16 Startups Named 2022 Founders of Color Semifinalists
Business Career Entrepreneurship Lifestyle

16 Startups Named 2022 Founders of Color Semifinalists

(Image: PR Newswire)

Next Wave Impact, a global impact investor syndicate with more than 200 investors, is proud to announce the 16 BIPOC-led startups selected as semifinalists for its third annual Founders of Color Showcase. Up to seven semifinalists will advance to compete at the Showcase on May 16, 2022, in Atlantic City, N.J. and via a livestream from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST. During the event, the founders will gain exposure to an audience of investors, funds and angel groups that are accelerating capital opportunities for high-impact minority-founded startups.

Each presenting startup has the potential to positively impact people, communities and the planet in a measurable way, according to a press release. The 2022 semifinalists are:

African Digital Art founder and chief executive officer Chinedu Enekwe, Washington, D.C.

AllergenIQ founder and chief executive officer Nana Mireku, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.

ConConnect founder and chief executive officer Andre PeartNew York City, N.Y.

Enrichly founder and chief executive officer Margo Jordan, Houston, Texas.

Kadogo founder and chief executive officer Quest Moffat, Kansas City, Mo.

LAMIK Beauty founder and chief executive officer Kim Roxie, Houston, Texas.

Mars Materials founder and chief executive officer Aaron Fitzgerald | San Francisco, Calif.

Optimal Technology Corporation founder and chief executive officer Reginald Parker ,Austell, Ga.

OYA Femtech Apparel founder and chief executive officer Mitchella Gilbert, Los Angeles, Calif.

Relavo co-founder and chief executive officer Sarah Lee , Baltimore, Md.

Sunthetics founder and chief executive officer Daniela Blanco, Austin, Texas.

TIDY App founder and chief executive officer Gloria Oppong, Austin, Texas.

UnDelay founder and chief executive officer Safir Monroe, Atlanta, Ga.

WESTxEAST founder and chief executive officer Tania Kottoor ,New York City, N.Y.

Youme Healthcare Inc. founder and chief executive officer Hafeezah Muhammad, Baltimore, Md.

ZILA Works, SPC founder and chief executive officer Jason Puracal, Renton, Wash.

According to a report by Crunchbase, Black and Latinx founders secured just 2.4 percent of total U.S. venture capital raised between 2015 and August 2020. Morgan Stanley shared that investors report capitalizing multi-cultural and women-owned businesses at 80 percent less than businesses overall.

“Data shows that the need to support minority-led startups is as strong as ever, which is why we are democratizing access to funding,” said Alicia Robb, founder of Next Wave Impact.

“In its third year, the Founders of Color Showcase is placing a spotlight on leading-edge startups so they can be discovered, championed and funded by values-aligned investors who want to widen the net of opportunity.”

Last year’s event spurred nearly $1 million in investments to BIPOC-led startups. Change: WATER Labs was named the most investable company in the 2021 Showcase and received $300,000 in seed investment. In addition, finalists Boddle Learning and DrugViu received investments of $100,000 each. Additional funding from angel investors and venture capitalists went to these companies as well as other Showcase semifinalists and finalists.

“The funding from Founders of Color Showcase has helped us expand our team and was instrumental as one of the earliest checks into our pre-seed round,” said Edna Martinson, co-founder & chief executive officer of Boddle Learning.

Co-hosts of the third annual Founders of Color Showcase include:


Stella Angels.

Kachuwa Impact Fund.

Beta Boom.


Angel Capital Association.

Showcase sponsors include:

Ascent CFO Solutions.

Clean Energy Credit Union.

Signature Windows.

Queen City Angels.

– Sarah Murray.

– Blaudow Family Foundation.

She Invests!