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AI Startup tap. Takes On The Entertainment Industry, Raises $1.8M In Pre-Seed Funding Round

This artificial intelligence (AI) entertainment startup is looking to make connecting easier for both executives and creatives.

Dec 27, 2022

Diverse Representation Plans To Hold Program To Transform Black Professionals Into Entertainment Executives

Black professionals will be taking root in the entertainment sector. According to a press release sent to AfroTech, Diverse Representation will host its second annual Black Entertainment Executives Pipeline program set to run from July 11-August 16, 2022. Twelve participants will have access to leading industry executives including Ty Cameron (President, Ebony Studios), Jelani Johnson (EVP, Content Strategy, MACRO), and Joe Aiken (Executive, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in addition to hands-on experience. The six-week program will be offered in-person for those living in Los Angeles, CA, and virtually to reach potential participants across the nation. “This first-of-its-kind program is an invaluable resource for any Black professional or creative interested in pursuing a career as an executive in the television or film industry,” said Jaia Thomas, Esq., founder and president of Diverse Representation, according to a press release. “This is the only program of its kind in the...

Jun 29, 2022

Entertainment Exec Brandon Pankey Launches First-of-Its-Kind Video Network to Deliver Diverse Music Content

The music industry is getting another game-changing platform thanks to entertainment executive Brandon Pankey. Pankey — who has years of experience in the entertainment industry working for companies such as Live Nation and Maverick — has just announced the launch of Artist Presented Experiences (APEX) — a first-of-its-kind AVOD video network that’s dedicated to promoting music programming presented both by and for artists. According to a press release, APEX is a platform that will offer up diverse, artist-centric content for viewers that features some of the industry’s most influential and sought-after talent, as they produce and create original scripted, unscripted, and licensed programming. The purpose of APEX — which is powered by award-winning brand services agency Quantasy + Associates — is for the platform to operate as a unique model that grants artists the creative freedom they need to deliver unfiltered content and visions directly to their fans. “Artists are some of the...

Mar 31, 2021

Rozina Negusei to Invest $12M in Uganda to Transform It Into the Entertainment Industry's New Home

Award-winning Senegalese-American recording artist and entrepreneur Akon has been known to dabble in Africa’s business dealings for years, and now his wife is gearing up to do the same. Rozina Negusei — President and CEO of Zanar Entertainment, Entreeg Records, and Entreeg Entertainment Group — recently announced that she plans to invest a total of $12 million in the Ugandan entertainment industry to explore a plethora of available business opportunities worth backing, according to local outlet Sqoop. “We are here to explore new opportunities in Uganda, we are focused on investing in Agriculture, solar, and real estate,” she said. “Our main focus is to see how we can bridge the gap between East Africa and West Africa in terms of business and trade.” Negusei was reportedly invited to Uganda by East African Partners (EAP) managing director, Isaac Kigozi. Along with her came a group of Turkish investors, who are set to visit a few government departments, agencies, and private sector...

Feb 1, 2021

These Music Execs Launched an All-Virtual Internship Program For Black and Brown Students

The year of 2020 has brought the entertainment industry a slew of obstacles to overcome. However, the revived digital era we are living through — due to the pandemic — has paved the way for technological innovations to keep the industry going. Of many tech trends that have popped up in the music world this year, a new virtual program — introduced by famed American musician Ray Chew, and his wife major entertainment executive Vivian Scott Chew — is building up the future for aspiring music creators and business leaders. Through their Power 2 Inspire Foundation — an organization committed to helping young aspiring music creators and industry leaders rise to their highest self — the Chews launched an all-virtual summer mentorship and internship program this month, which is believed to be the first of its kind for the entertainment industry. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Power2Inspire Foundation, Inc. (@power2inspirefoundation) The program was originally set to launch...

Aug 18, 2020

Meet Kibi Anderson, the Emmy-Winning Producer and Former President of 'Red Table Talk'

The “Red Table Talk” launched on Facebook in May 2018 and soared way beyond many expectations. The show featured Jada Pinkett-Smith, her daughter Willow Smith, and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris discussing trauma, abuse, mental illness, and a variety of issues often avoided in the Black community. For many people, the show became a source of healing for their traumas while it also provided a template that communities of color could follow to address broader issues. Recently, we sat down with Kibi Anderson, Emmy-award winning producer and former President at Red Table Talk Enterprises to discuss her career and how she thinks the show has changed the culture. In the Beginning Anderson hails from Seattle, WA, and, early in life, was exposed to the amalgamation of cultures that forms the city’s rich personality. She also became intensely curious about Asian cultures. At the tender age of 16, she packed her bags and headed to Singapore to complete her senior year of high school. The...

May 28, 2020

Netflix Supports Creatives With $100M Relief Fund During Coronavirus Pandemic

Normal life has been upended for individuals and big industries alike due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not only is Netflix providing entertainment for millions as they navigate social distancing, but the streaming service is also offering financial relief. On Friday, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos announced that the company has set aside $100 million to help workers in the creative community. The mission is to support those who have been most affected by the COVID-19 crisis, including “electricians, carpenters, drivers, hair and makeup artists and more.” “Almost all television and film production has now ceased globally – leaving hundreds of thousands of crew and cast without jobs,” Sarandos wrote. “Most of the fund will go towards support for the hardest-hit workers on our own productions around the world.” The entertainment giant plans to distribute $15 million to “third parties and non-profits providing emergency relief to out-of-work crew and cast in the countries where we have a...

Mar 23, 2020

This Black Media Entrepreneur Got Her Film Picked Up By Hulu After Facing Rejection

Chasing your dreams is no easy task, but when you’re determined to beat the odds nothing can stand in your way. Take it from Angela Marie Hutchinson — producer, casting director, scriptwriter, and media entrepreneur of her own entertainment empire. For over ten years, Hutchinson fought to get her screenplay “Hollywood Chaos” funded and produced, but her efforts were of no avail. Fed up with rejection after rejection, she took matters into her own hands and found the means to produce the feature film herself. The film was also successfully picked up by Hulu. “Sometimes we feel like it’s bad to quit so we keep on going. We keep receiving the rejection thinking that eventually a yes will come along. And that’s just not the case. Sometimes the yes will never come until you create it. You have to do something different than what you were doing before,” Hutchinson said, according to Black Enterprise. No longer operating on the scale of getting rejected, Hutchinson created the opportunity...

Mar 8, 2020

21 Savage Is Expanding His Teen Financial Literacy Program

Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage is expanding his “Bank Account” program in partnership with Juma and Get Schooled to offer an online course to teach teenagers financial literacy. The courses cover topics on saving, investing, debit and credit. Participants receive badges for every course they complete. Students can also ask financial questions by texting “money” to 33-55-77, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Juma works to provide employment for low-income youth in Houston, San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Seattle, and Atlanta. The expansion also includes 150 teenage recruits for the campaign. 21 Savage is expected to give away $15,000 to provide each student with $100 deposits to their bank accounts, according to AJC. Last year, 21 Savage launched his “Bank Account” campaign to help Atlanta teens learn financial skills. He donated $21,000 to support 21 students in the program. 21 Savage made headlines last month for being detained by ICE for being in the U.S....

Mar 2, 2019