Announcing Our 2022 Tech for Black Founders Cohort
Two years ago, Tech for Black Founders was launched in an effort to combat inequality in our own community—the tech industry. Through this initiative, we are making it simple and free for Black founders to accelerate their growth through a variety of technologies. Since launching, Braze has provided its technology to 16 Black-founded early stage startups in the US, representing a variety of industries from beauty to financial services to wellness. Tech for Black Founders has also grown from a network of five founding organizations into a collection of more than 40 tech companies, including AWS, Foursquare, and Stripe. Together, we have donated tens of millions of dollars of free technology.
This February, we opened a call for applications in connection with our 2022 cohort of T4BF startups. While the program initially launched in the US only, we expanded eligibility to EMEA-founded businesses this year. We also evaluated ways to improve our offering and will cover Braze Email costs for this new cohort. The response to our call was incredible, with nearly 200 inquiries in total.
I’m excited to announce the 14 startups selected for this new cohort! Each company will receive a year of free Braze technology and educational resources. This includes customer engagement capabilities including unlimited push notifications, webhooks, and in-app/in-browser messaging for up to 250,000 MAU, and Braze Email costs covered up to 10 million emails.
Please join me in congratulating our newest Tech for Black Founders class:
Alkeme Health (Chicago, IL): Alkeme is a digital health company focused on eliminating disparities from the healthcare system, starting with a mental health platform that centers on the Black experience. Founded by Ryan Mundy.
FemConnect (Cape Town, South Africa): A women’s health tech brand aimed at strengthening and redefining access to equal sexual and reproductive health care for Africa. Founded by Asonele Kotu.
GeoCloud (San Francisco, CA): A company focused on creating the world’s most connected network that allows users to discover and interact with the people and things around them. Founded by Abiodun Johnson.
Health Care Travels (Houston, TX): Provides a centralized platform to assist travel healthcare professionals to find affordable and reliable short-term housing. Founded by Lamesha Davis.
HolistiCann (New York, NY): A telehealth service that pairs patients with psychologists to integrate clinical cannabis into mental health and physical therapy treatments. Founded by Zena Nelson.
Kinkofa (Dallas, TX): Provides digital tools that transform the family history discovery experience for Afro-descended people. Founded by Tameshia Rudd-Ridge and Jourdan Brunson.
Luxemore London (London, UK): A premium, all-natural wellness brand providing a range of vegan hair and skin products. Founded by Annie Beatson.
Official Black Wall Street (New York, NY): The largest next generation digital platform and app that tackles the economic inequalities in the entrepreneurial world for African Americans through cooperative economics. Founded by Mandy Bowman.
Peadbo (Washington, DC): A network that helps individuals achieve personal and professional goals with support from a personal advisory board. Founded by Keith Chaney.
Rival (Dover, DE): A fantasy sports platform that brings both fantasy sports and sports betting together. Founded by David McKenzie.
Seekncheck (Lyon, France): AI-powered marketplace for verified freelance translators, proofreaders, editors, and localization experts in more than 30 languages and 50 fields of expertise across 12 industries. Founded by Ben-Manson Toussaint.
Trymyfab (Atlanta, GA): A natural hair care personalization and automation platform focused on building tools that simplify and automate natural hair care. Founded by Christiannah Oyedeji.
Voltric Mobility Technologies (Bristol, UK): Provides all-electric, all-inclusive vehicle subscriptions for the next generation of drivers. Founded by Julian Mensah.
Water Hygiene Convenience (Johannesburg, South Africa): Award-winning water management solutions company that is passionate about conserving the most precious water resources. Founded by Paseka Lesolang.
"In order to achieve our mission of becoming the universal healthcare provider for the Black community, we need to have outstanding partners committed to supporting us in our pursuit. I am excited about working with Braze and leveraging their world class capabilities to help support our growth and development."
“In Summer 2020, commitments to Black and other historically excluded populations skyrocketed. Unfortunately, many of these commitments went unfulfilled or were one-time efforts. It's affirming to see that Braze has continued to honor its commitment, and the provided resources will be extremely valuable for us as we launch Peadbo.”
Rod McLeod is the VP of Social Impact at Braze.