Black Entrepreneurs Shine During 500 Startups Demo-Ween

From healthcare to religion, these entrepreneurs pitched to take their companies to the next level

Roho
Image: Twitter/500 Startups

Goblins and ghosts, galore!

500 Startups, one of the top accelerators in Silicon Valley, premiered their Batch 18 companies in an event coined “Demo-Ween.” All costumes aside, these outstanding black entrepreneurs and their companies took to the stage to pitch, each knocking it out of the park.

500 Demo-Ween Image: 500 Startups/Sequoia Blodgett

Keep reading to find out why they are equally poised to disrupt their own individual industries.

Nicholas Richards Image: PR Noir/Mykwain Gainey

Nicholas Richards, the minister behind Roho, is on a mission to provide viewers access to the $15 billion religious media market. So far, they have over 250,000 unique users a month who each stay on the platform for an average of 17 minutes, consuming sermons, devotionals, and other religious content. They are doing so well that they have already closed their seed round and are focused on growing and scaling their product.

SureBids Team Image: LinkedIn/500 Startups

The Nigerian trio, Olaoluwa Samuel-Biyi, Babafemi Lawal, and Adeoye Ojo, are on a mission to make the gift card industry as common in Africa as it is in the U.S. So far, they have formed partnerships with 250 of Africa’s biggest brands including Samsung, Jumia, Mothercare, and Nakumatt, Kenya’s largest supermarket chain. They’ve projected this to be an $8.7 billion market opportunity and with backgrounds in retail logistics and banking, SureBids is rightfully positioned to take a piece of the action.  

Dan Miller Image: Twitter/Dan Miller

Dan Miller, the CEO of Level Therapy, is making an impact on traditional therapy practices. The company is using matching algorithms with an HIPAA-compliant video platform to connect patients to mental healthcare providers, allowing access to psychotherapy from your mobile device. What’s even more impressive is that they are partnering with employers to potentially make this a part of your healthcare package so that your insurance covers the costs.

Chuks Onwuneme Image: LinkedIn/Chuks Onwuneme

Chuks Onwuneme, the CTO of Arthur Health, is focused on implementing the technology that will save the pharmaceutical industry $290 billion in preventable healthcare costs by creating smart pill bottles that can track diagnosis, and send refill reminders to its patients. So far they are in the prototyping stage but if all goes well, they could end up being the go-to pharmacy anytime you need to refill your pill subscription.



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