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Kapor Capital, Black-led VC firm focused On ‘Impact,’ raises $126 Million

Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein founded a venture capital firm in 2011 with a counter-intuitive mission: to generate elite investment returns by investing in impact-focused startups that help level the playing field in financial services, healthcare, and other industries.

Now, more than a decade later, the firm they founded, Kapor Capital, is taking its biggest step yet—becoming one of the largest Black-led firms in a VC landscape that has seen funding to Black entrepreneurs decline this year.

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Racial justice group unveils ‘Black Tech Agenda’ as roadmap for Congress

Rashad Robinson, founder of the racial justice organization Color of Change, believes that for far too long, Silicon Valley behemoths have prioritized profits over the well-being of Black consumers. The group is now laying out its most detailed vision for how lawmakers can intervene.

Some of the group’s ideas, such as limiting discriminatory use of personal data and requiring companies to test their algorithms for biases, have already been enshrined in legislation. However, few, if any, have become law. Others appear to be breaking new ground by urging Washington to take a more aggressive regulatory response.

The agenda calls for the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to incorporate a civil rights lens into merger reviews, allowing them to “challenge and reverse mergers that fail racial equity impact assessments.”

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Black entrepreneurs face tough adventure landing venture capital

Finding more venture capital for minority and women-owned start-up firms could help the region’s business community in a variety of ways, according to Doug Villhard, director of Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School’s entrepreneurship program.

According to Bloomberg, Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx founders will receive less than 2% of total venture capital in 2021. Female entrepreneurs received only 2% of venture capital funding.

“This funding gap shortchanges not only underrepresented founders but also the vitality of the entire innovation community,” Villhard said.

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We need more talented Black VCs.

In the venture capital community, things are changing. Two Black celebrities have become venture capitalists, partly to make the industry more inclusive. Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, The Roots’ lead rapper, joined VC firm Impellent Ventures earlier this year and spoke with Forbes about his approach there. And, from the archives, here’s a 2019 cover story about tennis superstar Serena Williams and her venture capital firm Serena Ventures, which she’s expected to focus on more after she retires from the sport. “I want to be remembered for things I’ve done off the court,” she told Forbes, “lives I’ve had an impact on and voices that have been heard through mine.”

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A Black-led tech startup looks to combat racial bias in criminal justice

A Black woman-led startup hopes to change the criminal justice system with its software. However, while it is currently based in Minneapolis, it does not intend to stay for long.

SIID Technologies intends to use machine learning technology to promote racial equity, fairness, and accountability in the judicial and law enforcement sectors. The startup’s ideas, which are now in the prototyping stage, have continued to pique the interest of accelerator programs both within and outside of the state.

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Calendly Enters Forbes’ Cloud 100 List

Black-owned scheduling platform Calendly has been named one of the world’s top private cloud companies on Forbes’ Cloud 100 list. As a member of the Plug In community we would like to say congratulations to the enter Calendly team!

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 Amazon amplifies Black-Owned businesses and entrepreneurs

To commemorate the first anniversary of Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator, the company announces a new initiative to help champion sustainable growth for Black-owned businesses on the Amazon platform in a blog post.

The first step in the new initiative is the creation of a Black-owned Business badge, which allows customers to find and shop for black-owned businesses. The badge, which is currently in testing for select eligible products, can be found in the search results and Additional Details section.

“As part of Amazon’s commitment to supporting and empowering the Black community, we are testing a new badge to make it even easier for customers to identify and shop products that come from Black-owned businesses,” said Dharmesh Mehta, vice president of Amazon Worldwide Selling Partner Services, in a statement. “We are eager to learn how the badge best helps customers discover Black-owned businesses and how it can help Black entrepreneurs succeed and grow in Amazon’s store.”

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Investors detail their red (and green) flags for startups seeking venture dollars

The startup community has been hit where it hurts in recent months: the balance sheet. With inflation rates at all-time highs, a recession looming, and venture capital behemoths like SoftBank threatening a long winter, VC money is becoming increasingly scarce. So, where does that leave startups that rely on that cash to expand their operations?

Our friends at TechCrunch spoke with investors from a variety of growth stages and industry sectors, with a focus on mobility and climate tech, to learn how they see the funding landscape today and what red flags — and green flags — they see for startups looking to raise another round. Most of the investors we spoke with agreed that there is a general pullback and conservatism in funding, with many VCs being much more deliberate in their due diligence.

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Social Media News: TikTok supporting black business owners, Snapchat available on Chrome

Whether or not your small business has an eCommerce website, social media can drive customers to your door. Social media is now an essential part of doing business, and it is one of the more cost-effective marketing tools available to small business owners.

Tiktok is quickly becoming a platform for more than just dance videos. It has evolved into an extremely effective marketing tool for both large and small businesses. If you want to engage your audience, learning how to make TikTok videos will be beneficial. This article will teach you how to create the best TikTok video for your company.

TikTok has announced that applications for the third round of their Support Black Businesses accelerator program are now being accepted. The program is intended to raise the visibility of Black-owned businesses on TikTok’s growing platform by providing exclusive access to resources, benefits, and networking opportunities.

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What National black business month means to America

Entrepreneurship has long been valued in the Black community and is a vital contributor to the national economy. Recent external forces like the pandemic and the wavering economic crisis have reminded us why we have to celebrate black entrepreneurs, who our communities are, and how to keep growing.

This historic annual event allows consumers and business owners to not only support Black businesses, but also give them a platform to grow their business and build wealth for current and future generations of African Americans.

The origins of National Black Business Month can be traced back to 2004 when two Black entrepreneurs, engineer Frederick E. Jordan and John William Templeton, president and executive editor of eAccess Corp., a scholarly publishing company, designated August as such. Jordan was obligated to highlight and encourage Black business owners like himself after overcoming significant obstacles.

The duo aimed to “drive the policy agenda affecting the 2.6 million African American businesses, to highlight and empower Black business owners all over the world.

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