A 2020 study by Crunchbase found that the percentage of black owned businesses raising venture capital (funding) is significantly lower than the percentage of white owned businesses. When you look at how many of those businesses are in tech, you can slice that number way down. There’s a definite diversity gap in the Big Tech industry, but since 2018 the number of technology companies and startups owned and run by black entrepreneurs is steadily climbing. Here are just a few black owned tech companies you can expect great things from.
PopCom develops software to use alongside automated vending machines, kiosks, and lockers. Their technology uses facial recognition, artificial intelligence, and other tools to make these machines “smart,” helping retailers collect customer insights. Founded and headed up by Dawn Dickson, a black woman with her hand in several entrepreneurial pursuits, PopCom was born out of Dickson’s own frustration with the lack of resources available for her own roll-up flats business, which was being sold out of vending machines in high traffic locations like airports.
Streamlytics is the first ever data collection company that focuses on the streaming habits of the black community. Streamlytics then takes that information and makes recommendations based on the user’s activity, for example, what type of content will be most relevant and successful within that demographic. “My goal for Streamlytics is to have an impact on society as a whole,” says founder and CEO Angela Benton, a black woman and self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur. “Over the next 10 to 20 years, the handling of personal data is going to impact all of us. We’re at a pivotal point right now.” The company has picked up so much steam in the last year or so that even actress Issa Rae has become a stakeholder.
Scizzrs is an app for iOS and Android that helps barbers, hairstylists, and other service providers to seamlessly connect with clients, allowing them to sell their products and services with the click of a button. The team at Scizzrs is composed of Frederick Akpoghene, Adebayo Omoyeni, and Nimbe Oviosu, three black men with backgrounds in hardware manufacturing, software engineering, product development, and more. Scizzrs has grown significantly since its inception, and is currently raising $600,000 seed round from investors in order to continue to scale.
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