Scholarship matching apps. Live stream productions. Video game creations. In Pennsylvania, Black-founded tech companies are creating some awesome products.
Previously, we ran a story about the state of diversity in the tech industry in Pennsylvania. Black founders face an uphill battle to succeed in tech, yet, despite that, many companies have made a name for themselves in the state. Here’s a look at several Black-owned tech companies to keep an eye on.
The mission of Scholly is to help students get into college. There are three different platforms within Scholly: Scholly Search, which matches students with scholarships to apply for, Scholly Editor, which helps students improve their writing, and Scholly Match which helps build up a student’s math skills. It’s the creation of Christopher Gray, who earned $1.3 million in scholarships to help him attend college. It was created in 2013 and has, since then,been featured on “Shark Tank,” Oprah.com, Forbes and more. Learn more at myscholly.com.
Need to live stream? Switchboard Live can help. This company is devoted to helping you simultaneously stream your live video on Facebook, Periscope, YouTube, Twitch and more. It was founded by Rudiger Ellis in 2016 and can live stream a variety of events, including church services, sporting invents, product releases or anything else you can think of. Learn more at switchboard.live.
MeterFeeder is an app where you can pay for parking, but what makes it special is that it also does digital enforcement too. Users can pay for parking and pay their tickets all in the same app and, what is more, for the governments that use it — MeterFeeder works with the current infrastructure rather than requiring the city to buy new kiosks. MeterFeeder is geared towards small and mid-sized towns and is already being used in a variety of neighborhoods around Pittsburgh, including Brentwood, Carnegie, Homestead.
MeterFeeder is also looking at the future of parking. It is currently working on setting up an option for companies with fleets of cars to be able to pay for parking simply by having the cars turn off. This would enable the cars to legally park, thus saving companies money from parking tickets. MeterFeeder was founded by Jim Gibbs, who is also a member of Black Tech Nation. You can learn more about MeterFeeder at meterfeeder.com.
Founded by Nicodemus Madehdou, Matthew Auld, Calbert Warner and Daniel Ostermiller, JumpButton makes websites, mobile apps and animations. It’s based out of Philadelphia. Past projects include the ACE Play app, designed for YouTube stars the ACE Family. The app has more than 49,000 reviews on Google Play and Apple’s App Store, and is ranked in the top 200 for family apps on Apple. JumpButton is based out of Philadelphia. Learn more at jumpbuttonstudio.com.
Stimulus is devoted to helping companies make data-driven decisions through its relationship intelligence software. It looks at a company’s supply chain and analyzes it to help companies make better purchasing decisions. Stimulus is based in Philadelphia and was founded by Tiffanie Stanard. Learn more at getstimulus.io.
Black and Mobile
A restaurant delivery app, Black and Mobile only features Black-owned restaurants. It’s currently available in Philadelphia (where it started), Detroit and Atlanta. Black and Mobile was founded by David Cabello in February 2019. He felt a strong urge to support his community by both promoting local businesses and by creating good jobs. So far, Black and Mobile has more than 40,000 downloads and 100,000 views per month, and continues to grow. Learn more at blackandmobile.com.
This online store and community is all about hair care for Black people, with a variety of products that help nourish and protect kinky and curly hair. The products are water-based and have lots of vitamins. Some of the most popular are the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Growth Serum, Nourishing Avocado Leave-In Conditioner and Flaxseed Edge Control Black. NaturALL Club’s online communities allow for people to swap hair care tips and tricks. NaturALL Club was founded by Muhga Eltigani. It’s based in Philadelphia. Learn more at naturallclub.com.
Co-founded by Bruce Marable and Salas Saraiya, Employee Cycle creates user-friendly human resources dashboards for companies. It brings various metrics together to help HR professionals keep track of information like average pay per employee, first year turnover rates, Glassdoor CEO ratings, average time-to-hire stats and more, all in real time. Employee Cycle also has a regular podcast interviewing HR leaders about the challenges they face and how they overcome them. Learn more at employeecycle.com.
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