The PISLA Beat

Frank Lamar combines HBCUs and NFTs to form a unique community!

Frank Lamar has a simple but profound notion regarding web-based technology and the onslaught of coin-based opportunities that is sweeping the globe.
He explained, “It shouldn’t be happening to us; it should be occurring for us.” Lamar, 37, is a member of the HBCoins team, a Black-owned non-fungible token (NFT) startup that has generated NFTs based on historically black colleges and universities. Samiria Percival, a fine arts and digital media professional, and Jalon Jackson, a digital engineer, join Lamar, a back-end web 3 developer.

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The PISLA Beat

Black Women it’s your time!

A growing number of businesses are welcoming Black female entrepreneurs into their vaults. In exchange, they usually use the funds to help other Black women establish or expand their businesses. According to the “digitalundivided,” a company formed by Black or Latina women, the 2018 “ProjectDiane report” was written by them. According to the survey, women failed 27 percent of the time in 2018, compared to a national average of 40 percent.

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There are two things guaranteed in life!

Taking over what’s happening on Wall Street. Shawn Rochester, the author of “The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America,” and Robin Watkins, a well-known financial and operations accountant, have made history. They’re on their way to shattering even more financial barriers. Their most recent venture, Minority Equality Opportunities Acquisitions Inc. (MEOA), has generated $126.5 million to help minority businesses and organizations grow and prosper through mergers and acquisitions.


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The Great Reshuffle!

The Great Reshuffle, the Great Resignation, the Great Reprioritization, and the economics of “Take This Job and Shove It” are all terms you’ve probably heard of. “If April 2020 was the month of pink slips, as Covid-19’s rapid expansion resulted in the loss of 20.5 million jobs, then Fall 2021 [was] the beginning of their retribution,” The Times writes.  One of the industries that adapted in full force was the tech industry. How has it changed and where is its future headed?


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“It’s time for The Black Bitcoin Billionaire Group to get Kraken”.

If you were to tell people in 2015 that bitcoin would be where it is today they would probably laugh you out of the room. Now those same people are shaking their pockets for loss change in the wake of COVID-19. It seems as if everybody and their mother bought into the bitcoin hysteria of 2020 surcharging its value.
 Digital currency is official the commodity of the future. Now in October of 2021. The Bitcoin Exchange, Kraken has pledged $150,000 or for those familiar with Bitcoin, 4.5 BTC.  This comes in the form of a grant to the Black Bitcoin Billionaire, an organization centered on diversification and un-wavering inclusivity in the Bitcoin space. 

“In 2020, approximately 13% of black households in the U.S. were unbanked. This is a massive failing of our legacy financial system, for which there is no public alternative of last resort,” Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken said. Following up on that Powell is also quoted as saying, Being unbanked is costly and it disproportionately affects our poor and minority communities. Bitcoin offers a reprieve to the estimated 1.7 billion unbanked adults in the world – a new financial system by the people, for the people. The only barrier now is education”.  

The Black Bitcoin Billionaire will be able to use the gift however they see fit. One of the things that the money will be used for is to start a succession of Tech Demo Days.  These Demo Days would be aimed to provide pitch experience to Black startup companies in the country.  The first of these demo days will take place on October 20, 2021. 
This is a great opportunity for exposure and awareness in a field that is predominantly owned by white males. In a report done by, 74% of Bitcoin owners are male and 71% of them are White males. Having the ability to change the narrative and diversifying those numbers is no easy task, but we certainly are moving in the right direction. 

Startups The PISLA Beat

The Pill Club is Revolutionizing Women’s Health with $41.9 Million in Funding

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 19 million women living in the United States are in need of publicly funded contraception and live in contraceptive deserts. Of the 19 million, about 1.3 million of these women live in a county without a single health center offering the full range of contraceptive methods- making it even more difficult to gain access to the birth control they need.

To assuage this, The Pill Club was launched in 2016. This online resource offers a prescribing service, medication fulfillment, and free delivery of birth control care packages, according to their website. Today, the company announced that they have raised $41.9 million in Series B funding.

“The idea of creating more choice and flexibility across healthcare is long overdue,” CEO of the Pill Club and former Uber exec, Liz Meyerdirk told TechCrunch.

For our regular curation of must-read tech and innovation articles, the Plug In South LA Beat, we take a look at how The Pill Club plans to use this funding to make women’s healthcare accessible to all:

The Pill Club takes on primary care with $41.9M in fresh funding

Photo Credit: The Pill Club

Startups The PISLA Beat

Inside Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson’s Quest to Solve VC’s Diversity Problem

In an entire venture capital industry worth almost $70 trillion, only 1.3% of assets are managed by women and POC, according to the nonprofit Knight Foundation.

To bridge this gap, Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson created VC Include with the goal of accelerating investment into diverse managers: women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and LGBTQ. Her platform demonstrates that inclusion can promote higher return rates.

“Empowering organizations to utilize diversity as a driver for success needs to become a must-have feature for institutional investors,” Robinson told Forbes recently.

In today’s Plug In South LA Beat, we dive into how this innovative CEO is building a diverse VC ecosystem:

Meet the Female Founder and Impact Investor on a Mission to Expand Investment Opportunities for BIPOC and Female Venture Capital Managers

Startups The PISLA Beat

Movement to Rebuild Black Wall Street in Tulsa Gains Momentum

The centennial of the Tulsa race massacre that destroyed “Black Wall Street” is spurring efforts to forge a new entrepreneurship ecosystem in the city.

At the forefront is Build In Tulsa managing director Randolph F. Wiggins, who’s also a venture partner at Atento Capital. “The call from history, the attraction of a powerful and resilient community, and the hope of a brighter and more prosperous future for Black America pulled me to plant roots here,” he wrote in a Blavity op-ed.

In today’s Plug In South LA Beat, our regular curation of must-read tech and innovation articles, let’s find out how Wiggins and his team are catalyzing generational Black wealth creation:

I’m Planting Roots in Tulsa for the Hope of a Brighter and More Prosperous Future for Black America

Photo Credit: Drew Harbour on Unsplash

Startups The PISLA Beat

Black Tech Nation Ventures Cultivates ‘Digital Wakanda’

Since launching this spring, the newly formed seed-stage venture fund Black Tech Nation Ventures is helping create a ‘digital Wakanda’ for Black tech entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh, Bloomberg reports.

The driving force behind this effort is Kelauni Jasmyn, founder and CEO of the national online network Black Tech Nation. In March, she and partners David Motley and Sean Sebastian launched BTN Ventures, which aims to raise $50 million this year.

In today’s Plug In South LA Beat, we’re traveling far from Silicon Valley to see how BTN Ventures is cultivating a new and welcoming hub for emerging tech:

New Effort Bets on Pittsburgh as a Hub for Black Venture Capital

Photo: Black Tech Nation Ventures general partner Kelauni Jasmyn. Credit: Kelauni Jasmyn on LinkedIn

Startups The PISLA Beat

Black-Led Legal Tech Startup Secures $233 Million Investment

San Francisco-based legal tech startup Rocket Lawyer, led by founder and CEO Charley Moore, just raised $233 million to expand internationally and make acquisitions, Forbes reported.

Currently Rocket Lawyer has 25 million registered users. Moore told Forbes that he recently added a new feature called Rocket Evidence that allows users to upload video footage to the app and consult with lawyers.

For our regular curation of must-read tech and innovation articles, the Plug In South LA Beat, we take a look at how Moore grew his business from a simple idea and where the company is headed now:

Legal Tech Startup Rocket Lawyer Raises $223 Million for Expansion

Photo: Rocket Lawyer founder and CEO Charley Moore. Credit: Rocket Lawyer