Networking is by far one of the most important aspects of building and funding a business — especially when playing in the field of crowdfunding as I have. In determining how to prioritize my networking building, I’ve come to learn just how all networks are important.

First, I think a conversation around the best way to network and truly utilize the connections you’ve made to engage investors for your business is needed!

The key to networking goes beyond simply meeting the right people. You have to actively maintain the relationships you’ve built to benefit your brand on an on-going basis…


From May 2020 — May 2021 I was working full time as CEO of PopCom (24/7) and coaching entrepreneurs in the evenings. It was very rewarding and I met some amazing companies (and invested in several), but it became exhausting. I knew that I had to find a way to continue to support my passion and mission of empowering other founders and helping them to not make the same mistakes as I have…while also protecting my mental health. I give so much to the founders that I work with but the 1:1 coaching was simply not scalable.

In my…


When it comes to raising capital from investors, you might feel the pressure to take the first opportunity that comes your way. However, while we often think that more money brings more freedom, not all money is good money.

Investment agreements come with terms and conditions, and as founders, it’s important to make sure our interests don’t get buried in the fine print. Yes, founders must create term sheets too, not just investors! Create a term sheet that reflects your conditions of the deal and protects control of your company.

A term sheet is more than just a quick checklist…


Last month, I shared ten Black-founded companies that angel investors should watch. I believe everyone has a place at the table, and I know firsthand how hard it is for early-stage ventures to get offered a seat. Getting your name out there is the first step, and that’s why this month, I’m excited to share six more minority-led companies that deserve a spotlight.

If you’re an angel investor looking for a business to invest in, there are plenty of startups making strides in 2021. Spanning a range of industries from personal care to van conversions to sustainable food vending solutions…


Positive Vibes Only. It’s not just slang; if you’re a business owner, it means everything. A great question to ask yourself is: what “energy” is my company putting out into the world? Good vibrations? Uptight? Disinterested? Happiness? Whether or not you’ve purposefully set an atmosphere for your company’s culture, the vibe does in fact exist, and it is currently steering the ship of your workplace and public image — attracting or detracting your tribe.

And here’s the thing: vibes don’t go unfelt. We all sense it. We all react to it. As a leader, if you don’t get ahead of…


May 2021

VR Revival is using virtual reality in new ways

From tech and retail to cannabis and social impact, bold and revolutionary ideas by Black innovators have been flying under the radar across a number of industries for far too long. For this reason, I’ve made a commitment to do what I can to shine a light on hidden, early-stage minority-led companies that I believe are worth watching.

How did I get started on this “watch list” trail? Well months ago, I posted a Tweet to find Black founders who are raising money and have some traction but need more exposure. With 135 retweets and over 60 responses…


How leveraging the power of small checks can make a big impact to build companies and create generational wealth

Startup funding is evolving and growing past its reliance on venture capital. Founders are finding alternatives and taking control of their businesses with the help of what I call, “micro-angel” investors…people who make small investments from $100 — $4,999.

Micro-angel investment didn’t exist until a few years ago. To understand why, here’s a short history lesson.

After the 1929 stock market crash, the Securities Act of 1933 was passed to protect investors from losing money. …


+ My new crowdfunding course so you can learn how too!

The global pandemic is fueling micro angel investment like never before. Startups are receiving much-needed capital to grow and scale their companies from non accredited micro angel investors through crowdfunding. All thanks to the JOBS Act.

The JOBS Act allows startups to raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors. Essentially anyone can invest and secure equity in an early-stage company. I took advantage of this legislation in 2019 and became the first female founder to raise over $1M in an equity crowdfunding campaign. You can read about my ICO/STO discovery journey here.

That first-round allowed us to reach critical…


“Female Owned Tech Companies Merge as PopCom Acquires Game-Based Survey Company Wyzerr”

Longtime friends CEOs Dawn Dickson and Natasia Malaihollo announce far-reaching plans for the future. Wyzerr has built fun innovative game surveys helping businesses like Kroger, Paypal, McDonalds, Walmart, Google, Proctor & Gamble and Facebook better understand their customers and employees. PopCom will utilize gamified surveys to enhance their artificial intelligence, vending machines and contactless retail solutions.

Just reading that headline feels surreal. I met Wyzerr Founder Natasia Malaihollo through friends at CES in 2016, I had just pivoted PopCom (then called Solutions Vending International) to be a full technology company focused on building software for vending machines and kiosks. I had never built a software company before, I had so much to learn. When I met Natasia I was immediately impressed by her tech savvy — to be so young and already on her second tech company, this time working with SaaS and artificial intelligence. Wyzerr had just completed the Brandery accelerator, closed a $1M+ seed…

Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene

Serial Entrepreneur, Inventor |Founder, Flat Out of Heels |CEO, PopCom| www.DawnDickson.me

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