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…

Back by popular demand, I have curated a list of companies led by Black founders that are generating revenue and seeking capital. Here is the deal flow you have been looking for.

Me winning $125,000 in the MEDA $1M pitch competition in 2019

The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement across the world has resulted in an increased interest of investors to find Black founder led companies to place their capital. Many venture capital funds have jumped on the bandwagon posting #BlackLivesMatter and pledging more capital allocated to Black founders. In the words of investor and the founder and managing partner of Backstage, Arlan Hamilton “It’s About Damn Time!” …


20 ways to invest in your own self-care and set boundaries for all

Photo: Hero Images/Getty Images

When I tell people that my motto is “me first,” the first response is typically that I am selfish. I can understand how that can catch someone off guard, especially when they are not accustomed to the concept of boundaries and self-care.

The concept behind “me first” is that if I am not at my best mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally, it is almost impossible for me to perform at a high level and show up as the highest version of a CEO, team member, parent, friend, and every other role I play in the lives of others.

I have…

I wrote this in November 2016 after I decided to fully focus on PopCom (then Solutions Vending) and I was pitching to investors to raise seed funding to start developing the software. I found this in the notes section of my phone and was inspired to share. So much has changed since then, I have now raised $2.5M+ but this reminds me that it was my tenacity and resilience that got me this far.

I respect your no, but it won’t stop me. It actually fuels me, it excites me because I say yes, I invest in me. …

Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene

Serial Entrepreneur, Inventor |Founder, Flat Out of Heels |CEO, PopCom|

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