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New Rory & Mal: Who Would've Thought Podcasting Would Make It This Far?

In less than a year, Rory Farrell and Jamil ‘MAL’ Clay have gone from being supporting acts on the popular Joe Budden Podcast to carving out their own lane in the digital space and securing a $10 million bag. If there’s ever been a better example of the saying “what’s for you is for you,” the success of the New Rory & Mal podcast would be it. On November 2, the New Rory & Mal podcast made its debut on Stitcher’s More Sauce label just months after a public, yet messy, split from their previous platform. AfroTech got the chance to speak with the duo about their new Stitcher deal, life post-JBP, and how other aspiring podcasters can get turn a hobby into a lucrative business. When Rory & Mal began their podcast journey roughly six years ago, they had no idea it could transform into a career. It wasn’t until they sat with the late Combat Jack, who is credited for spearheading the hip hop podcast industry, that they realized its potential. “[At first, podcasting] was just some fun thing...

Stephanie Ogbogu

Nov 22, 2021

Are You A Black Entrepreneur? Here's Some Financial Resources Designed For Your Success

Black Americans own 2.2 percent of the nation’s 5.7 million employer businesses, according to U.S. Census data. Yet, many lack the proper financial tools, guidance, and resources to succeed. States like Georgia saw a big jump in business growth last year with a 57 percent increase in new business formations. While this may seem exciting, Black businesses historically bring in less revenue because they face challenges related to funding, business models, financial understanding, and leadership. McKinsey & Company reported that while approximately 15 percent of white Americans hold some business equity, only five percent of Black Americans do. Octavia Conner, a virtual CFO and founder of Say Yes to Profits, told AfroTech that for Black business owners to succeed, they’ll also need more support from corporate America. She said corporate America needs to stop limiting opportunities for entrepreneurs based on the color of their skin, offer more programs and financial resources, and grant...

Michelai Graham

Oct 1, 2021

7 Bossed Up Lessons We Learned From Rick Ross (And How They'll Improve Your Hustle)

Being a boss is no easy task, so who better to get tips from than rapper and multi-hyphenate businessman, Rick Ross ? On September 7, Rick Ross answers all of your entrepreneurial questions in his new book, The Perfect Day To Boss Up: A Hustler’s Guide To Building Your Empire . With writer and former XXL Magazine editor Neil Martinez-Belkin on the assist, Rozay discusses how he was forced to pivot his business strategies during the pandemic, the importance of having a solid team, and drops nothing but gems for those who have their own business, are thinking about starting a business, or just need a little motivation to get them going. AfroTech not only got the opportunity to preview the book early, but we also got the chance to speak to the Biggest Boss himself. Check out just a few of the many major keys we walked away with.  

Stephanie Ogbogu

Sep 1, 2021

Founders Of The Relief App Look To Usher In A New Era Of Debt 'Relief'

When the Relief app announced that it had received $2 million in seed funding via a press release, people beleaguered with the burden of credit card debt breathed a sigh of relief. Led by Collaborative Ventures with participation from such prestigious investors as Brand Foundry Ventures, Interplay Ventures, Necessary Ventures, and The Fund, as well as backing from notable angel investors including Twitch founder Justin Kan, Elliot Tebele, and Ben Kaplan of Jerry Media, the Relief app is poised to usher in a new era of debt, well, relief . For co-founder Jason Saltzman, however, the focus is not necessarily on the debt relief itself, but on creating a holistic environment that benefits all users. “I consider myself a social impact entrepreneur who is deeply motivated to help as many people as I can,” he told AfroTech. “I am an adjunct professor at FIU in Miami where I also sit on the foundational board of directors as the Vice-Chair of Enterprise Growth. My latest venture, Relief, is...

How Raniyah Copeland of The Black AIDS Institute Aims To Dispel Myths About The Disease

Raniyah Copeland of the Black AIDS Institute can remember a time when HIV — the virus that causes AIDS — was the scourge of the 1980s. She remembers when the virus wiped out a whole sub-population of Black and Latinx men — she remembers what they faced while they were alive — and she knows that while HIV isn’t the scourge it once was, it’s still a disease that disproportionately affects the Black community…and she knows why. “In the United States, health is driven by inequity,” she told AfroTech. “HIV, as a disease, has a unique stigma in that it’s associated specifically with certain sexuality, a certain race, and a certain socio-economic class. While society isn’t as overt with its racism about AIDS as it once was — there was a time when the CDC would say that being Haitian, for example, made you more susceptible to AIDS — we still have progress that needs to be made.” Progress is, ultimately, the goal of the Black AIDS Institute. Dedicated exclusively to eradicating the disease...

How The Founders Of This Cannabis Speakeasy Snagged An Investment From Jay-Z

When Whitney Beatty & Ebony McGee Andersen first came up with the idea of Josephine and Billie’s cannabis speakeasy, they knew they’d be up against some challenges. As working mothers and Black women in the cannabis space, Beatty & Andersen also knew what they had to do to overcome those challenges. “Women, in general, have issues with access, but Black women in the cannabis space? Oh, the stories,” Beatty tells AfroTech. “And we knew we’d be facing the same thing — which is why we are so lucky that we got Jay-Z and The Parent Company to invest in our concept.” Josephine and Billie’s aims to create an inclusive and equitable society and a legal cannabis industry in which Black and minority entrepreneurs have the opportunity, access, and financial and logistical support to build peak levels of success and value for their communities. “In my former role as an urban planner, I can certainly attest how important investment is to the success of a business,” said Andersen. “But, more than...

Former MoviePass CEO Stacy Spikes Says PreShow Is Another Idea 'Whose Time Has Come'

Starting a business in the middle of a pandemic is a scary proposition, but PreShow founder and CEO Stacy Spikes was completely unfazed. “Where others may have seen problems, I saw opportunities,” he told AfroTech. “I’m not going to lie and say it was easy — but I will certainly say that I knew that what I had was an idea whose time had come. But, I will also say that I had to pivot, slightly, from my original plan for PreShow.” Getting his start as a film marketing executive and producer, Spikes first made headlines when he became the co-founder and CEO of MoviePass. In theory, MoviePass’s idea was a simple, and welcome, one: pay a monthly subscription fee, see as many movies in the theaters as you’d like. In 2012, MoviePass upped the ante by activating proprietary location-based payment technology, which allowed users to pay for their tickets in a safe and secure way — another idea that was, in fact, before its time. So it’s no surprise that PreShow, too, has the same visionary...

Women Seeking Wealth: A Chat With Italee Lucas

Italee Lucas is a former North Carolina Tarheel Women’s Basketball player, and she was also the 21st pick by the Tulsa Shock in the 2011 WNBA draft. She now plays overseas for the Angolan Women’s National Basketball team. Lucas has quite a few accolades under her belt, but now she can also add successful investor to that list. I was fortunate enough to spend some time talking with her to understand how she began investing and what she has learned about the process by working with the experts. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. AfroTech: When you were drafted into the WNBA, did they have anything in place to teach rookies about personal finance? Italee Lucas: They didn’t, and that’s one of the things I’m even talking to my agent about now. I did end up changing agents three times, and I think it’s important for the agents, especially for the women, coming out to be partnered with either a financial advisor or some type of additional capitalist. When I first came...

Carmela Hawkins

Dec 9, 2019