Across the country, businesses are pushing markets to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Explore founders who are using innovative software as a service (SaaS) solutions to build a better economy.

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David Gibson

SportsMarkit

Sports Management Apps for Amateur Athletic Programs

ShaKeia Kegler

GovLia

Supplier and Diversity Management System to Ensure Inclusive Procurement

Carolyn Pitt

Film Connx

Dynamic Job Marketplace Connecting Film Studios to Vetted, Diverse Local Crews

Lawrence Chen & Chi-chi Nwankwo

Observe

Transforming the Way You Choose a Career

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Origin Story

SportsMarkit

SportsMarkit is a B2B SaaS startup that helps sports teams of all levels and sizes organize their activities effectively and accurately. Our web + mobile platforms modernize the process of managing the countless tasks associated with running a sports team. We help streamline your responsibilities so you can focus on the field of play.


Business Basics

Founders

David Gibson

Founding Date:

2015

Geo

Washington DC

Identity

Black

Solution

Product Service Technology

Impact Area

Race & Equity Youth & Education

Problem:

Sports management for youth and amateur sports is organized chaos. Communication channels and data systems are not effective and are cumbersome to keep track of for sports program managers and participants.

Solution:

The SportsMarkit solution is a web + mobile platform that gives sports program managers the ability to communicate, crowdsource, and aggregate data, payments, and content on one portal. We also connect 3rd party apps through API's to further connect data sources for program managers.

Market:

Our customers are sports program managers, sports teams, and their participants such as athletes, coaches, and parents. Sports programs share/update information and can engage with their participants through our app in real-time. Sports participants and programs have an identity on our platform through profiles that are searchable, interactive, and informative. Since our products are app based, they can be accessed globally wherever the internet is available.

Traction:

We have customers in the 5 figures and are steadily growing quarter-over-quarter.

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Origin Story

GovLia

GovLia’s solution allows state and local government agencies to easily implement and manage local preference and supplier diversity programs in order to ensure inclusive procurement and support broader economic development initiatives.


Business Basics

Founders

ShaKeia Kegler

Founding Date:

2017

Geo

Ft. Lauderdale

Identity

Black Female-Identified

Solution

Service Technology

Impact Area

Advocacy Economic Power Race & Equity Green

Problem:

When doing business with the government, diverse small businesses encounter frequent barriers to entry. Government procurement processes are also hard to navigate and often discourage businesses from participating, resulting in lower numbers of diverse businesses with which to contract, fewer certified businesses, and reduced funds allocated to communities. Transparency and contract compliance is also an issue in this space despite the fact that government entities are required to go through disparity studies to disprove racial and gender inequality in government contracting.

Solution:

We streamline the implementation and management of supplier diversity and contract compliance programs to increase inclusive procurement. By eliminating time-consuming paper-based processes and the use of multiple solutions that do not communicate, we increase small and diverse business participation in public procurement.

Market:

As a double-sided solution, our clients include both the government and small-to-medium-sized businesses interested in selling their products or services to the government or connecting with other businesses for potential subcontracting partnering opportunities.

Traction:

We recently launched our software platform, and we currently have 50 businesses on the platform. We have a collective social media reach of 4,322 followers.

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Origin Story

Film Connx

I'm an Intellectual Property and Entertainment attorney with a diverse background that includes management consulting, strategy, and business development. The genesis of Film Connx was my experience with clients who are frustrated with how hard it is to secure jobs within the film industry...I created the platform because local crew members in production hubs like Georgia struggle to find jobs, while studios pay millions of dollars importing crew to those same locations. Our platform facilitates connections, drives local workforce development, and significantly reduces production budgets (source: Voyage ATL).


Business Basics

Founders

Carolyn Pitt

Founding Date:

2018

Geo

Atlanta

Identity

Black Female-Identified

Solution

Creative Service Technology

Impact Area

Advocacy Economic Power Race & Equity

Problem:

Film crew wages nationwide exceed $177B, but the system is broken. Local crew members in production hubs struggle to find jobs. Meanwhile, studios pay exorbitantly to import crews to the same production hubs, as they lack a way to source locally.

Solution:

Film Connx’s end-to-end hiring + payment platform empowers studios with a pool of vetted local crew, and provides crew with consistent viable work opportunities. We are also proud to level the playing field for women and professionals of color, who are underrepresented in the entertainment industry.

Market:

Film Connx simplifies production talent identification, hiring, and payment. Our customers are studios and brands seeking production talent, and our users are film professionals seeking job opportunities. Here’s how it works: crew and studios create dynamic and searchable profiles – they connect on our platform – and Film Connx manages payment, reporting and HR compliance. We are currently partnering with clients in several states and are onboarding crew users from across the US.

Traction:

We are experiencing 55% customer growth and 25% month-over-month user growth. We are proudly partnering with clients in several states to connect them with experienced crew and enabling production to continue during the pandemic. Our financial projections for 2020 exceed $500K. We anticipate serving as a critical mechanism for getting production professionals quickly back to work as soon as COVID-19 abates.

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Origin Story

Observe

Observe is a mobile application with an Instagram story / Snapchat-like interface where subscribers can access a large database of career and educational content to help guide their professional journeys. Users on Observe can showcase their work and interact with others Through our app, high school and college students can see how a motion-graphics artist designs a scene, how a tailor fits a dress, or how a software engineer writes code. This allows student to gain insights into the right paths and prevents wasting time and money on career indecision.


Business Basics

Founders

Lawrence Chen & Chi-chi Nwankwo

Founding Date:

2019

Geo

Atlanta

Identity

Black AAPI Female-Identified

Solution

Product Technology

Impact Area

Advocacy Youth & Education

Problem:

We are focused on students who are unsure of their career path and need more insight into how to embark on their journey. By providing them a direct stream of unique and personal content from career professionals who are already in the field, the platform allows students to understand the depths and details of the career they wish to pursue.

Solution:

Observe is a mobile platform for young people to experience a day-in-the-life of a wide spectrum of working adults. It aims to help students answer the age-old question, "what do I want to be when I grow up?" by offering a sneak peek into the craft and experience of diverse professionals. Utilizing our centralized information resources, young aspirants build a clearer picture of their future career path by observing any job they ever imagined.

Market:

While the platform will be open for all ages and viewers, our target customers are high school and college students who are considering a variety of career paths or are undecided on their majors. We also are targeting professionals to share their experiences on the platform in order to develop their personal brands and satisfy a desire to serve others.

Traction:

We are currently recruiting beta users to test the platform and have engaged in broad social media outreach.

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Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Staffing (60%)

Product Development (20%)

Branding & Marketing (20%)

Funding supports our go-to-market strategy, including brand redesign; cloud service costs; web and mobile app development, plus API updates; and increased staffing capacity (e.g., marketing strategist, data scientist, account / customer service manager).

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Marketing & Outreach (30%)

Tech Development & Compliance (30%)

Sales Support (40%)

Funding supports client acquisition efforts (e.g., marketing, sales support) as well as technical enhancements to the platform.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Development of Enterprise Product (65%)

Sales and Marketing (35%)

Funding supports the development of our enterprise product, which we are launching in August, as well as the expansion of our sales and marketing capabilities.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Software Development / Ops (70%)

Marketing / Customer Ops (30%)

Funding supports ongoing product development and enhancements as well as larger customer acquisition efforts.