Elevating our Black Founders

Founders

Get to know Black Founders making their mark in the tech startup ecosystem. 


As much as we would have loved to feature
ALL of our innovative and determined Black Founders, this list profiles a handful of them. Learn more about our Black Innovation Programs, and how the DMZ is empowering the next wave of Black entrepreneurs here. 


Black founders are often faced with various hurdles when starting and growing a new business venture, which has led to a massive underrepresentation of Black leaders in the tech ecosystem. Black founders have never lacked the talent or ability needed to secure funding opportunities; they lack access to those opportunities: access to mentorship, learning opportunities and capital.

Recognizing this opportunity gap in support for Black founders, the DMZ launched the Black Innovation Programs in 2019 to make an impact, see growth in the number of companies that are owned by Black entrepreneurs, and break the perpetual cycle of inequity.

In light of Black History Month, the DMZ wanted to highlight some of our innovative entrepreneurs from our Black Innovation Programs. Sharing personal insights, lessons learned from their entrepreneurial journey, and the inspiration behind their organizations, these trailblazers are spinning the wheels of change.

 

Peter Odle

Founder at Urban Expeditions

Urban Expeditions creates customizable walking tours and games that leverages technology to strengthen an individual’s cultural connection to a city. 

What has been the greatest lesson you learned since your startup journey?

“My greatest lesson on the start-up journey has been to seek harmony amidst the loneliness of entrepreneurship, the passion to create, a focused ambition and building relationships with people who can help me manage my appetite for risk.”

@urbanexpeditions

 

Nadiya Ali

Founder and CEO at Kynza

Kynza offers an end-to-end management solution for the contemporary rotating savings user, allowing users to take charge of their financial future.

If you had one piece to your younger self, what advice would that be?

“Relationships are the wellspring of great ideas – so value and nurture your network!” 

@Kynza.group

 


Charles F Milton

Founder and CEO at Bursity.org

For marginalized students, Bursity is the fastest way to fund tuition, connecting students with millions of dollars in financial awards, and helping scholarship sponsors streamline their awards campaigns.

What have you achieved since beginning your journey in the DMZ?

‘Since starting the DMZ program, we have had over 100 new users sign up to our MVP platform, which launched in August 2020. That makes us one third of all of our current users.”

 

 


Ogochukwu Anerobi

Co-Founder and CEO at Learndeck

LearnDeck is a cloud-based learning management system that allows users to deploy and track online training courses and programs without geographical limitations.

What have you achieved since beginning your journey in the DMZ?

“My monthly recurring revenue (MRR) has grown by 110% since I joined the DMZ!”

@thelearndeck

 

 


Tunde Omotoye

Founder and CEO at HumanSquad

HumanSquad helps people navigate their immigration journey and career path. They do this through a portfolio of services that include HR consultancy, personal branding, and Canada immigration processes. 

Why did you start your company?

“There are many people looking to move to Canada but are prone to being defrauded by roadside agents in their respective countries. We created HumanSquad to bridge the gap between respective immigrants and RCICs (regulated Canadian immigration consultants) in Canada. Hence, our start-up tends to help people navigate the often complex immigration pathways by using technology to connect them to licensed experts from the comfort of their homes.”

@humansquadca

 

 

Deinyefa Eporwei

Co-Founder and CEO of Solooble

Solooble is making financial wellness available and affordable for all through a tool that monitors the financial health of its users. It tracks users’ spending trends, provides feedback and pays bills.

What has been the greatest lesson you learned since your startup journey?

“Nothing good in life ever comes easy.”

@solooble

 

Nathan Dumont

Founder at Wealthier

Wealthier helps Canadians build healthy financial habits. It offers a unique and sustainable solution that promotes prosperity by ensuring quality education, reducing inequality and poverty. 

If you had one piece to your younger self, what advice would that be?

“Start now. Write a small plan and take action.”

@mywealthmatters

 

 


Elizabeth Azuya

Founder at Fabbulist

Fabbulist is on a mission to help melanin women find beauty stylists that get their hair type and skin tone. It’s a marketplace that allows users to find and book black beauty stylists near them, or become a stylist and earn money on their own schedule.

What has been the greatest lesson you learned since your startup journey?

“Taking a step, no matter how small, each day towards moving your idea adds up to big results over time.”

@fabbulist_ 

 

Make sure to check out our social channels for even more spotlights on our Black Founders, and find out more about our Black Innovation Programs here!

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