Digital Philly

Philly businesses are on the front lines of the racial justice fight and pandemic response. Explore inspiring founders who are using their innovative digital solutions to energize educational, economic, community, and workforce development efforts across Philadelphia and the nation.

9 people following Digital Philly

Businesses in Digital Philly

Oluwasanmi Ariyo

Wavlength

Social Media CRM for Freelancers

Tony O. Lawson & Shantrelle P. Lewis

Shoppe Black

Connecting the World to Excellent Black-Owned Businesses

Nicodemus Madehdou

JumpButton Studio

Multimedia Company Empowering Underestimated Professionals

Shannon Morales

Tribaja

Tech Talent for Mission-Driven Companies

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Wavlength

Oluwasanmi Ariyo

Challenge: Pitch in with Wavlength

Oluwasanmi needs your help to take Wavlength to the next level. Explore the challenge below by clicking the icons and interacting with the content. Provide any feedback in the comment box and please rate the experience.

Rate this challenge experience:2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 52 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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Shoppe Black

Tony O. Lawson & Shantrelle P. Lewis

Challenge: Pitch in with Shoppe Black

Shantrelle and Tony need your help to take Shoppe Black to the next level. Explore the challenge below by clicking the icons and interacting with the content. Provide any feedback in the comment box and please rate the experience.

Rate this challenge experience:1 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 51 vote, average: 4.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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JumpButton Studio

Nicodemus Madehdou

Challenge: Pitch in with JumpButton Studio

Nicodemus needs your help to take JumpButton Studio to the next level. Explore the challenge below by clicking the icons and interacting with the content. Provide any feedback in the comment box and please rate the experience.

Rate this challenge experience:2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 52 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Tribaja

Shannon Morales

Challenge: Pitch in with Tribaja

Shannon needs your help to take Tribaja to the next growth level. Explore the challenge below by clicking the icons and interacting with the content. Provide any feedback in the comment box and please rate the experience.

Rate this challenge experience:1 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 51 vote, average: 2.00 out of 5 (1 votes, average: 2.00 out of 5)
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Origin Story

Wavlength

The original idea behind Wavlength came from my passion for music and how today's "digital age" broke new artists around the globe due to the power of the internet. With the new "low barrier to entry," I quickly discovered that musicians not only had to have great music, but a strong visual brand was necessary to grab the attention of listeners in an oversaturated market. Since then, our idea evolved after we originally set out to build a marketplace connecting musicians to visual artists such as graphic designers, videographers, and photographers. After several focus groups and interviewing our customers, we discovered that 1) we didn't have a strong enough unique value proposition by serving both parties; 2) visual artists often sourced their business from social media where they experienced several issues; and 3) it was in our best interest to focus on freelancers and build a platform where they could maintain and grow their operations.

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Business Basics

Founders

Oluwasanmi Ariyo

Founding Date:

2019

Geo

Philadelphia

Identity

Black / African American

Solution

Creative Service Technology

Impact Area

Economic Power

Advising Needs

Business Models and Financials Growth, Scaling, and Investments Marketing and Communications Product / Service Design

Problem:

A majority of freelancers who start their own operation / agencies are unsuccessful due to the enormous workload it requires to maintain their business. Freelancers have to constantly market themselves, generate new leads, negotiate incoming proposals / contracts, and manage their current projects - all in parallel. In an ideal world, most creatives would rather focus on creating instead of compromising the quality of their work to manage their business.

Solution:

Wavlength is a CRM tool that handles lead generation and project conversion by sharing freelancer profiles anywhere on the internet. Potential clients click on a Wavlength profile (link in bio on Instagram, a TikTok profile, a Tweet, etc.) that showcases a designer's portfolio, the plans / services they offer, where they can send a proposal about what they want, their budget, and their expected turnaround time.

Market:

We're currently focused on entry-level freelancers - specifically graphic designers - who are talented creatively but lack the business acumen required to take their business to the next level. Our product was built with empathy, as we built an interactive UI that guides them through the weeds of their business (e.g., understanding potential earnings, gross revenue, and net revenue). Our approach involves targeting freelancers early on in their career when they need us the most and retaining them as they become more established. We plan to be a leader in the industry as more than 50% of the workforce will be comprised of freelancers by 2025.

Traction:

Our community is 75+ members strong ahead of our July 1st launch. We're currently projecting to do $11.5K in MRR by the end of 2021.

Origin Story

Shoppe Black

After the killing of Mike Brown in 2014, we noticed a demand for information about Black-owned businesses on a national and international level. People wanted to know how to support but didn't know where to find the Black-owned alternatives to the goods and services they were currently using. We decided to curate that info with the goal of providing guidance for consumers and empowering Black entrepreneurs.

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Business Basics

Founders

Tony O. Lawson & Shantrelle P. Lewis

Founding Date:

2015

Geo

Philadelphia

Identity

Black / African American Woman-Identified

Solution

Creative Service

Impact Area

Economic Power Race & Equity Community Support

Advising Needs

Business Models and Financials Marketing and Communications Operations and Administration

Problem:

Consumers are looking for a place to discover quality Black-owned businesses across the globe. Black-owned businesses need access to customers, resources, and networks that will help them scale intelligently. Black entrepreneurs are looking for ways to strengthen their online presence and reach as many customers as possible, as well as increase their site traffic and revenue.

Solution:

We provide a central resource that connects Black business owners and service providers with consumers / partners that are looking for them. We create an online presence that drives traffic and revenue for Black-owned businesses. We also help businesses strengthen their digital presence and attract new customers with high purchase intent. In addition to that, we act as an extension of a businesses marketing team in order to raise overall awareness.

Market:

Our market consists of a broad online audience that consumes our content and looks to us as a source for intelligent buying decisions. Our market also consists of business owners who want to be a part of the ecosystem that we have built. We help them reach both consumers and other businesses.

Traction:

Website – up to 2M views a month; Newsletter – over 135K subscribers; Social media channels – over 250K followers; YouTube channel – over 3K subscribers

Origin Story

JumpButton Studio

JumpButton Studio was first founded as a solution to inaccessibility. After being rejected from several internships due to being in high school rather than college, we wanted to craft a remedy to prevent young tech enthusiasts from being denied access to real world experiences for their career of interest. We then took on a social impact focus after walking into a room of decision makers for a project and experiencing how there was no form of diverse representation at the table. We came to realize that there is less than 3% representation of Black game developers and studio owners within the games industry. We also learned that there was less than 24% female representation within the animation space. Since our humble beginnings, we have received two honors at the White House during the Obama era for our games and landed several features on news outlets such as The Plug, CNN, The Root and more. Studies show diverse teams make 19% more revenue. This is because these teams follow an inclusive process allowing them to make decisions twice as fast with half the meetings. We know decisions made and executed by these diverse teams deliver 60% better results. We intend to show the impact and return on operating with such a culture, allowing us to provide more jobs to more underestimated and underrepresented individuals. We hope this will ultimately result in reducing the barrier of entry for minorities to enter the games and animation space.

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Business Basics

Founders

Nicodemus Madehdou

Founding Date:

2015

Geo

Philadelphia

Identity

Black / African American

Solution

Creative Service Technology

Impact Area

Race & Equity Youth & Education Community Support

Advising Needs

Business Models and Financials Growth, Scaling, and Investments Operations and Administration

Problem:

We are solving the lack of diverse ownership and representation in our industry. Our industry is worth $678B, and yet we see less than 8% of minority representation in the games space and less than 24% female representation in animations. These percentages get smaller when we break down minority categories.

Solution:

We create digital products that solve problems, invoke change, and inspire creativity while driving deeper engagement and generating unrealized revenues through games and animations with a diverse and inclusive team representative of the consumers.

Market:

Our customers, partners, and clients all engage with us currently through email, word-of-mouth, or social media. Due to the niche social impact focus we have, we are targeting businesses who are trying to better engage with their audience appropriately and consumers who feel they are not properly or actively represented.

Traction:

In the past year, we built the first iteration of Black and Mobile's custom mobile application to be capable of competing with the likes of UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, and other larger food delivery services. This is the first Black-owned food delivery service exclusively delivering for Black-owned restaurants. In the same year, we also launched a mobile game for a large influencer family known as The ACE Family, which grew to be the #1 free game in the U.S, Canada, and DR for more than 2 weeks, while maintaining the top 10 games in the family category for the first few months of launch. We reached over 5,000,000+ users across all of our projects and impact-driven work combined. We've done all of this without having raised any capital, with very little funds, and spending only $3,000 on marketing.

Origin Story

Tribaja

I am a proud Afro Latina, single mother, first generation graduate, and serial entrepreneur. I was awarded “Culture Builder of the Year” in Philly tech, nominated for "Young Professional of the Year," chosen as winner of the LTX Fest pitch competition, included in the Forbes Next 1000 2021, and named 2021 Influential DE&I Trailblazer by Jumpstart. In February 2020, I launched a high-demand, scalable talent marketplace and community as part of Philly Startup Leaders Accelerator program and renamed the business “Tribaja.” By combining "tribe" and "trabaja," the Spanish word for “work,” Tribaja is a name that reflects the business’ shift into a community of people with an interest in tech and startup careers. We found that other recruiting platforms were built exclusively upon acquiring clients. Instead, we focused on Tribaja’s development of our community before all else. Since launch, we have worked with over 50 brands to diversify their talent pipeline and create strong foundational tech teams that represent the future of work. I attribute our success to clear vision, execution, and the merging of a fragmented market. Our goal is to continue to expand globally and leverage the collective genius of our community partners. Notable partners include Wefunder, Talently, Revature, General Assembly, Treehouse, Pursuit, and many more.

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Business Basics

Founders

Shannon Morales

Founding Date:

2020

Geo

Philadelphia

Identity

Black / African American Hispanic / Latino / Latinx Woman-Identified Multiracial

Solution

Creative Service Technology

Impact Area

Race & Equity Community Support

Advising Needs

Business Models and Financials Growth, Scaling, and Investments Marketing and Communications Operations and Administration Product / Service Design

Problem:

Tribaja is a double-sided marketplace that solves for the opportunity gap in technology by providing diverse talent access to careers at mission-driven startups. Over 30% of all startups fail because they don’t have the team that aligns with their mission.

Solution:

We solve for this problem by creating a space where startups can find diverse tech talent that have an average of 5 years of work experience but are looking for their first opportunity in tech.

Market:

Tribaja is made up of underrepresented folks in tech, a majority of whom are career changers from Black & Latinx communities. They have acquired their tech skills from boot camps or are self-taught. They reside in or near urban centers such as Philadelphia and Atlanta.

Traction:

We are currently at 2,500 members and looking to hit 10,000 by the end of 2021. Our early revenue was $103K, which was obtained from our MVP and early clients. We hope to expand outside of Philadelphia so that we can scale.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Marketing (50%)

New Hires (50%)

We plan to use 50% of funds raised on marketing and the other 50% on new hires, such as contracting an UI / UX designer. The desired impact with this funding involves 1) creating / producing content to better educate our community on how to efficiently run their businesses; 2) getting a professional set of eyes to revamp our UI / UX while suggesting new features to add down the line; and 3) building a robust relationship with our customers where they trust us and where we can show our appreciation to them.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

New Hires (40%)

Advertising Buys (40%)

Operational Expenses (20%)

We need assistance building a team that can help us handle different areas of operation and create systems to automate as much as possible.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Operations (40%)

New Hires (30%)

Marketing (30%)

The funds collected through our REUNION campaign will improve our runway allowing us to allocate 40% to operations, 30% to new hires, and 30% to marketing.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

New Hire (50%)

Operations (50%)

I would use 50% of any funding to bring in a content creator / community engagement specialist, and I would use the other 50% for operational expenses that we incur as we prepare to scale.