By Dawn Montgomery-Greene | The Atlanta Voice
The Black Angel Tech Fund was created by a group of Stanford Black Alumni who wanted to change the venture capitalist status quo while creating a great opportunity for black techpreneurs to grow.
While attending the Stanford Black Alumni Summit in Atlanta back in May 2015, there was a panel about black tech opportunities that encouraged this group to figure out how to invest in their own. The result of this conversation was the founding board of the Black Angel Technology Investment Fund. The group celebrated their one year anniversary at The Gathering Spot.
“Communications-wise, companies today will all say diversity is in their DNA” explained Butch Wing, diversity activist. “There’s a kind of love fest with diversity and inclusion, but few companies are making any actionable, measurable progress on hiring underrepresented minorities and overcoming the ‘2-percent dilemma.’”
The group’s answer to the 2-percent diversity dilemma in Silicon Valley was created right here in Atlanta. The board members of the Black Angel Tech Fund are developing something that Silicon Valley will not do.
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Black Angel Tech Fund expects to invest in 20 to 30 social media, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, digital media and healthcare tech companies — from pre-revenue startups to businesses with $10 million valuations. The fund will make initial investments of up to $200,000 in each company, with follow-on investments of up to $2.5 million.
The management team of the Black Angel Tech Fund includes Dr. Obi Ugwonali, co-founder/managing partner; Kwame Anku, co-founder/principal; Ron Berry, co-founder/senior advisor; Marc Mitchell, co-founder/senior advisor; Amy Reid, COO/controller/senior advisor; Ken Grimes, managing director; Cindy Lang, national market captain/senior advisor; Nina Essandoh, associate.
Companies supported by the Angel Fund
The fastest growing group of entrepreneurs are black women. Four of the five companies in the Black Angel Fund’s portfolio were founded by black women. Here is a list of the companies:
Ceek VR: Founded by Mary Spio, CEEK VR is a next generation Virtual Reality platform. The company has secured retail partnerships with iTunes, Best Buy, Amazon, Target and an exclusive content distribution deal with Universal Music Group with the world’s most iconic music superstars.
On Second Thought– Founded by Maci Peterson, called “The Texting Savior” by AT&T, On Second Thought is a patented, mobile delay/recall technology that lets users take back transactions before they get to the other person.
KIT: Founded by Camille Hearst, KIT is product recommendation platform that harnesses the power of social media influencers for users to discover new products grouped into ‘kits.’
Bandwagon: Founded by Harold Hughes, Bandwagon is a sports tech company that uses Blockchain technology in their solution to provide a suite of stadium identity analytic tools to increase fan engagement and enhance the game experience.
Omni Speech: Founded by Dr. Carol Espy-Wilson, OmniSpeech is a proprietary noise-suppression software-based technology that enhances sound quality on VOIP, smartwatch, mobile phone and an array of other communication platforms.