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Amazon, LinkedIn, MERG-E & StartEngine Team Up to Showcase Black Founders Who Are Raising Millions


by WiGL | September 01, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT Anita S. Lane | 313.447.9083 AnitaSLane@SenseiCommunications.com
Black Employee Resource Groups at Amazon and LinkedIn Team Up with MERG-E and StartEngine to Showcase Black Founders Who Are Raising Millions to Scale Their Businesses.
The 90-minute Black Founders Forum on February 18th will address issues of equity as it relates to access to capital, building Black wealth and access to early-stage startup investment opportunities.
LOS ANGELES, CA, February 8, 2021—In honor of Black Heritage Month, a robust collaboration between the Black employee resource groups at Amazon (BEN), LinkedIn (BIG) and MERG-E (Multi-cultural Employee Resource Groups for Equity), has formed and teamed up with the nation’s largest equity crowdfunding platform, to host a global panel discussion showcasing the inspiring journeys of black founders who have raised as much as $1 million dollars or more in capital on the StartEngine platform. The Black Founders Forum will include Q&A and address the topic of equity, as it relates to access to capital for Black and Brown founders, as well as the challenges related to building wealth within the Black community. The virtual event is free and will be broadcast live on Zoom, Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 1:00 PM PST/4:00 PM EST. Visit www.StartEngine.com/BHM to register.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity to host this important conversation,” states J. Ofori Agboka— the Vice President of People eXperience and Technology (PXT) for Global Customer Fulfillment at Amazon. “We celebrate these founders and want to let other aspiring entrepreneurs know about the opportunities and resources available to them, via Amazon and elsewhere, to help them grow and scale their businesses.”
The founders on the panel represent a wide array of businesses at various stages of development, including:
  • WiGL – a smart, touchless, wireless power company that’s developed fully patented wireless-electric Grid Local Air Networks developed for the Department of Defense, that sends targeted energy through the air. Founded by disabled veteran, Dr. Ahmad Glover – ($1M+ raised)
  • PopCom – an automated retail technology platform for vending machines and kiosks that allows retailers to engage and understand customers, sell more products, and learn from big data, founded by Dawn Dickson – ($4M+ raised)
  • Fanbase – a new subscription-based social media network founded by Isaac Hayes, III. – ($1M+ raised)
  • SoapSox – the next generation of washcloths for kids, founded by Ray Phillips – ($1M+ raised)
  • MentalHappy – a social network designed to help people with their emotional health through peer support, founded by Tamar Blue – ($154K raised)
  • CommunityX – a coalition-building platform that connects like-minded activists from local and global communities around the issues they care about most, founded by Chloë Cheyenne – ($98K raised)
“At StartEngine, we value having a diversity of industries and founders raising capital on our platform. I founded the company to help level the playing field, and now founders of color and female founders are having great success on StartEngine. We’ve raised over $250 million for startups and we’re just getting started,” shares Howard Marks, StartEngine co-founder and CEO.
The Black Founders Forum event, which originated within the Detroit chapter of Amazon’s BEN, has the support of global Black employee resource groups— who have signed on to collaborate and promote the event; including the Ford Motor Company African-Ancestry Network (FAAN), General Motors African Ancestry Network (GMAAN), Black Resource Association of Verizon Employees, Amazon Black Employee Network (BEN), Black Inclusion Group at LinkedIn (BIG), Accenture and Blacks At Microsoft (BAM).
Disclaimer: Solutions Vending International, Inc. (d/b/a PopCom) is conducting a Reg A+ offering made available through StartEngine Primary, LLC, member FINRA.org /SIPC.org. This investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment. Offering Circular: https://bit.ly/2YDpisv. Select Risks Related to this Offering: https://bit.ly/3pJUFh5.
About StartEngine The largest equity crowdfunding platform in the U.S., StartEngine was launched in 2015 by former Activision founder and CEO, Howard Marks. StartEngine’s mission is to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams, and the platform enables everyday people to become angel investors and venture capitalists by giving them access to startup investment opportunities. To date, over $250 million has been raised on the StartEngine platform from over 300,000 investors. Over $147 million was raised in 2020 alone. StartEngine Crowdfunding Inc. is not a broker-dealer, funding portal or investment adviser. StartEngine Capital, LLC is a funding portal registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). StartEngine Primary LLC is a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and FINRA /SIPC. StartEngine Secondary is an alternative trading system regulated by the SEC and operated by StartEngine Primary, LLC, a broker dealer registered with the SEC and FINRA. To raise funds, invest or trade on the StartEngine platform, visit www.startengine.com.
About Amazon BEN Amazon’s Black Employee Network’s (BEN) mission is to recruit, retain, and empower Black employees. BEN connects members with mentors and provides career and personal development workshops. BEN also engages with the local and regional chapters of the National Society of Black Engineers, leads recruiting initiatives with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and partners with other organizations. For more information, visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.
About LinkedIn: LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful and transforms the way companies hire, market and sell. Our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce through the ongoing development of the world’s first Economic Graph. LinkedIn has more than 610 million members and has offices around the globe. For more information, visit www.LinkedIn.com.
About MERG-E MERG-E (Multi-cultural Employee Resource Groups for Equity) consists of employee resource groups at a variety of companies, including: Microsoft, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Chrysler, Verizon, Amazon, LinkedIn and Accenture. MERG-E convenes employees and allies across companies globally, to utilize the power of their collective voices and platforms to make positive change within and outside of their organizations; and provide spaces to learn, support and network. To learn more visit: www.MERG-E.com.
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