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CEO Thai Randolph Led Kevin Hart's Hartbeat To $100M In Funding — Now, She's Championing Women Who Look Like Her

There are many spaces that attempt to prevent Black women from thriving and the comedy industry is no different. However, with Kevin Hart’s Hartbeat — the multi-platform media company founded by the Philadelphia comedian — that’s not the case. In May, the company announced the return of its Women Write Now comedic screenwriting fellowship, which is on a mission to champion the next generation of Black women through advocacy, exhibition, mentorship, and production. The company’s CEO, Thai Randolph, led the most recent funding round, which totaled $100 million, and is excited to play a role in helping to greenlight projects led by women who look like her. “This program really has been a labor of love, but also, a real point of both passion and purpose,” Randolph told AfroTech in an exclusive interview. “The whole founding insight for the program was a very clear observation and experience that there are not enough Black women in the seat to greenlight things, which I am now. And, so,...

Jul 22, 2022

How Sugaberry Co-Founders Tika Sumpter and Thai Randolph Launched a Lifestyle Brand to Uplift Black Moms

One year ago, co-founders Tika Sumpter and Thai Randolph found themselves launching Sugaberry — a forward-thinking lifestyle brand created by and for modern moms of color — at the peak of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Today, they celebrate one year of maintaining said brand to connect a community centered around Black women’s wellness and motherhood. The idea behind Sugaberry’s digital platform originally came from famed actress, producer and entrepreneur Sumpter who took note of the lack of representation for Black moms and expecting mothers online and in media. “The seed for [Sugaberry] started with me feeling like there wasn’t a place for Black moms or women who were interested in maybe having a child to go to,” Sumpter shared with AfroTech. “There was no thought or care put forth for us. I just felt like the joy of motherhood wasn’t really offered to Black women as far as what we see in media.” From there, she came up with a business proposal that she approached Randolph with —...

Mar 23, 2021

Actress Tika Sumpter and Media Exec Thai Randolph Launch Startup for 'Modern Moms of Color'

Minorities have fought for inclusion in the media and entertainment industry for years. The content we’ve become accustomed to seeing has been plain and uninspired, but in recent years we’ve begun to see a  shift in the landscape. Media platforms are becoming more personalized and purposeful in the content they deliver for and about minorities. Actress and producer Tika Sumpter took notice of this shift and wanted to contribute in her own way for her community. Now she’s teaming up with media executive Thai Randolph, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud digital comedy brand, to form a new lifestyle brand called Sugaberry . On Monday, Sumpter and Randolph launched The Suga podcast in partnership with Stitcher, and a part of Sugaberry , their media startup centered around motherhood for women of color. According to Variety , the idea grew from Sumpter’s frustration with the lack of online content and sense of community for Black moms. During her...

Mar 26, 2020