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10 mins read

The SMART Tire Company Is on a Mission to Disrupt the $300B Tire Industry

The SMART Tire Company is on a quest to revolutionize the tire industry with puncture-proof, sustainable tires inspired by space exploration.

In this interview, co-founder Earl Cole discusses the inspiration behind the company, the advantages of collaborating with NASA, and how their current crowdfunding campaign will fuel their mission.

What inspired you to start The SMART Tire Company?

I was recruited for a NASA-sponsored technology program for entrepreneurs. It was normally a program that took place in Ohio, but due to the pandemic at the time, it opened up virtually nationwide. There were a lot of NASA technologies available within the program, but I soon discovered the superelastic tire technology, saw its potential, and my research began.

My co-founder and I ended up winning 1st place in the program, started The SMART Tire Company, Inc., and began working directly with NASA through a Space Act Agreement to figure out how to commercialize this innovative tire technology. I was also enrolled in a doctorate program at USC at the time but decided to put it on hold to fully pursue the vision I had for this new company.

The tire industry is a legacy industry that hasn’t been disrupted in over 100 years, so it was quite the task. Do you remember when Goodyear and Michelin were just startups? Probably not. None of us ever had the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of these multi-billion dollar tire companies that we all depend on to this day. With us, you have that opportunity.

SMART Tire Company unveils new second-generation prototype of 'space-age' metal tyres |

How has working with NASA’s technology influenced STC’s tire innovation, and what specific advantages does this collaboration bring to your company?

The initial invention, a tire made from shape memory alloys, owes its heritage to NASA’s rover program, where they are forced to overcome the most extreme conditions imaginable on Mars and the Moon.

Terrestrial tires are quite a bit different but benefit from some of the same interesting properties of these new materials. NASA as a collaborator brings certain modeling & analysis capabilities to the table that aren’t available elsewhere.

Also, the fact that NASA is a government organization owned by the American taxpayer, there’s some pride in giving access to Black communities and investors to support and/or own a piece of a black-owned, American company that works with NASA and other cool space projects.

What challenges do you foresee bringing this new technology to the mainstream market? How do you plan to overcome them?

Customer education is always an interesting challenge. To a certain degree, people need to “unlearn” some of their expectations about a tire: that it must be inflated, that airless tires are always heavy or difficult to install, or that riding on air is an unbeatable approach. The key to overcoming misconceptions is putting good products in people’s hands.

This is part of the reason why we are interested in bikes and scooters: not only are they lucrative consumer markets, but they are an opportunity for people to experience the technology at a small scale and build trust in our brand before we go after bigger markets (like cars and trucks).

This is also a high tech product with technical risk, but we’ve extinguished a lot of those challenges along the way.

What pricing strategy will The SMART Tire Company employ to balance the innovative nature of the product with ensuring affordability for the target market?

Our initial consumer products will be priced on the higher end, with a focus on peace of mind and total cost over time. We expect the cost to come down naturally over time and with volume.

NASA is committed to ongoing R&D that potentially doubles the effectiveness of the material we use, which could drop our costs drastically in the future.

Since this is a tire that can last the life of your vehicle, we plan to offer alternative pricing models and strong guarantees to rideshare partners who adopt the technology at scale. They tend to think more in terms of the lifetime cost of the component than the average consumer.

You are currently running a crowdfunding campaign. What are your goals for this campaign, and how will the raised funds be utilized?

Our current crowdfunding goal is to raise enough capital to grow our engineering team and support our go-to-market strategy for bicycles and scooters this year.

We are raising $2-$3M overall primarily through crowdfunding (future customers and supporters). We’ve found that having thousands of “regular folk” backers is a great resource for the company, beyond just the money involved.

You don’t have to be wealthy or a sophisticated investor to be a part of our company. We want all people (especially “us”) to have the opportunity to invest at whatever level they are comfortable with. A $300B market opportunity.

Your previous campaign raised over $1 million in just 3 days. What factors do you attribute to this accomplishment?

We were very fortunate that there was extreme interest in what we were building from the start! Practically everyone on Earth is familiar with cars, trucks, and/or bicycles, which all use tires – and everyone hates flats. Not only that, but working on a game-changing technology from NASA is very intriguing.

I mean, there’s a strong chance that our tires will end up going to the moon! How cool is that?! I think our campaign also hit the right notes and told the right story. People wanted to be a part of it. We’re taking on a very large, established industry, and everyone loves a good underdog story!

Are there any potential partnerships The SMART Tire Company is exploring with bicycle manufacturers or other industry players to facilitate market penetration?

Yes, we received early support from Ford Mobility and Felt Bicycles, and are currently engaged with one of the major rideshare providers as well as bicycle and scooter manufacturers. Of course, working with NASA has earned us a lot of credibility, so we are quite mindful of who we partner with.

We do receive regular inquiries from major tire companies, but as of today we plan to remain independent (perhaps until one of them writes us a check big enough to get our attention LOL)

How can our community get involved?

SMART Tire is not just another technology company. We are building the next, great American tire company, which is not easy. We are a Black owned business committed to diversity and manufacturing products right here in the USA.

This is about more than just cool space technology: it’s about making a real difference through job creation and sustainable innovation that affects everyday lives. Our lives – and inspiring the next generation of black innovators and entrepreneurs.

It’s in this spirit that STC has prioritized RegCF crowdfunding as our primary source of investment. A more fair and democratized system for people who want to own equity in our company. This is a different kind of leveled-up crowdfunding only been available since 2021, where companies can raise up to $5M per year from everyday investors.

It only takes 5 minutes to reserve your shares at WeFunder to join The SMART Tire Company on this journey!

4 mins read

CurlMix Launches Crowdfunding Campaign After Achieving $32M in Revenue

CurlMix specializes in products for curly, kinky, and coily hair. The brand produces a variety of shampoos, conditioners, gels, and styling creams that are designed to hydrate, define, and hold curls.

With an impressive track record of success, including a recent expansion into 460 Ulta Beauty stores and a substantial increase in revenue from $13 million to $32 million in just two years, CurlMix is setting new standards for innovation and inclusivity.

Now, as the brand gears up for further growth, they’ve announced a crowdfunding campaign, showcasing their dedication to democratizing investment opportunities and empowering their community.

In this interview, we delve deeper into the brand’s journey with CEO and Co-Founder Kim Lewis, exploring the inspiration behind CurlMix, its unique offerings, and its vision for the future of the beauty industry.


What inspired you to create CurlMix?

Creating CurlMix was born out of my personal frustration with the lack of clean, natural hair care products specifically tailored to curly hair. I wanted something that not only addressed the unique needs of textured hair but also upheld high standards in terms of ingredients. This frustration led me to experiment with creating my own formulations, and that’s how CurlMix came to life. I wanted to know EXACTLY what was in my products.

How has the brand evolved since its appearance on Shark Tank? What milestones have been particularly significant?

CurlMix has reached new heights in terms of availability and manufacturing capabilities. We’re excited to announce that CurlMix is now available in 460 Ulta Beauty doors, bringing our clean and natural hair care products to even more individuals seeking high-quality solutions for their curly hair.

Furthermore, our commitment to excellence extends to our own 30,000 sqft manufacturing facility. This facility not only ensures the production of top-notch products but also allows us to maintain strict quality control standards, reinforcing our dedication to clean beauty.

Looking ahead, CurlMix is set to push the boundaries of innovation in the hair care industry. We have ambitious plans to explore the biotech haircare space, leveraging cutting-edge advancements to revolutionize the way we approach hair care. Our commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends includes venturing into color innovation, offering our customers exciting and groundbreaking options for expressing themselves through their curls.

Where do you envision your business in the next few years, both in terms of products and its role within the beauty industry?

This expansion into Ulta Beauty’s doors, coupled with our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and ventures into biotech and color innovation, solidify CurlMix as a trailblazer in the beauty industry. We are not only meeting the needs of our community but also setting the stage for the future of clean and innovative hair care.

Looking back, is there anything you wish you’d known before starting CurlMix that might be valuable for others venturing into a similar space?

It’s okay to grow slowly. It’s that simple.
3 mins read

N’abali Kids: Weaving Cultural Heritage into Every Stitch of Sleepwear

Once upon a time, in the vibrant tapestry of global cultures, a husband and wife set out on a remarkable journey to create something extraordinary.

Jean and Caroline, the visionaries behind N’abali Kids, embarked on a quest that seamlessly blended culture, comfort, and dreams into the very fabric of children’s sleepwear.

Their story began with the arrival of their firstborn, JD. Gifted with baby clothes made from the soft and luxurious bamboo viscose fabric, the couple found themselves enchanted. Yet, a desire lingered – to adorn their son in designs that reflected the rich cultural heritage of their ancestral land in Nigeria.

Jean, a proud Haitian American, and Caroline, a Nigerian American, had exchanged vows in Imo State, Nigeria, years before. The artisans they encountered while designing their wedding outfits in Owerri left an indelible mark on their hearts. It was this cultural connection that sparked the inspiration for what would become N’abali Kids.

As parents, Jean and Caroline couldn’t escape the profound influence of their personal experiences on N’abali’s designs. Caroline’s upbringing in Nigeria, surrounded by the diverse styles and patterns of West Africa, especially Ankara, became the heartbeat of their creations. The couple collaborated with expert Ankara designers and aspired to partner with Nigerian Design Schools for future collections.

In running their business, Jean and Caroline seamlessly harmonized their skills. With a background in supply chain, Jean took charge of negotiations, strategy, and execution. Caroline, as the Head of Design, sourced partners, influencers, and designers, infusing the brand with a long-term commitment to social entrepreneurship in her hometown.

Their journey since mid-2020 was not without challenges. Navigating factory closures during the pandemic and grappling with soaring supply chain costs tested their resolve. Yet, resilience became their greatest ally. Focused on building a manufacturing node in West Africa, specifically harnessing the abundant bamboo resources in Nigeria, the couple aimed to turn challenges into opportunities.

n'abali kids

The crowning moment of their narrative is the N’abali Kids Kickstarter campaign. More than just a fundraiser, it’s a quest to validate the business, engage with a community of like-minded parents, and gather invaluable feedback for the future. 

The story of N’abali Kids is an invitation to join a journey of dreams, cultural celebration, and the joy of creating a legacy for generations to come. If you, too, find resonance in this tale, become a part of the N’abali Kids community.

8 mins read

How to Grow Your Business With Community Crowdfunding

Community crowdfunding is a form of crowdfunding that includes equity crowdfunding and debt crowdfunding as its subcategories. For entrepreneurs who face difficulty in securing funding from traditional sources such as angel investors, venture capitalists, and banks, these alternative crowdfunding methods can be a viable option.

Equity and debt crowdfunding allows entrepreneurs to raise capital from a diverse group of investors who contribute small amounts of money in exchange for equity or debt in the company. This type of funding can be facilitated through online platforms, and the amount of capital that can be raised depends on the offering and the platform used.

To successfully utilize equity or debt crowdfunding, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of community crowdfunding. This includes the types of investors that participate and the potential amount of capital that can be raised. 

In this article, we will explore how to grow your business with equity crowdfunding.

Understand the basics of Community crowdfunding

Prior to pursuing funding through community crowdfunding, it is essential to understand its fundamentals. Equity crowdfunding enables businesses to raise capital through online platforms by offering shares of the company to investors or allowing investors to lend capital to a founder in the form of debt. These investors may be individuals, organizations, or groups. Depending on the platform and the type of offering, the amount of capital a business can raise through equity crowdfunding can vary.

Regulation Crowdfunding (Reg CF) and Regulation A+ are types of equity crowdfunding. Reg CF permits businesses to raise up to $5 million, whereas Reg A+ permits businesses to raise up to $75 million. Unlike donation crowdfunding, Reg CF and Reg A+ require greater regulatory compliance and are governed by the SEC and FINRA for protection and transparency.

Choose the right equity crowdfunding platform

There are a variety of equity crowdfunding platforms available, and it is essential to select the most suitable one for your business. Each platform has its own rules, regulations, and fees; therefore, it is essential to investigate each platform to determine which is the best fit for your business.

Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it is important to consider the platform’s fees, investor network, track record, and other benefits. Seed At The Table, for instance, provides a diverse founder focus as well as advisor and resource matching.

Create a compelling pitch

A successful equity crowdfunding campaign requires a compelling pitch that clearly communicates the value proposition of your business as well as the benefits of the partnership to potential investors. Your pitch should highlight your business’s unique selling points, market opportunity, and growth potential. It should also address any potential risks or challenges associated with your business.

Your pitch should be visually appealing and include multimedia elements such as images and videos to engage potential investors. It is also important to include a clear call to action that directs potential investors to your crowdfunding page. The goal is to allow both your investors and customers to be advocates of your business.

Set realistic funding goals

A successful equity crowdfunding campaign requires setting attainable funding goals. Your funding goal should be based on the financial needs and growth plans of your business. It is essential to set a funding goal that is neither too low nor too high, as this can deter potential investors. According to research, the average raise is $200k.

Setting a realistic funding goal also helps to create momentum for your campaign. If you achieve your funding goal early in the campaign, this can generate excitement and encourage more investors to contribute. Also, only 150 Black women have ever raised more than $1 million in any capacity, so it’s important to keep your expectations realistic. Two of the 150 have been launched by Seed At the Table.

Build a strong investor community

Building a strong investor community early (even before launching) is key to the success of your equity crowdfunding campaign. Your community should include early adopters, supporters, and evangelists who are passionate about your business and can help spread the word about your campaign.

It is important to engage with your investor community regularly through social media, email newsletters, and other communication channels. This helps to create a sense of belonging and fosters loyalty among your investors. You can now legally “test the waters” which means assessing your communities intentions to invest in private before fully launching publicly.

Deliver on your promises

Equity crowdfunding is not just about raising capital; it is also about building a community of supporters who believe in your business. It is important to deliver on your promises and provide regular updates to your investors. It’s also important to be transparent about your business’s progress and any challenges you face along the way. This is not only encouraged, but required by FINRA/SEC. Delivering on your promises also helps to build trust and credibility and create a positive reputation for your business, which can attract more investors in the future. 

Leverage the power of equity crowdfunding beyond funding

Equity crowdfunding can provide more than just funding for your business. It can also provide valuable marketing and exposure opportunities. A successful equity crowdfunding campaign can generate media coverage, attract new customers, and create buzz around your business. It’s an opportunity to allow your community and customers to participate in your growth journey while continuing to consume and advocate your product as fans, customers, and investors.

By leveraging the power of equity crowdfunding beyond funding, you can create a virtuous cycle of growth and success for your business. For example, you can use the funds raised through equity crowdfunding to launch new products, expand into new markets, or invest in marketing and advertising campaigns.

Click here to be considered for investment in Seed at the Table and support socially responsible businesses!


Ready to fund your business growth and get connected with resources? Sign up on Seed at the Table to connect with potential investors who share your values and other viable resources to grow your business.

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12 mins read

Seed At The Table: A Vision for a More Inclusive Crowdfunding Future

Seed At The Table is shaking up the traditional crowdfunding industry by creating a platform that prioritizes diversity and inclusivity.

With a mission to connect diverse entrepreneurs with investors, Seed At The Table offers a unique equity and debt crowdfunding model that stands apart from the rest.

In this interview, Founder and Head of Growth, Pierre Le Veaux shares the inspiration behind the creation of Seed At The Table, the platform’s crowdfunding model, the process for entrepreneurs to launch a campaign, and the company’s vision for the future of the industry.

What inspired you to create Seed At The Table?

Since I first stepped foot on a wall street investment banking trading floor I knew that “access” to information, people, and wealth/capital was one of the biggest predictors/drivers for success. Over my 10 year plus banking career I noticed that everyone on the floor had “access” whether born with it or earned, and it allowed them to experience life differently than the rest of the world.

With that same frame of thought, I saw how access directly impacted business and financial success, especially with respect to obtaining and preserving wealth. Those who grew up wealthy and/or with access were often afforded more opportunities to grow wealth and preserve it. In those same rooms, there weren’t many folks of color and definitely even fewer from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

I wanted to create an environment where common folks like my parents and relatives had access to the same information, capital, ideas, etc. as me and my investment banking colleagues. Seed is the platform that allows for exactly that, it’s a financial ecosystem that allows entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers to interact and exchange resources mostly financial in nature. 

Can you describe the crowdfunding model you offer, and how it differs from other crowdfunding platforms?

Unlike other equity crowdfunding portals we do more than just help founders raise debt or equity capital from their networks. We’re also mission driven and have a passionate view on resource matching! From a mission perspective, we are highly understanding that every user that comes to our portal may have challenges that are “unique” and often require a different sense of patience, especially among marginalized communities.

Our focus is to ensure diverse founders have a place to transact and that investors from all walks of life have an opportunity to support marginalized founders while also gaining access to best-of-breed ideas and resources. We are truly a family sitting around a dinner table exchanging ideas and opportunities.

To that point, another differentiating factor is our concept of “family” in which we match seasoned business executives and proven entrepreneurs with companies on our platform who can benefit from official or unofficial advisory services. We do the same for users of our platform connecting them with resource providers and educational content that can be helpful to them. We’re more than a place for crowdfunding transactions.

How do you determine which campaigns to feature on the platform? 

We are industry and growth stage agnostic meaning any size company or industry can apply. We have a preference for DTC companies or companies with high user engagement because research shows that your community and/or customer network is often your most viable investor base; however, we are open to all industries and sectors inclusive of DTC, B2B, CPG, Tech, Real Estate, etc. 

Can you walk us through the process for entrepreneurs to launch a campaign on your platform? In what ways do you assist with this process?

The first step for every company visiting our ecosystem is to complete our Preliminary survey to give us insight into the viability of the business and other matching services. Regardless of whether the company is raising capital or is in need of an additional resource this is a required step that allows for our high-touch approach. 

Companies raising capital are often referred to as issuers, and the next step for them is a call with our onboarding specialist to discuss their business and for them to gain an understanding of the operational process of onboarding (required documents, background check, due diligence, Form C).

Once approved by the Seed board, the issuer creates a campaign page inclusive of their fundraising goals and minimum investment amount to be reviewed by the Head of Marketing. 

The campaign enters the “Testing the Waters” phase- a campaign link is created for the investor to send to a private network to gauge the success of the campaign. Investors are able to review the company profile & financials and “pledge” to invest once the campaign is live.

If the “Testing the Waters” profile aggregates 10% of the campaign minimum, the issuer moves to complete the filing process.

Once the Form C is completed and reviewed by a securities attorney the campaign is submitted to the SEC for approval and the campaign officially launches on the Seed site.

For all companies whether raising capital or not, we assist by matching to mentors/advisors, resource providers like AWS or Google, law firms for formation docs, marketing resources like our partner Power Digital, accounting resources, etc.

Some firms may not be a fit for community crowdfunding and realize they need a bank loan from a firm like JP Morgan or they may be VC-ready either way given our network and family we can facilitate intros accordingly.

We are legally a platform that allows investors both accredited and non-accredited to invest at lower dollar amounts but we really are a one-stop ecosystem serving all finance-related needs. Our network is robust and unmatched!

Can you share success stories from campaigns that have been funded through your platform?

A few stories of campaigns funded through our platform are Wear Oya and Row House Publishing. Wear Oya, a patent-approved fem-tech company, raised over $1 million and was selected by TechStars. The founder is one of only around 150 Black women to ever raise over $1 million.

Row House Publishing, an innovative publishing company amplifying often unheard diverse voices, also raised close to $1 million through our portal. The founder raised a total of over $1 million, joining the same exclusive group of only 150 Black women who have achieved this milestone. These success stories demonstrate the dire need for more funding sources for underrepresented founders.

We’ve also helped a meal prep company called Macrobites raise capital to enhance their operations. The founders are prison impacted and have a passion for their community and health! 

You are also raising capital. How do you plan to use this capital raised for your own operations?

Pour more into marketing so we can find incredible founders and those in need of our kind of services. We have a compelling and revenue generating story given our mission and services that we want to continue sharing as well as the sharing of the stories of companies raising through us. We also want to invest in technology to improve the matching process for all of our users as well as make sure we continue to create amazing educational content.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs considering using your platform to raise capital?

Think about your network and/or customer base if applicable, or even better how you would go about creating a network. You have followers, a fan base, etc. so think about how you would engage on day one. This is an action we recommend immediately no matter the success or growth stage of a firm. 

What is your vision for the future of the crowdfunding industry and how does your company fit into that vision?

I hope that the industry will be the preferred source of capital outpacing traditional banks that have and continue to underserve their customers hence, the concept of being under-banked. There are so many amazing businesses out there that may not own their office space or have tons of collateral to fit the bank’s archaic risk metrics but are still revenue-generating and are good stewards of capital for a debt or equity transaction.

We also want to be the jumping point for emerging diverse founder-led companies with promise who later go on to have greater rounds of funding in VC (series A, B, C, etc), take on Private Equity or Public Equity, or simply exist in perpetuity generating economic activity and changing the lives of their employees, family, friends, and customers.


True to its commitment to access, Seed is considering opening up an investment round to the community to allow investment participation in its growth journey. This is a unique opportunity that is typically only afforded to institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals.

Click here to be considered for investment in Seed at the Table and support socially responsible businesses!


Ready to fund your business growth and get connected with resources? Sign up on Seed at the Table to connect with potential investors who share your values and other viable resources to grow your business.

Email to sign up.

Follow Seed At The Table on social media:

2 mins read

Equity Crowdfunding: A $5 Million Opportunity for Black Entrepreneurs and Investors

In recent years, equity crowdfunding has grown in popularity as a way for entrepreneurs to raise capital and for investors to gain access to a wider range of investment opportunities.

This is good news for Black founders, as it offers an alternative to traditional funding sources such as bank loans and venture capital, which have often been difficult for them to access due to systematic biases and discrimination.

According to reports, the percentage of venture capital invested in Black founders decreased from 1.3% in 2021 to 1% in 2022.

Through equity crowdfunding, Black founders can bypass traditional gatekeepers and directly pitch their ideas to a larger audience. As permitted by the JOBS Act, founders can potentially raise up to $5 million in one year through crowdfunding offerings.

Additionally, equity crowdfunding can provide Black investors with opportunities to build wealth by allowing them to invest in early-stage companies that may not otherwise be accessible to them.

Many Black investors may lack the resources or connections to participate in conventional venture capital or angel investing, but equity crowdfunding allows them to invest as little as a few hundred dollars in a company they believe in.

This not only provides the opportunity to potentially earn a return on their investment but also allows Black investors to support and empower other Black founders and entrepreneurs.

Equity crowdfunding is not without its risks and challenges, however. As with any investment, there is no assurance of a return, and there is an inherent risk of loss.

Before committing to a campaign, both founders and investors must carefully consider the terms of the investment and conduct their due diligence.

Equity crowdfunding provides Black founders and investors with a chance to generate wealth, foster each other’s success, and increase diversity within the startup industry through mutual support.

It is important to consult with a legal professional when considering equity crowdfunding as the rules and regulations can be complex and vary from country to country.


Interested in investing in Black founders? If so, please complete this brief form.

1 min read

Veteran Has Raised Over $7M For WiGL, Patented Wireless Charging Technology

Wireless-electric Grid Local Air network (WiGL) is developing a new technology that enables users to log onto an electrical power “WiGL” network and power or recharge their devices wirelessly.

Dr. Ahmad Glover is the founder and interim CEO of WiGL Inc. As a 30+ year member of the U.S. military, he directed and managed large-scale energy transfer programs.

He also worked as a strategic technical advisor for the Federal Aviation Administration, where he oversaw multibillion-dollar space and special operations programs.

In this episode, Dr. Glover discusses:

  • The problem WiGL technology is created to solve
  • Making history after raising $5 million via equity crowdfunding
  • His current and pending patents
  • Safety concerns related to cell phone radiation and wireless frequencies.
  • How he envisions this technology being used in the near future

Check our WiGL’s equity crowdfunding campaign here.

DISCLAIMER: This Reg. A+ offering is made available through StartEngine Primary, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Please read the Risk Factors disclosure before investing. This investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment.


4 mins read

Different Ways to Invest in Black Owned Businesses

When it comes to supporting Black-owned businesses, some research is needed to discover which businesses are actually Black-owned.

Luckily, most public companies do not hide who is on their executive board, making the process easy with a little research. Once you have done some research on the businesses you wish to support, there are ways you can go about investing in them.

If you have the desire to invest in Black-owned businesses, read on for a few ways to do so:

Take to the Stock Exchange

One of the easiest ways to support any publicly-owned business is to invest in the company on the stock exchange. Here are a few companies that have either a Black president or CEO, or have majority Black ownership that you can invest in:

  • Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc.
  • RLJ Lodging Trust
  • Urban One, Inc.

Invest in Companies That Financially Support Racial Justice

Supporting companies that have donated money to support racial justice can also be an option in the stock market. Several large companies have done so over the past few years, and supporting them can help them continue to do so. Choosing businesses such as these to get behind can help also grow your own money while showing your support for said business.

The Non-Stock Ways to Support Racial Justice

While taking to the stock exchange can be a great way to support Black-owned businesses and businesses that support racial justice, there are other methods available to investors as well, such as investing in startups or real estate crowdfunding.

You can join platforms such as The 10K Project, a community of everyday investors who actively fund Black-owned businesses.

You can invest in Buy the Block, another crowdfunding platform, for a minimum of $100. Many of the projects listed on Buy the Block are in historic Black neighborhoods or benefit a local community.

No matter what way you decide to invest, make certain you do your research. With investing in startups and real estate crowdfunding there is the risk of losing your entire investment, so it’s best to be careful.

Rethink Your Bank

Why not consider a Black-owned bank, especially if your current bank doesn’t meet all of your banking needs? Not only are you supporting a Black-owned company by using such a bank, but you can also ask them about any initiatives they have for the African American community to further your support.

Larger banks that are not Black-owned might also have community-focused initiatives as well, and it never hurts to ask, especially if you want to support such initiatives.

There are so many ways that you can support Black-owned businesses. Research the business you want to support, and think about how best you can support them, be it through purchasing stocks in the company or taking part in the company’s initiatives.

-Tony O. Lawson

Want to invest in Black startup founders? Please fill out this short form.


4 mins read

How I Raised $1 Million in Business Funding

Roughly 45% of businesses don’t make it past the five-year mark. One of the most common reasons for this failure rate? A lack of business funding.

Now, this isn’t to say that money isn’t available—the chances are that if you’re got the fundamentals of your business laid out, the money is out there.

Ultimately, it comes down to how you manage to acquire it. And that’s exactly what this article is going to cover.

How I Raised $1.07 Million for My Trucking Business

2020 showcased a remarkable accomplishment for Pierre Laguerre, the founder of Fleeting, who became the first Black man to raise the maximum amount possible ($1,070,000) through crowdfunding opportunities in the span of 12 months.

Fleeting is a platform that connects companies with experienced and qualified CDL drivers. Since trucking is a critical part of the supply chain, which constitutes the backbone of the economy, many investors quickly took the chance to weigh in.

How to Raise Capital for Your Business

When it comes to the trucking industry, entrepreneurs might find that they need more than just dedication. Starting a trucking business is an excellent decision because the trucking industry isn’t going anywhere, but it often always requires high capital investment for startup and operations.

That said, there are still several ways you can finance your business:

1. Use Equipment Lenders

With a well-managed business plan and some existing capital, you stand a higher chance of getting financing from equipment lenders. Many lenders provide tailored solutions that you can use for your trucking business, which will eventually help you bring in more investors.

2. Crowdfunding

When compared to other methods of raising capital or financing a business, crowdfunding is definitely a newer option. Despite being new, however, it’s quickly risen in popularity as a way of funding, and we’re no exception to this.

Crowdfunding functions much like a loan, pre-order, or investment—just from several people instead of one person or entity. As an entrepreneur, it will be your responsibility to sell your business on the crowdfunding platform, including your goals, plans, amount of funding required, etc.

3. Enter a Franchise Agreement

Entering franchise agreements with interested parties can be extremely useful to grow your business quickly. This arrangement allows other owners to use your name for their business while paying you a franchise fee as well as a portion of their profits.

4. Look into Freight Bill Factoring Financing

A problem you’re likely to run into in the trucking industry is delayed revenue. In some industries, this may not be a problem, but a trucking business will rack up operational costs that need to be paid off.

If you’re just starting out and don’t have an immediate cash flow, freight bill factoring financing can help. Freight factoring companies essentially buy your invoices for immediate payment, and then wait to be paid by the clients.

Ultimately, there are several ways to grow your business, depending on your needs.

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7 mins read

The 10K Project is on a Mission to connect One Million “Every Day” Black Investors with Black Owned Businesses that need Funding

Thanks to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, entrepreneurs can raise up to $5 million per year from individual investors. These investments can be made via campaigns on SEC-approved equity crowdfunding platforms.

Black entrepreneurs who have historically struggled to raise funding from traditional financial institutions now have another option to raise the capital needed to start and grow their businesses.

For aspiring investors, it no longer takes thousands of dollars to start investing in early-stage companies like wealthy families do.

All you need to do is join platforms such as The 10K Project, a community of everyday investors who actively fund Black-owned businesses.

The 10K Project, founded by Cheree Warrick and Tawana Rivers is building a community of those not only buying Black but also investing Black.

We recently caught up with Tawana to find out more about the platform.

the 10k project
Tawana Rivers, Co-founder and COO, The 10K Project

What inspired you and Cheree to create The 10K Project? 

We were leaders in another group that uplifted the Black community. Each week, we would have conversations regarding how Black people could break into the blockchain industry by building businesses.

One of the primary concerns people had was a lack of capital. Cheree continuously said, “If 10,000 of us came together and invested $100 each into the business, that’s $1 million. We can fund our OWN businesses.”

One day, Cheree said it again for the umpteenth time and I asked her, “When are you going to do something about it?” She said that she couldn’t do it alone so four of us joined her as the founding members of The 10K Project. And here we are!

the 10k project
Cheree Warrick, Co-founder and CEO, The 10K Project

Briefly explain the importance of creating an ecosystem of Black investors.

We oftentimes hear phrases such as “it takes a village,” “each one teach one,” “we’re better together,” and “we must circulate the Black dollar longer;” however, most people aren’t sure how to implement them. We want to help people build generational wealth.

At The 10K Project, we aim to not only let these sentences be catchphrases. Instead, we live them! We bring together 3 groups of people:

  1. Entrepreneurs who have great ideas and want to raise capital for their businesses,
  2. Investors who have as little as $100 to invest in Black founders, and
  3. Experts who can help these entrepreneurs grow their companies (e.g. project managers, sales consultants, construction professionals, etc)

We bring together people from all socioeconomic backgrounds who want to uplift and invest in the Black founder. Within our organization, we say “We buy Black. Now we can invest Black, too.”

If we want to truly OWN and DOMINATE industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, real estate, healthcare, and technology, then we MUST invest in each other. No one is coming to save us, so we must save ourselves.

What are some things a business should have in place in order to have a successful crowdfunding campaign?

To successfully manage a crowdfunding campaign, entrepreneurs must have a winning crowdfunding campaign plan, a knowledgeable team who understands legal compliance, investors, a legally compliant crowdfunding platform, and experts to guide you through your campaign. 

We offer entrepreneurs more information regarding how to successfully launch and complete an equity crowdfunding campaign at

Fill in this blank. “We need to see more Black businesses that ____”

Have equal amounts of resources as our counterparts. Most Black businesses aren’t able to maximize growth due to a lack of resources. And resources are more than cash. It’s team members, mentors, access to credit, access to networks, etc.

The 10K Project is more than just access to capital. We are a community of individuals who work together to help the entrepreneur succeed. If the entrepreneur needs staff, then he or she can access our Expert Directory and find the skilled talent they need.

If the entrepreneur needs access to profit acceleration resources such as marketing, product placement, and business efficiencies, our Knowledge Center has recorded webinars and individuals to help.

As Black businesses receive the resources needed, they hire more people within the community, grow revenues, give back to our nonprofits, mentor more of our children, and uplift our economic standing globally.

the 10k project

Where do you see The 10K Project in 5 years?

We will be an investor network with 1 million members.

Within 5 years, we will be THE place where entrepreneurs raise $5 million (the legal limit for Regulation CF governed by the SEC) within 48 hours…and we will do this over and over again.

We want to expose our investor members to opportunities that can help them build generational wealth. And we want to have a major economic impact globally (including the Caribbean and Africa). 

Sign up here to join The 10K project and start investing Black!

Tony O. Lawson

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