is being made possible through the inception of ALTR, described as a motivational and self-help app, per the company’s LinkedIn. The platform was co-created by David A. Wilson, founder of TheGrio, and Brandon John-Freso, who serves as the company’s chief technology officer, and is supported through a partnership with Viola Davis and husband Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions. ALTR serves to provide audiobook miniseries that will tend to “the distinct life obstacles faced in the Black community,” Variety reports. These audiobooks will include topics such as: Mental well-being Feelings of isolation Financial stability Spirituality Personal relationships And more “There is a yearning for solutions and knowledge from our cultural perspectives,” Wilson told Variety. “Our authentic voices are lacking in the existing self-help, wellness and educational platforms, which is...

May 15, 2024

Issa Rae Has Self-Funded Ensemble, A Company Created To Close The Pay Gap For Black And Brown Creators

Issa Rae has expanded her business empire with yet another venture that caters to creatives. Business Insider reports that the media mogul has launched Ensemble, a company that works to connect brands with Black and brown creators. Moreover, the ultimate mission is to be a part of closing the creator pay gap between creators of color and their white counterparts. Funded by Rae, the company is already working with 50 creators such as comedian Mark Phillips, who is co-founder of the popular social media collective RDCWorld. What’s more, several major brands have joined Ensemble’s roster, such as Pepsi, Chili’s, and Popeyes. “We want Ensemble to be seen as a general market company,” said Montrel McKay, president of development and production at Hoorae Media , Rae’s media and entertainment company. “We want to go after media budgets. We don’t want to go after small allocations that are for diversity buys. That’s why it’s important to work with Pepsi out of the gate — we want to show the...

May 8, 2024

Will.i.am Reflects On The Investments That Changed His Life — 'I Invested In Tesla In 2006 Before Elon Took Over'

While working in the music industry, many artists make the smart move and don’t limit themselves to only excelling in music. Will.i.am is among such musicians who are the definition of “multi-hyphenate.” As an entertainer, record producer, tech entrepreneur, and founder, the East Los Angeles, CA, native has built an extensive resume for himself. “Investor” is yet another title under his growing list of endeavors. In an interview with the “Drink Champs” podcast, Will.i.am recounted two specific investments he’s made thus far. When asked by host N.O.R.E. whether he’d choose Steve Jobs or Elon Musk — like in a game of “This or That” — Will.i.am was prompted to share how both CEOs have made an impact on his life. “I invested in Tesla in 2006 before Elon took over [the company] — around the same time,” Will.i.am explained on the podcast. He continued, “And then, I was a part of Beats. And then, Apple bought Beats from us. So you’re talking about two companies that changed my life. So, I...

May 6, 2024

TikTok Creator MiriTheSiren Secures Paid Partnership With Shake Shack After Being Told To Pull The Plug On Viral Chick-Fil-A Reviews

Rejection is simply redirection, and this was the case for TikTok creator MiriTheSiren. The Chick-fil-A employee is known for her countless reviews of the restaurant’s food, which have helped her garner thousands of loyal followers since January 2024. Her most recent video filming the fast food chain’s Cherry Berry drink gained 323,400 likes and 3.4 million views since sharing it on April 8, 2024. In total, she has gained 3.7 million likes for her various Chick-fil-A food combinations using her employee meal. “Since January, every day, I went to work at Chick-fil-A. I have been reviewing my employee meal since I started in January. I have garnered tens of millions of views, some of my individual videos, getting up to 3.4 million in just a few days,” MiriTheSiren expressed in a video. “And it’s been a beautiful experience. It’s been so great. I’ve inspired people to try new things at Chick-fil-A. I’ve been able to connect more with my community and the people that I serve because...

Apr 23, 2024

Multi-hyphenate Tyler The Creator Has Built An Estimated $30M Fortune, But His Inner Circle Is A Key Piece To His Success — ‘I Only Surround Myself With People Who Dream’

Disruptors, in the evolutionary sense of the word, are people who have abandoned the status quo. They thrive in their differences and are typically unbothered by the societal boundaries designed to box them in. There are countless examples of these people in the world, but one clear example is Tyler, the Creator. Evidenced by his stage name, Tyler Gregory Okonma is a California native and award-winning producer and musical artist. He burst onto the scene co-founding the Hip-Hop collective Odd Future and releasing his debut mixtape 2009, titled “Bastard.” However, it was in 2011 when he released his first studio album, “Goblin,” that he started getting noticed. Reflecting, he acknowledged his musical growth and was honest about his work then. In a conversation on the “Rap Radar Podcast,” Tyler was pretty candid that while his lead single, “Yonkers,” is still one of his favorites, the album itself was not his favorite body of work. “Bro, ‘Goblin’ is f-cking terrible, but I still love...

Apr 22, 2024

Birdman Says He Still Maintains Full Ownership Of His Masters — 'I Never Allowed None Of The Labels To Own Anything'

Cash Money Records Founder Birdman experienced several losses by the age of 16, and he was determined to steer clear of any losses in the music business. Birdman, born Bryan Christopher Williams, started the label in 1991 alongside his brother Ronald “Slim” Williams, according to BET. They were able to gain traction and had the support of independent distributors such as Gonzales Music and SouthWest Distribution, XXL Magazine reports. Building popularity in the South, the label caught the attention of Universal Records and signed a deal with the company on May 10, 1997, per a Max Volume Media interview Birdman gave. He later discussed the deal during an interview on the “Wilde Ride!” podcast, revealing that he was looking to retain ownership of his music due to his upbringing. “I felt like I lost everything already. I lost my family,” he explained on the podcast. “Nothing can repay me for what I already lost. I lost my mama, my daddy, my brother, my sister… I lived a hell of a life...

Apr 19, 2024

Tyler Perry Didn't Successfully Secure Ownership Of BET — But He's Inked An Extensive New Deal With The Media Group

In April 2023, Tyler Perry shared his interest in bidding to purchase a majority stake in BET Media Group from Paramount. As BET is the home of his shows such as “Sistas” and “House of Payne,” there was potential alignment. In addition, the media mogul hoped for the network to become Black-owned once again. However, the aspiration came to an end shortly after. By August 2023, Paramount announced that it had ended its initial plan to sell its majority stake in BET Media Group stating that “a sale wouldn’t result in any meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet,” as previously shared by AFROTECH™. With the change in plans, Perry, along with other reported bidders including Byron Allen, did not gain ownership of BET. As AFROTECH™ previously told you, Perry was reportedly among the offers that ranged from $2 billion to $3 billion, but the bidding process didn’t pan out as he had hoped. “I was disappointed about it for a number of reasons,” Perry shared at Bloomberg’s Equality Summit,...

Apr 16, 2024