The Top 5 Black-Owned Tech Companies of 2023 You Need to Know
In celebration of Black History Month, we’ve compiled a list of Black-owned companies making waves in tech. Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive; there are many more incredible Black-owned companies in the tech sector.
Gro Intelligence is a Black-owned business out of New York, making its mark on the data sector. Gro analytics and indices make agricultural, climate, and economic data actionable. Gro’s AI system analyzes data to combat food insecurity and climate change.
The leader of this innovative company, Sara Menker, grew up in Ethiopia during the 1980s when famines were frequent. These experiences drove her to start Gro Intelligence in 2014.
Menker is quoted in a New York Times interview from January 7, 2022, saying, “I grew up in Addis in the ’80s. It was sort of at a time when Ethiopia was in the news. There was a famine and poverty and all of those things. It was a very different time than it is now, but I feel like it shaped a lot of who I am today.” There’s no doubt that her early childhood experiences have shaped Menker to be the incredible woman and business leader she is today.
When you think about the future of science and technology, one of the things that come to mind for many of us is robots. One Black entrepreneur helping to build robotics of the future is Silas Adekunle, creator of MekaMon and Reach. Originally born in Nigeria, Adekunle developed an innovative gaming robot that allows players to take control in augmented reality and digital space.
In 2019, Adekunle left Mekamon to start over in the robotics space. Eventually, he and his company developed Lumi, a cutting-edge device that uses augmented reality (AR), computer vision, and AI to assist scientists working to gather data to ensure the replication of their experiments. These creations have resulted in Adekunle and Reach signing deals with Apple and Amazon.
One of the best-selling points for any business is offering customers convenience. Whether that means saving people time or money or making their lives easier in a way they never thought possible, success is usually never far behind. Lisnr, located in Cincinnati, recently raised $10 million thanks to its brand-new SmartTones communication protocol.
The CEO and Founder of Lisnr, Rodney Williams, is quoted as saying, “ I’m still crazy enough to think that I can change the world.” Williams is leading the way for one of the most incredible companies to break new ground in the IoT (internet of things) space. LISNR and Williams have ambitious intentions to completely revolutionize the mobile industry with an innovative communication protocol.
What makes Lisnr’s protocol so unique is that it has the potential to revolutionize how people talk to one another. Rather than using radio frequency waves such as Bluetooth, Lisnr’s SmartTones harnesses the simplicity of ordinary speakers and microphones to get the job done.
The result is that SmartTones can both emit and pick up inaudible sound waves, known as micro-communications, effectively providing a secure transfer of data from different entities. The beauty of Lisnr’s concept is that there’s no need for expensive custom hardware, making it an attractive investment opportunity for companies like Visa and Intel Capital to help fund further development.
4. The Labz
Since the birth of the internet, the music industry has undergone seismic shifts and changes. Many established labels had to scramble to keep up with customers wanting to file share and stream the latest from their favorite artists. The Labz is working to make it easier for artists to create amazing mashups and remixes while being fairly compensated for their work. Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, The Labz’s found Farah Allen describes her idea as a way for” giving creatives a no-code way to release music, collaborate, and monetize their work while tracking contributions to ensure equitable payouts.”
For busy professionals, scheduling time with others can be a huge chore. Calendly is working to simplify this process. In 2013, founder Tope Awotona got the idea for Calendly after experiencing the frustration of having no way to keep track of all his meetings and appointments as a salesperson.
Eventually, Awotona came up with the idea for Calendly to offer a new way for professionals and companies to automate external meetings, allowing meeting participants to pick times to connect and link it to their calendars of choice. Today, Calendly is a tech success story with over $3 billion valuation.
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