Louisville Renaissance

Experience the power of Black and Brown enterprise as Louisville reimagines its future in ways that are community-driven, tech-savvy, full of empathy, and grounded in equity and inclusion. These four founders are at the forefront of a renaissance of the economy and the spirit. Proudly supported by PNC, the Surdna Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Louisville.

5 people following Louisville Renaissance

Businesses in Louisville Renaissance

Keionna Baker & Cherena Fox

Elephant in the Room

Creating comfortable spaces to have uncomfortable conversations

Amber Fields

Black UX Labs

Forging pathways for Black and Brown UX professionals

Aaron Jordan

Black Complex

A space for Black professionals to create, build, learn, discuss, and plan

Lecresha Sewell

Melanated Healthcare

Connecting Black and Brown patients to melanated healthcare providers

Pitch in and let's solve this challenge together

Elephant in the Room

Keionna Baker & Cherena Fox

Challenge: Pitch in with Elephant in the Room

Keionna and Cherena need your help to take EITR 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.

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Black UX Labs

Amber Fields

Challenge: Pitch in with Black UX Labs

Amber needs your help to take Black UX Labs 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.

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Black Complex

Aaron Jordan

Challenge: Pitch in with Black Complex

Aaron needs your help to take Black Complex 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.

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Melanated Healthcare

Lecresha Sewell

Challenge: Pitch in with Melanated Healthcare

Lecresha needs your help to take Melanated Healthcare 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.

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Origin Story

Elephant in the Room

While diverse environments helped to mold their passion, it was working in spaces that challenged Keionna and Cherena's idea of inclusivity that prompted them to not only "do the work" but also to push other companies and people to "do the work" to shift their mindsets towards creating more inclusive spaces. Hence, they gave voice to the many people who experience the feeling of being the "only one" daily. In 2019, Keionna and Cherena co-founded The Elephant in the Room after heading a diversity and inclusion initiative at one of Louisville's premier collaborative workplaces. Through their personal career experiences, they quickly realized that companies, small and large, not only needed training in what diversity and inclusion looked and felt like but also needed guidance in how to have conversations otherwise considered taboo.

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Business Basics

Founders

Keionna Baker & Cherena Fox

Founding Date:

2019

Geo

Louisville

Identity

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

Solution

Service

Impact Area

Race & Equity

Advising Needs

Human Resources Marketing and Communications Vision and Strategy

Problem:

We help companies who are ready to cultivate inclusive and diverse work cultures, while shifting mindsets with our unique approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Solution:

The Elephant in the Room is an interactive diversity and inclusion platform that focuses on empathy, accountability, and change in the workplace. The Elephant in the Room's unique, interactive workshop style results in strategies to help mitigate bias in the workplace and beyond.

Market:

We service companies, both small and large, nationally and globally, through in-person and virtual interactive workshops and consulting.

Traction:

To date, we have grown a social media following of 400+, worked with upwards of 15+ companies (many returning for multiple workshops & consulting), had 600+ workshop attendees, and grossed around $35,000 in profit in the last 10 months.

Origin Story

Black UX Labs

I was the "only" Black and female User Experience (UX) professional (a digital creator with the end user as priority) who worked as a consultant for tech giants. I was lonely in a tech world of whiteness. I knew there had to be more marginalized digital creators like myself. So, I created a network of Black and Brown UX practitioners to build a pipeline to hiring managers. Black UX Labs aims to get more Black feet in the decision-making seats!

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Business Basics

Founders

Amber Fields

Founding Date:

2020

Geo

Louisville

Identity

Black / African American Woman-Identified

Solution

Technology

Impact Area

Economic Power Race & Equity Community Support

Advising Needs

Business Models and Financials Human Resources

Problem:

Black UX Labs is making it easier for hiring managers to find UX professionals who are high in demand while minimizing the diversity gap of Black and Brown professionals in data and insight decision-making seats.

Solution:

Black UX Labs offers access to nearly 900 Black and Brown UX practitioners while recruiting new practitioners through various in-person and remote activations. We supply hiring managers to tech-driven candidacy pools for quick hiring.

Market:

Black UX Labs serves the tech community across industries globally looking to develop or refine their digital products (apps and websites) for their end users. Hiring managers or company recruiters of UX/UI (User Interface) departments post open jobs to the Black UX Labs job board and follow up with candidates after they apply to the job. Some hiring mangers pay for exclusive candidacy pools to be created for a more efficient and seamless interview pipeline experience.

Traction:

Black UX Labs has experienced a 50% increase in customer growth since 2020. 100% of our candidates get hired by our customers. We have over 900 LinkedIn and over 1200 IG followers. Finally, our YTD revenue is over $12K with a clear target of $40K for the year.

Origin Story

Black Complex

Black Complex was created from a vision the Founder & CEO Aaron Jordan had for a co-working space and membership club in Louisville, KY. The space was designed to be a hub of connection for entrepreneurs, founders, creatives, business travelers, professionals, and freelancers to build, learn, and collaborate. During the civil unrest of 2020, Aaron was a prominent figure in Louisville as an organizer and activist. It was during this period of over 12 traumatic and violent months of protest and racial reckoning that Aaron began to realize that the major beneficiary of this concept should be marginalized Black communities. With that in mind, the main objective for the company has been to remove access barriers that stand in the way of Black contributions to a diverse, equitable, and vibrant Louisville.

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Business Basics

Founders

Aaron Jordan

Founding Date:

Geo

Louisville

Identity

Black / African American

Solution

Infrastructure

Impact Area

Economic Power

Advising Needs

Business Models and Financials Growth, Scaling, and Investments Information Technology

Problem:

Entrepreneurs, creatives, and professionals have a low level of access to development opportunities. There are virtually no inclusive and intersectional spaces for professionals to network, handle day-to-day operations, and attend events with a unique reputation and capacity. Louisville has no Black-led, co-working spaces and social equity, professional justice, inclusion, and belonging are high priorities.

Solution:

Black Complex is designed to provide the space and time for professionals to create, build, learn, discuss and plan. Each day, members are immersed in Black culture, music, foods, commerce, and conversations. In addition, Black Complex provides professional development, tech training, events, and other opportunities that are uniquely tailored to the Black community.

Market:

Our target audience members are Black entrepreneurs, professionals, and creatives of mature / adult age. We are also serving corporations and businesses interested in being actively engaged in transforming our city's ecosystem.

Traction:

We have established and produced four programmatic events that have seen attendance of up to 6000 people.

Origin Story

Melanated Healthcare

As a women's health nurse practitioner, I was regularly informed by patients that they sought my care because they wanted a healthcare professional that looked like them or someone they felt would understand them. It was not uncommon for these same patients to request referrals to other Black or Brown healthcare professionals. Consequently, I felt compelled to create a resource for patients to improve access to non-discriminatory, culturally competent melanated healthcare professionals.

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Business Basics

Founders

Lecresha Sewell

Founding Date:

2020

Geo

Louisville

Identity

Black / African American Woman-Identified

Solution

Product

Impact Area

Race & Equity Health & Food

Advising Needs

Business Models and Financials Growth, Scaling, and Investments Marketing and Communications

Problem:

According to the 2019 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report published by the AHRQ, some heath disparities improved, but some disparities have worsened especially for poor and uninsured populations. The report indicated Blacks, American Indians, and Alaska Natives received worse care than Whites for about 40% of quality measures. Hispanics, Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders received worse care than Whites by about one third of the quality measures according to the report.

Solution:

The data concludes that access to non-discriminatory, culturally competent care remains problematic in the United States. Melanated Healthcare offers an easy-to-use, digital platform designed to connect Black and Brown patients to licensed melanated healthcare providers instantly. Connecting Black and Brown patients to melanated healthcare providers increases patients access to healthcare and leads to long-term improvement in health.

Market:

The target customers for Melanated Healthcare are Black and Brown healthcare patients across the United States. The long-term goal is to target Black and Brown patients globally. Moreover, Melanated Healthcare also seeks to partner with healthcare systems to provide customized, concierge access to melanated healthcare professionals through white-labeled B2B services.

Traction:

Since the formal launch of Melanated Healthcare, LLC. on May 24, 2021, there have been 264 mobile application downloads with a total of 433 downloads since November 2020. Melanated Healthcare, LLC. has a strong presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Melanated Healthcare has three target revenue streams: 1) mobile application downloads and advertising; 2) corporate vendor contracts through white labeling of in-house patient resources and services; 3) sponsored events, seminars, and activations to promote healthcare education and access.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Marketing Consultant (80%)

Rebranding Effort (20%)

We would use the funds from the campaign to rebrand our pitch materials in order to elevate our business development efforts, as well as contract with someone to help us with PR and marketing efforts.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

New Hires (50%)

Research & Development (50%)

I plan to use funding to increase staff capacity and conduct more product design research.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Operational Costs (100%)

Funds collected from the campaign will go towards operational costs such as lease of space, programs and workshops, and marketing. The desired impact is to have a great membership launch roll out.

Funding & Impact

How we'll use it

Telehealth Platform / Tech (50%)

Additional Staff (25%)

Sales & Marketing (25%)

Funds collected in the campaign will be used to help scale Melanated Healthcare. Melanated Healthcare will use funds to pivot to a telemedicine business.