Next year it will be 10 years since as a new CEO of Capital Enterprise I became involved in the London Startup Tech sector firstly as a programme sponsor, then as an advisor and connector, then as a business angel, GP of London Co-Investment Fund, GP of AI Seed, and now back again as a mentor and advisor. In that time Capital Enterprise has also grown and I am immensely proud that one of our Flagship initiatives One Tech, that seeks to support Black and under-represented entrepreneurs to found and scale World Changing, Scalable and Investable startups, has just received further backing from JP Morgan and will now be able to expand its services. So a short history to look back on but in that time I have been lucky to meet some fantastic Black British Tech Entrepreneurs. They may not be “household names” but in a sector where being a founder who is white, male and from a privileged background has, and still bestows, massive unfair advantages, they are pioneers for what I am now seeing the flood of immensely talented Black founders that are following in their Wake. So my shoutouts are to
Eminence Grise – Black founders who have given, and continue to give a lot to building out the UK’s Tech startup ecosystem.
Tom Adeyoola https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomadeyoola/
. Tom is the founder of Metail
a pioneer in 3d modeling in the apparel industry. Metail is now post Series B company. Tom is also one of the founders of Extend
and one of deepest thinkers and best speakers on the inequity of our present tech startup funding and support structure and what needs to be done for talented black founders to get the same chances as their white peers.
Silas Adekunle https://www.linkedin.com/in/silasade/
. Silas one of the founders of Reach Robotics that over 6 years, grew to manufacture and ship a complex robotic product, 60+ staff, $12m+ raised, $2m+ revenue and launched with partners like Apple across Europe and the US. In the end this project did not work out but not deterred Silas is back with a new startup that again looks to overcome the challenges of rolling out amazing robots into our world.
Erika Brobnock https://www.linkedin.com/in/erikabrodnock/
. The world needs more Erika Brobnock’s. Entrepreneur ( founder and CEO of Karisma Kids), co-founder of Extend VC, and now back to Kings College to complete a PhD. Hats off.
Tom Foster Carter – https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomfostercarter/
. Tom is one of the nicest and most able people in our Tech Startup community. I first met Tom when he was the founding COO of Curve. We invested in Curve’s seed round ( Led by Shachir it was an all round amazing team) and housed them at Idea London when this super small team worked all ours to build and successfully launch their first product. Tom then went on to repeat the success as Monzo’s CEO. In stealth mode,Tom is now building out a new business, which no doubt will be a massive and well deserved success
Next Big Things. All these Black founders have raised substantial seed rounds, built out the tech and are now successfully executing on their go to market strategies as they race towards raising substantial series A rounds and future world domination. We liked them so much we ( LCIF and/ or AI Seed) invested
Huss El- Sheik- https://www.linkedin.com/in/hussamelsheikh/
. The CTO and Co-Founder of rising FInTech Startup 9Fin
. One of the most amazing things about 9Fin is their AI powered platform and Huss was primarily responsible for building it. Enough said.
Kenny Alegbe – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kennyalegbe/. Kenny is the founder and CEO of HomeHero who on very little resources has (through Kenny’s fight and entrepreneurial abilities) become the leader in Home Bill management for the millions of UK’s house sharers.
Letizia Giofrida – https://www.linkedin.com/in/letizia-gionfrida-808915130/
. Letizia is the founder of Arthonica an AI-powered patient monitoring and rehabilitation platform for people with Arthritis and associated diseases. Based on her Letizia’s scientific research, Arthonica is on track to complete its clinical trials and achieve regulatory approval by the spring of 2021 when it will then be ready to make a big difference to arthritis sufferers around the world.
Jordan McRae https://www.linkedin.com/in/jmcrae23/
. Building a Hardware startup is tough. Building both a hardware and software business at the same time is even tougher and this is what Jordan CEO of Mobilus Labs, the world leader in voice communication in harsh environments, has achieved.
Riham Satti- https://www.linkedin.com/in/rihamsatti/
. The CEO and Founder of Mevitae
, a world first in using machine learning to make recruiting smarter, faster and most importantly fairer. A truly disruptive technology to diversify the recruitment outcomes of UK businesses.
Let’s hope they all make it and by doing so we can achieve a pantheon of successful founders of UK Tech businesses that better reflects our society.
Each year the next wave of black founders of world changing, scalable and investable startups in the UK’s gets larger. If they are given the support and most importantly the investment, then they too will go on to bring to market world first solutions to either big problems or under-estimated/ underserved markets.
Amazing Black founders who are out now raising that need investor backing include sisters Clare
& Christina Kimeze
who are building a eyewear platform for frames that are designed for the black face ( yes all eyewear frames are presently designed to fit either a caucasian or east asian face) and Melissa Berthelot
the CEO of Warner Patch
, an AI enabled hardware product. If Melissa can raise from investors the small amount of investment to match her Innovate UK funding, will achieve regulatory approval and start saving thousands of people’s lives from next year.