Top Rappper “Chamillionaire”, is on a Quest to Empower Black Entrepreneurs
A venture capital competition has been launched by the music artist whose real name is Hakeem Seriki, to fund businesses founded by Black innovators and female entrepreneurs.
The contest is running via his Convoz app; a website designed to “link the world through interactive conversations,” investing $100,000 in the company of the winner of the pitch competition. Seriki has engaged Daymond John and rapper and entrepreneurE-40 businessman and investor to pick a company to invest in.
“It just sounds a little insane to me when people say they can’t find African-American startups to invest in,” he told the news outlet. “At one point, I got 30 candidates a month, but when I said that I only wanted to invest in women or minorities, I started getting just two candidates a month.”
Seriki, who has invested in over 40 start-ups, added that he is aware of the racial and gender inequalities that exist when it comes to accessing venture capital and that he wants to use this competition and other initiatives to build pathways for undoing. Launched on November 11, the pitch contest will run through December 6.
Those who are interested in entering the competition can use his app to participate.
This is not Chamillionaire’s first venture in black entrepreneurship. In June, together withE-40, he arranged a start-up competition where the two invested $25,000 in a minority or female-owned business. In black businessmen, many hip-hop artists are stepping up and investing. Jay-Z invested $1 million earlier this year in a Black-owned vegan cookie company.