Over the last few weeks, cries for equality have stirred the world to become more deliberate and active in their support of the black community and black-owned businesses. Historically, the tech industry, in particular, has been riddled with issues of inequality and limited access to opportunities for people of color and women. Solving diversity issues in the industry will require systemic change and this starts with more direct investment in black-owned tech companies by purchasing services and products as well as providing funding. With that said, we want to highlight some of the black-owned tech businesses you may not see in mainstream media that are breaking barriers and making giant leaps in digital innovation.
Listed on the CNBC’s #Disruptor50 List, Cincinnati-based startup LISNR uses ultrasonic (data over sound) technology to enable proximity verification & contactless transactions for merchants, financial service providers, and mobility companies.
Their technology translates to mobile payments, purchase pickups, ticketing, delivery confirmation, and authenticating experiences. As social distancing guidelines put forth by the CDC continue, LISNR wants to help retailers, mobility enterprises and delivery platforms, institute contactless services amongst the ways their consumers pay, enter, authenticate receipts, and access services safely.
The company recently developed an authentication solution for mobility companies who have been pushed to make contactless their new normal. This solution aims to prevent voids in authentication between delivery couriers, rideshare drivers, and consumers. Companies using our verification technology can increase courier and consumer safety while decreasing costly inefficiencies that amount due to friendly fraud and chargebacks.
LISNR enables advanced checkout experiences globally across the customer journey for retailers and mobility enterprises.
Solutions: Retail — Payment & proximity-based experiences across retail customer journey. Mobility — Payment & authentication experiences across auto, transportation, & ticketing
Support LISNR: https://lisnr.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | (513) 322–8400.
QualityWorks is a black-owned and woman-led software consulting company specializing in web and mobile application development, digital transformation, and software testing. Ranked as a Top Software Consulting Firm, QualityWorks enables organizations to solve their most difficult digital challenges and deliver quality solutions that provide the greatest value to their customers. Founded by Stacy Kirk in 2010, the company has served clients in the US, UK, Latin America, and the Caribbean such as AT&T, Fandango, BB&T, Rotten Tomatoes, Children’s Miracle Network, Fox, Legacy.com, IEHP, Digicel, and DPD.
Since COVID-19, QualityWorks has been offering free strategy sessions as part of a digital solutions kit with discounted prices aimed at helping companies deal with the upsurge in demand for digital services.
CEO of QualityWorks, Stacy Kirk
Services: Digital Transformation, Software Product Development, DevOps Consulting, End-to-End Testing, Test Automation, Performance Testing.
Products: Maturity Assessments (Digital, Agile, and DevOps), Testing and Development MiniServices.
Calendly CEO, TOPE AWOTONA
Calendly, founded in 2013 by African-American Tope Awotona, is dedicated to simplifying how people connect with each other and get things done. Their easy to use automated scheduling software was designed to make organizing meetings simpler and less time-consuming. Calendly offers a powerful and versatile set of features that allow you to schedule one-on-one appointments, group events, and team meetings.
Support Calendly: https://calendly.com/
PopCom Team (Original Source: www.popcom.shop)
Founded by serial entrepreneur, Dawn W. Dickson, PopCom is an automated retail company that uses facial recognition, A.I, and blockchain technology to help retailers engage with customers, understand sales metrics and sell more products using their intelligent vending platform.
PopCom’s vending technology is powering the future of retail. The platform is built with the technology of tomorrow to give you the data you want today. PopCom’s new Smart Kiosk is fully automated, with two independent camera tracking systems and learns as it sells… autonomously tracking age, gender, and even subtle emotional cues, for every transaction. Captured in real-time, this data helps retailers to understand consumer intent on a much deeper level — yielding stronger insights that lead to better products, and more relevant consumer experiences. Each kiosk can also fine-tune its messaging, seamlessly responding to consumers’ emotional feedback. (Original Source: https://www.popcom.shop/blog/)
Founder and CEO, Dawn Dickson
Product: High-IQ automated vending platform with features such as Storefront Reporting, Crowd Metrics, Demographics & Sentiment, Identity & Biometrics, Lead Generation Tools.
GoalSetter CEO, Tanya Van Court and her children
Founded by Tanya Van Court, Goalsetter is savings, smart spending, and financial literacy app created just for kids and families. Goalsetter lets every member of the family save, from cradle to graduation, including parents. Goalsetter also offers game-based financial literacy quizzes mapped to national financial literacy standards but rooted in memes and gifs from hip-hop artists, social media influencers, and pop culture. The company’s mission is to develop financial independence, economic mobility, and increased savings for all Americans, with a special focus on helping grow the financial strength of this nation’s African-American communities.
Goalsetter has recently launched a campaign to get 1 Million Black kids saving accounts, and is partnering with noteworthy African-American organizations across the country to support the initiative.
Check out a link to a story about Goalsetter on ABC news here.
A task force initiative of the non-profit organization, Shared Harvest Foundation, myCovidMD® is a free telehealth and online portal that together, safely connect residents to resources in real-time, by real people. The initiative created by African-American doctor and entrepreneur, Dr. Nanaefua Afoh-Manin, aims to meet the need for community-based Covid-19 testing, free telehealth wrap-around services, and matching residents with critical Community Health Partners(CHPs) amidst the rapidly evolving COVID-19 global pandemic.
myCOVIDMD founder Dr. Nanaefua Afoh-Manin
In keeping with the Shared Harvest mission, CHP and non-medical volunteers for myCOVIDMD are all eligible to receive student loan stipends OR emergency savings funds in exchange for their volunteerism.
To date, myCOVIDMD has provided over 2,500 tests in Los Angeles, CA; Atlanta, GA; and Queens, NY with future drive through testing sites planned throughout the United States.
Support myCOVIDMD: To sign up for testing, as a volunteer, or to donate to your community, go to www.covidmd.org.
Dubbed as the QuickBooks of Privacy and Security Compliance, Posture is a SaaS platform that offers a HIPAA Compliance Officer and Program-as-a-Service starting at only $99/month. Through automation and analytics, Posture enables healthcare providers and health tech firms to quickly establish a HIPAA compliance program in a few short hours. Through the oversight and advice of their Posture officer, organizations can continue to strengthen their compliance program while having dedicated support as they grow.
Stacy Kirk, CEO, and Founder — Posture Inc
Features: Comprehensive Security Risk Assessment, Risk Management Plan, HIPAA Training, HIPAA Security and Privacy Policies, Monthly Cybersecurity Training, Expert HIPAA Advisor Guidance, and Ongoing Risk Mitigation Activities.
Support Posture: https://postured.io/ | (888) 418–6628 |
Led by Mohamed Kamara, InovCares is a mission-driven organization successfully transforming how people access and experience healthcare, with a focus on high quality, lower costs and improved outcomes around the world.
InovCares combines patented NASA technology and computer vision via your smartphone camera to provide personalized health reports spanning health risk, metabolic health, and body composition to inspire mindful health and fitness decisions.
The InovCare app provides access to care anytime on your smartphone and was designed to be a medical and wellness companion for life. It connects you to your doctors, health coaches, and nurse practitioner via one seamless platform. Other features include a virtual community for you to collaborate with others and to gamify your wellness goals and be rewarded for meeting them.
InovCares’ Founder, Mohamed Kamara
InovCares is currently powering NGOs in Rwanda, Nigeria and Sierra Leone and was nominated for Top 20 innovation and technology by Ayoo Africa Magazine.
9. Kiddie Kredit
Evan Leaphart is a black entrepreneur who is serious about teaching children and their families to have honest conversations about credit. As such, he founded Kiddie Kredit, a mobile chore tracking app designed to teach kids about the importance of financial literacy.
Kiddie Kredit assigns credit value based on the number of chores your child performs. If your child does all of their chores well and on time, they’re awarded a kredit score. This process is effective because it teaches children how credit works in real-time.
Evan Leaphart is also the co-founder of Black Men Talk Tech in Miami and combines a passion for financial literacy and innovation with a commitment to solving real-world problems that help the community around him. More recently, Evan has been creating online curriculums for schools, organizations, and families to use alongside Kiddie Kredit during the pandemic and beyond.
Support Kiddie Kredit: https://www.kiddiekredit.com/
This list is hardly scratching the surface of black-owned tech innovation. If you know of a company that I should feature, drop me a line at email@example.com.
Also, share this article within your network to bring light to all the great work that’s happening in the black tech community.