Washington, D.C. - July 9, 2020
Focused on giving back to the community and supporting the underserved African-American entrepreneurs
KiwiTech, a startup accelerator, and technology services company, recently announced the launch of the Black Entrepreneurs Matter Demo Day Series to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
"At KiwiTech, we take pride in building an ecosystem that removes barriers for all and celebrates innovations of every entrepreneur regardless of their race, color, religion, or gender," said Rakesh Gupta, CEO, KiwiTech. "As our support to the Black Lives Matter movement, we are pleased to launch our Black Entrepreneurs Matter (BEM) Demo Day Series.
The company’s first Black Entrepreneurs Matter Demo Day will be held virtually on July 13th. "The BEM series is essentially our way of giving back to the community and supporting African-American entrepreneurs," added Ike Syed, VP, Strategic Partnerships, KiwiTech.
The Washington DC-based company also holds exclusive quarterly demo days for female and minority entrepreneurs to provide a stage for the success of underrepresented entrepreneurs and businesses across the US.
"Starting and scaling successful ventures is challenging and it becomes even more challenging when it is combined with institutional and racial barriers," remarked Mohsin Syed, EVP and Chief Startup Officer, KiwiTech. "At KiwiTech, we believe that our strength as a startup ecosystem lies in our diverse perspectives reflected through our most valuable resources – employees and portfolio company founders. We are super excited to provide our Black-led portfolio companies with this grand stage to break past racial barriers and close the funding gap."
Six Black founders will pitch their innovative startups at the event, including Chuck Ezekwem from Buble, Dauod Thompson from Process Intel, Terrence Wood from Before You Go Pro, Hope Malveaux from ConnectPro, Stephen Myles from FMx, and Darryl Stephens from Bass Parlour. These pitches will be moderated by Shari Holly, Director Of Operations at PIPELINES and Jessica Chin Foo, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at KiwiTech.
"I am extremely excited to participate in this Demo Day as it is very relevant. As a kid growing up and going to predominately elite institutions such as Cornell and NYU Stern, it’s easy to be overlooked. Black entrepreneurs have always been innovating and creating great products and companies. I am happy there is now a conscious effort to recognize that. The concept of Buble started when I was in college, I noticed that the location-based market and online review system was broken and not providing real-time value to people. Even with the growth of geolocation technology, there was still a disconnect. I think the pandemic only exacerbated this. We created the Buble platform to fill this need. We are thrilled to showcase our platform at KiwiTech’s historic event on July 13th," said Chuck Ezekwem.
The virtual event will feature a panel discussion on issues of importance to African-American entrepreneurs everywhere: the importance of mentors, the need for financing, the role of VC, and more. Panelists include Alexander Knight, VP of Business Development at Cooley, Shawn Springs, CEO at WindPact, Mina Black, Founder at KonnectKapital, Juliette-Marie Somerset, CEO & Managing Partner at Somerset Partners, and Danyel Jones, CEO and Co-Founder at POWERHANDZ. The panel will be moderated by Terrence Wood.
"It is my personal view and belief that the global entrepreneurship community, especially in the tech startup ecosystem, breaks down barriers, inequalities, and injustices. Here in Silicon Valley where I now live and work, I see firsthand that entrepreneurship democratizes access to jobs, services, resources, and amazing career opportunities. Venture Capital needs to follow and accelerate a sea of change and start consistently funding Black, women, and other minority entrepreneurs and the talented diverse teams. They are innovators and builders of game-changing technologies. We have work to do here in Silicon Valley and the world holds us to the highest gold standard," said Juliette-Marie Somerset.
The event will culminate with a live music performance organized by KiwiTech’s longtime music partner BYGMusic, featuring a Chicago-based singer-songwriter David Davis, who was most recently was seen on NBC’s "Songland", where his song "Everything It Took To Get To You" was chosen as the winner of the Ben Platt episode.
Over the last decade, KiwiTech has led innovation across multiple verticals scaling businesses in the tech space. KiwiTech intimately understands the challenges faced by new founders, aspiring unicorns, and established leaders and works closely with them to realize their passion and purpose. Through its extensive relationships and expertise, KiwiTech brings a perspective that helps strategically connect technology creators with technology consumers. KiwiTech is an ecosystem of proactive investors and advisors who are passionate about building technology, supporting entrepreneurship, and helping companies realize their maximum potential.