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“Making the industry of Video Games more inclusive”.

Video Games have been an integral part of the American pop culture landscape. It’s like Baseball and Apple Pie. It has now turned into a monetary endeavor sought after by large entertainment companies, vendors, etc. The Video Game industry has now crossed the $180 Billion mark as of 2020. Earning more than the film industry and North American Sports combined. This is due to sponsorship, e-sports, and streamers. But like Social Media Influencers there is an obvious lack of diversity in this ever-growing community. In research done by The International Developers Association only 2% of Game Developers are black. A number that will surely put fear in the hearts of any aspiring Game Developer. But now Black Creators in the industry are looking to change that.

On the development end of things; we have Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake. Ekanayake is a part of a movement meant to make the gaming community more inclusive. Ekanayake took initiative and started his own studio, Outerloop with his partner in 2017. Outerloop specializes in virtual reality experiences. Starting his own studio Ekanayake was working at Uber Entertainment. While there he saw the drive investors had for VR. So Ekanayake made the leap and pitched his ideas and released his first game, “Falcon Age” in 2019. During Ekanayake’s tenure, he never would emphasize his cultural history, “I was always worried about losing my job.”

But it’s not just about the development. Streaming games is a whole sub-industry within the gaming industry. But the similarities that the two share are a love of games and a heinous lack of inclusion. A wall that will be knocked down. 3BlackDot, the studio behind the acclaimed “Queen and Slim” is producing a new series called, “Gaming While Black”. A digital series designed to show representation in the gaming industry. CEO of 3BlackDot, Reginald Cash said, if you ask a fan who the top gaming creators were, they would maybe say Ninja or PewDiePie. Or if you asked them who some of the top game designers, engineers, or even characters were, there likely wouldn’t be much diversity on that list. Clearly, there is something missing, from just a representation standpoint, if half the adult population on earth says, ‘I’m a gamer,’ and you can’t think of any diversity, that’s a pretty massive problem”.

It’s apparent that the gaming community in the past has not been too welcoming towards creators of color, but with these creators of color. That will soon be a thing of the past.

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BrainTrust Founders launch Founders Studio

BrainTrust is an organization seeking to fulfill the needs of Black Beauty and Wellness Founders. Founded by Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, The Studio is an innovative community-based digital platform that is also a marketing agency focused on brand development, social and experiential media, and creating brands from businesses at all stages of their journey.

“As you know as a Black Female Founder, I have survived the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and have first-hand experience being left out or not extended certain opportunities due to my race and gender. I have also found that whether I am building a brand with Halle Berry (actress), Super Dope Q (influencer), or Micha Brown (celebrity hairstylist), we are all in need of support, resources, knowledge, and capital said”, Bracken-Ferguson.

Bracken-Ferguson is an active participant in the UTC community and has participated in recent UTC-sponsored events. Using her knowledge in all aspects of the beauty and wellness sector, as well as her many years of brand building, she has dedicated herself to using her unique viewpoint inside the industry as a mentor and advisor to many Founders.

On October 19th, The Founders Studio was officially launched as an offspring of BrainTrust. A tech-led platform meant to aid the growing community in securing funding when they have too little. JPMorgan Chase and Shopify are two among many sponsors that have invested $100 million in the Founders Studio initiative to address any issues that these businesses will face in an ever-changing market.

The Founders Studio has launched with 25 beauty and wellness founders, including Tai Beauchamp of Brown Girl Jane, Kim Lewis of “CurlMix”, Lauren Napier of “Lauren Napier Beauty”, and Lucien Aymerick Eloundou of “Charbon Plus”, with the intention of launching more during the New Year.

In a press release The BrainTrust Founders studio says, “As part of this ecosystem, the tech-enabled platform will match participating Founders with supporting resources and relevant partners. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and business automation tools [that] will enable Founders to harness the value of dozens of ecosystem partners and advisors to create high-value branded product companies.