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Ashley Edwards Might Have Become The First Black Woman In New Jersey To Raise Over $1M In Venture Capital Funds

When it comes to setting trends and establishing viable businesses, Black women are at the forefront. From Madam C.J. Walker to Beyoncé, the range of goods and services provided by Black women are endless and necessary. According to a report by the Harvard Business Review, Black women are more likely to start a business as compared to white men and women. Ashley Edwards is a testament to this success with her business MindRight Health, recently announcing a $1.8 million seed round.

Jun 28, 2022

Only 40 Black Founders Secured VC Funding of At Least $1M in Q4 2020

Of the 1,537 startups that closed venture capital deals of at least $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, only 40 of them have Black founders at the helm, a new report finds. These findings were brought to light by Los Angeles-based diversity recruiting platform company Hallo in its second quarterly Black Founders Funding report. The new report analyzed 1,537 young companies across the U.S. that raised funding between $1 million and $50 million at the end of last year. The findings only account for these mega-deals closed between Oct. 1, 2020 , and Dec. 31, 2020. “In my honest opinion, the largest bottle neck for entrepreneurs of color are in the earliest days of starting your company. Once it’s time to go raise a traditional seed round the lack of friend and family capital access might put even the best laid plans and product roadmaps behind the curve in the eyes of seed investors aiming to back initial products and amazing teams,” Hallo’s co-founder and CEO Vernon Howard told...

Jan 28, 2021

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

Kobe Bryant, The Basketball Legend and Venture Capitalist

Kobe Bryant was a basketball legend. In his 20-year NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers, he won five championships, was an All-Star 18 times, and was selected to be on the All-NBA team 15 times. On Sunday, he — along with eight people — died in a helicopter crash. His 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Bryant, was one of the victims. While Bryant was best-known for his career on the court, many are unaware of his deep involvement in the tech scene in LA. He was an active entrepreneur who found a talent in “ storytelling for brands ” — Bryant said, while talking investments with USA TODAY. He began his VC career before he retired from basketball as the co-founder of Bryant Stibel & Co. According to their website: “Bryant Stibel was founded in 2013 to provide strategy, capital, and operational support to businesses with a focus across technology, media, and data.” Here are some of the legend’s off-court successes: ringDNA ringDNA is a “sales engagement platform that helps businesses...

Jan 28, 2020

Citi's New Impact Fund to Aid Businesses Led by Women and Minorities

Last Friday, Citi announced the Citi Impact Fund , a new initiative that uses $150 million of its own capital  to support U.S.-based companies. The Fund will represent a “double bottom line” business investment, or an investment that yields dividends while also driving change. Citi’s initiative will support companies that play a major role in addressing societal issues across four key areas : workforce development, financial systems, infrastructure, and sustainability. Companies that are advancing in the four key disciplines and that have already undergone rounds of funding can receive support from Citi for as much as $10 million. A portion of the Citi Impact Fund will be allocated for seed funding that is exclusively earmarked for companies led or owned by minorities and women , which Edward Skyler, Citi’s executive vice president of Global Affairs, describes as a “pool of often overlooked, high potential entrepreneurs.” Citi, and other companies, such as Harlem Capital, a New...

Jan 21, 2020