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Several MarTech Firms to Give Away Free Services to Black-Founded Startups

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...

Jul 6, 2020

Engineer and Entrepreneur Launches $50M Fund For Black-Led Tech Startups

Jet Constellations, a Milwaukee-based software company founded and run by Nadiyah Johnson, has embarked on a mission to raise $50 million for Black-owned tech startups. Johnson, a product manager at General Electric Healthcare, holds a B.S. in computer science from Marquette University and is currently studying for a master’s degree in computational science there as well. She founded Jet Constellations in her spare time as “a way to address lack of diversity in Milwaukee Tech. ” Initially, the company offered consultation services, however, it has morphed into something much bigger. According to their website, Jet Constellations is focused  “on helping industry experts in the community to start, launch, and fund the next wave of high-growth tech companies in their space. ” Jet Constellations also runs The Milky Way Tech Hub which is focused on advancing diversity in the Milwaukee tech ecosystem. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, The Milky Way Tech hub has already put its...

Jul 1, 2020

Migo Raises $20 Million During Series B Funding

Providing credit to those who desperately need it is the mandate of the California-based lending firm Migo . According to Crunchbase News, Migo recently raised $20 million during its Series B funding. The team had previously raised over $10 million in their Series A. Since its inception, Migo has created a new lending space, a genuine accomplishment for an invention that initially began only as an artificial intelligence project.  Migo now partners with businesses in a variety of industry sectors, employing complex algorithms to calculate lending risk and then offers loans with a digital account, eliminating the need for credit cards .  Migo’s business model has proven so successful that, as noted by Business Insider, it has been able to raise over $35 million since its founding and to disburse N36 billion since 2017 . Launched in 2014, Migo is the brainchild of Mines Founder and CEO Ekechi Nwokah and Stanford University professor Kunle Olukotun. Formerly known as Mines, the startup...

Dec 10, 2019

Several Members of Congress Are Raising Questions About Facial Recognition Technology

Facial recognition technology is now being used to unlock smartphones, automatically tag friends on Facebook and certain sectors of law enforcement are even finding uses for it. While it is a major advancement in the way we live our everyday lives, some senators believe this form of artificial intelligence poses a threat to civil rights. Seven members of Congress sent letters to the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission highlighting the risks of facial recognition technology. “While they can offer many benefits, we are concerned by the mounting evidence that these technologies can perpetuate gender, racial, age, and other biases,” said the senators in their letter to the FTC . In the letter to the EEOC, senators — including Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren — questioned if the technologies could violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In...

Sep 25, 2018