16 Startups Named 2022 Founders of Color Semifinalists

The high-impact minority-founded startups from across the United States advance to next round; up to seven will compete on May 16, 2022, in front of investors who are democratizing access to funding

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., April 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Next Wave Impact, a global impact investor syndicate with more than 200 investors, is proud to announce the 16 BIPOC-led startups selected as semifinalists for its third annual Founders of Color Showcase. Up to seven semifinalists will advance to compete at the Showcase on May 16, 2022, in Atlantic City, N.J. and via a livestream from 4 to 6 p.m. EST. During the event, the founders will gain exposure to an audience of investors, funds and angel groups that are accelerating capital opportunities for high-impact minority-founded startups.

Each presenting startup has the potential to positively impact people, communities and the planet in a measurable way. The 2022 semifinalists are:

  1. African Digital Art | Founder & CEO Chinedu Enekwe | Washington, D.C.
  2. AllergenIQ | Founder & CEO Nana Mireku | Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
  3. ConConnect | Founder & CEO Andre Peart | New York City, NY
  4. Enrichly | Founder & CEO Margo Jordan | Houston, TX
  5. Kadogo | Founder & CEO Quest Moffat | Kansas City, MO
  6. LAMIK Beauty | Founder & CEO Kim Roxie | Houston, TX
  7. Mars Materials | Founder & CEO Aaron Fitzgerald | San Francisco, CA
  8. Optimal Technology Corporation | Founder & CEO Reginald Parker | Austell, GA
  9. OYA Femtech Apparel | Founder & CEO Mitchella Gilbert | Los Angeles, CA
  10. Relavo | Co-Founder & CEO Sarah Lee | Baltimore, MD
  11. Sunthetics | Founder & CEO Daniela Blanco | Austin, TX
  12. TIDY App | Founder & CEO Gloria Oppong | Austin, TX
  13. UnDelay | Founder & CEO Safir Monroe | Atlanta, GA
  14. WESTxEAST | Founder & CEO Tania Kottoor | New York City, NY
  15. Youme Healthcare Inc. | Founder & CEO Hafeezah Muhammad | Baltimore, MD
  16. ZILA Works, SPC | Founder & CEO Jason Puracal | Renton, WA

According to a report by Crunchbase, Black and Latinx founders secured just 2.4 percent of total U.S. venture capital raised between 2015 and August 2020. Morgan Stanley shared that investors report capitalizing multi-cultural and women-owned businesses at 80 percent less than businesses overall.

"Data shows that the need to support minority-led startups is as strong as ever, which is why we are democratizing access to funding," said Alicia Robb, founder of Next Wave Impact. "In its third year, the Founders of Color Showcase is placing a spotlight on leading-edge startups so they can be discovered, championed and funded by values-aligned investors who want to widen the net of opportunity."

Last year’s event spurred nearly $1 million in investments to BIPOC-led startups. Change: WATER Labs was named the most investable company in the 2021 Showcase and received $300,000 in seed investment. In addition, finalists Boddle Learning and DrugViu received investments of $100,000 each. Additional funding from angel investors and venture capitalists went to these companies as well as other Showcase semifinalists and finalists.

"The funding from Founders of Color Showcase has helped us expand our team and was instrumental as one of the earliest checks into our pre-seed round," said Edna Martinson, co-founder & CEO of Boddle Learning.

Co-hosts of the third annual Founders of Color Showcase include:

Showcase sponsors include:

About Next Wave Impact
Based in Colorado, Next Wave Impact is an international movement driving impact, diversity and inclusion in early-stage investing and the entrepreneurial ecosystem through its innovative learning-by-doing progressive fund model and other activities that drive capital to typically underserved entrepreneurs. Learn more at www.nextwaveimpact.com and www.foundersofcolorshowcase.com.

April Enriquez
805-816-4833 – cell


SOURCE Next Wave Impact