Entrepreneur Launches First Black-Owned Voice Messaging App With Large Group Video Chat Ability

Meet Ernest Manning Jr., the creator of Yappin.Chat, the first ever Black-owned voice messaging app that features voice and large live user video chat capabilities, a feature that has become a staple for next-generation communication connections between family, friends, colleges, corporate America and so much more.

Ernest, who is also the creator of WeKinFolk, a Black-owned social media platform that combines the features of other popular platforms into one place, is now a respected visionary leader who is steering not one, but two social media platforms to remarkable success.

Ernest is now known in the industry as a social media mogul. Both of his platforms have experienced exponential growth, boasting thousands of active users worldwide and consistently introducing features that set new standards in the industry.

Yappin.Chat, known for its unique voice messaging mechanisms akin to text messages but with voice and large live user video chat capabilities has become a staple for next-generation communication connections between family, friends, colleges, corporate America and so much more. Meanwhile, WeKinFolk (similar to Facebook) has disrupted the market with its focus on black culture, privacy, data security, and an algorithm that prioritizes user experience above all.

Ernest’s journey in the digital realm is marked by a deep understanding of social media dynamics and a forward-thinking mindset. “Our mission was clear from the start,” he states. “To create spaces where users feel valued, engaged, and secure. The incredible growth of both platforms is a testament to our team’s hard work, innovation, and the vibrant communities that have embraced our vision.”

He comments, “The success of his ventures is not just in user numbers but also in the positive impact they have on the digital community. Both platforms have introduced initiatives aimed at promoting digital literacy, online safety, and support for mental health, reflecting Ernest’s commitment to responsible social media use.”

As Yappin.Chat and WeKinFolk continue to thrive, Ernest says that he is already looking to the future with plans to expand the platforms’ global reach and introduce new technologies that enhance user interaction and community building.

“This is just the beginning,” he says. “My team and I committed to pushing the boundaries of what social media can be, creating more inclusive, engaging, and meaningful online experiences for everyone.”

Learn more about Yappin.Chat at Yappin.Chat

(Both apps are available for download on Google Play Store and Apple IOS.)

For media inquiries, please contact ernest@yappin.chat or ernest@wekinfolk.com


Black Founder Of Innovative AI-Powered Loan Packaging Tool Revolutionizes Access To Capital For Small Businesses

In a groundbreaking move set to change the financial landscape for small business owners, Cynthia Nevels, the visionary behind Integrality, LLC, a Black woman-owned firm, has unveiled her latest innovation: an AI-powered digital loan packaging tool. This pioneering solution, designed to streamline the loan application process, aims to unlock $1 million in capital for small businesses, with a particular focus on empowering women-owned enterprises. To date her Black woman-owned accelerator, Start.Pivot.Grow., has awarded $52,000 in small grants and helped small businesses raise $485,000 in capital since the pandemic.

Cynthia brings her extensive 22-year experience in the technology industry to the forefront of this initiative. Having played a crucial role in assisting thousands of small businesses secure disaster relief funding and loan forgiveness during the challenging times of the pandemic, Cynthia is no stranger to the hurdles faced by minority and women-owned businesses in accessing necessary capital.

The new digital tool, named Prep My Loan, is at the cutting edge of technology and financial services, providing a robust platform for entrepreneurs to prepare their loan applications meticulously and improve their chances of getting approved. This AI-driven solution is designed not just to facilitate the loan application process but to enhance the success rate of securing funding by addressing the common challenges that often lead to loan denials.

Prep My Loan: A Two-Pronged Approach to Financial Empowerment

Prep My Loan distinguishes itself through its comprehensive, two-component system aimed at equipping business owners with the knowledge and tools necessary for successful loan applications. The first component is a self-paced, 10-module certification course that guides entrepreneurs through the intricacies of the loan process and underwriting considerations. This educational component demystifies the financial jargon and lays out the groundwork for what lenders look for in potential borrowers.

The second component is the innovative loan packaging planner. Available in both digital and fillable formats, this planner is meticulously designed to align with the training provided in the certification course. It includes templates and samples that cover the ten crucial sections of a loan package, ensuring that business owners are thoroughly prepared before approaching lenders.

Bridging the Gap for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

Despite the significant economic contributions of women-owned businesses, which generated nearly $2 trillion in receipts nationwide in 2021, access to outside capital remains a persistent challenge. This disparity is particularly pronounced in Texas, where a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas revealed that in 2022, more than half of men-owned small firms received the full financing they requested, in stark contrast to just over one-third of women-owned firms.

Cynthia’s Prep My Loan aims to level the playing field by removing systemic biases and improving the loan application presentation. By empowering entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge and tools, the digital solution not only enhances their chances of securing capital but also builds their business acumen and confidence.

A Mission to Empower and Transform

Cynthia’s dedication to supporting struggling minority and women-owned businesses to pivot post-pandemic and rebuild through education, technical assistance, and access to capital is at the heart of this initiative. With the launch of Prep My Loan, the Start.Pivot.Grow. platform is set to transform the landscape of small business financing, making the dream of accessing capital a more attainable reality for the new majority of entrepreneurs across the country.

For more information about Prep My Loan and to begin the journey towards financial empowerment, visit StartPivotGrow.com/university

To learn more, visit IntegralityLLC.com

About Integrality
Integrality is a women and minority-owned U.S.-based professional services company. For twenty-two years, we have helped businesses, government agencies and organizations optimize operations, improve revenue growth, and accelerate growth through data analytics and technological advancements. We partner with world-class providers to select, design, configure and install innovative technology used to organize and analyze data to maximize profits. Integrality develops apps, data analysis solutions, data-driven growth strategies and provides fractional operations management solutions to high-growth companies.

About Start.Pivot.Grow.
Start.Pivot.Grow. is a small business accelerator program and business assistance platform targeting women and minority businesses three years old and up. SBA lenders, banks, credit unions and community development financial institutions may license the program to retail or distribute to their small business customers in advance of the loan application.

For press inquiries, contact Integrality, LLC, Jeremy Nelson, jeremyn@integrality.us, (214) 872-6331 or Direct (469) 600-3232


14-Year-Old Black Teen Creates Innovative Watch That Can Detect Signs Of A Stroke

Meet Naya Ellis, a 14-year-old African American girl from New Orleans who is the inventor of WingItt, an innovative wristwatch designed to detect early signs of a stroke. Inspired by her family’s health struggles, her invention has gained attention for its potential to save lives.

Naya, a 9th-grade student at John F. Kennedy High School in New Orleans, began her journey while enrolled in the STEM NOLA Fellows Program, which empowers young people to explore science, technology, engineering, and math. After spending about eight months there, she found her calling during one of her Saturday sessions. Thinking of her mother, who battled with breast cancer, and her grandmother, who suffered from strokes, Naya decided to create WingItt, a watch designed to spot early signs of strokes.

Using advanced technology, WingItt reads nerve impulses and heartbeats, providing an early warning system for strokes. Naya’s goal is to make it affordable for seniors who might not have access to expensive health monitors.

Naya’s hard work paid off when she was recognized as one of the top students in the National STEM Challenge. Now, she’s gearing up to showcase her creation in Washington, DC.

As Naya starts high school, she’s not just dreaming of making more inventions; She’s also aiming to excel in softball and pursue her dream of becoming an obstetrician-gynecologist, showing other kids in her community what’s possible with STEM education.

For more details about Naya, her invention, and/or the STEM NOLA program, visit STEMNOLA.com

Also, be sure to follow the program on Instagram @STEMNOLA


Meet The Black Woman Leading Her Own Electric Company In Detroit

Deana Neely, the Founder and CEO of Detroit Voltage, is making history as an African American woman in Detroit who is leading her own electric company. Most recently, she has secured a historic six-figure deal with DTE Energy, the largest electric utility company in Michigan serving 2.3 million customers.

Deana’s commitment to exceeding customer expectations and prioritizing safety and compliance has solidified its reputation as a trusted partner in the Metro Detroit area.

Through the recent deal, she says that her company has teamed up with DTE Energy to install hundreds of local electric vehicle charging stations.

With over a decade of experience in electrical contracting, Deana has proven her expertise in the field. The company, a certified Woman Business Enterprise (WBE), offers top-notch residential and commercial services, focusing on safety, following the rules, and customer satisfaction.

What sets Detroit Voltage apart is its strong relationships with building department officials. This ensures smooth navigation through regulatory processes, guaranteeing safe and code-compliant electrical work that passes inspection without any problems.

Learn more about Deana Neely and her company, visit the official website at DetroitVoltage.com

Also, be sure to follow them on Instagram @DetroitVoltage


Mom And Daughter’s Black Doctor-Owned Startup Raises $14M, Using AI To Help Cancer Patients

Meet Dr. Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Olopade and her daughter, Feyi Olopade Ayodele, the co-founders of CancerIQ, a Black-owned healthcare technology company that has secured $14 million in funding to advance its mission of using AI technology to detect cancer early. Funmi serves as Chief Scientific Officer of the company while Feyi is the company’s CEO.

Their innovative approach is to address disparities in cancer care, particularly among underserved communities, by providing personalized risk assessments and connecting patients with tailored care plans.

Due to various barriers, including limited access to healthcare, many Black women are diagnosed with cancer at later stages, leading to poorer outcomes compared to their white counterparts. The pandemic only worsened matters, with millions missing crucial screenings.

But CancerIQ is stepping up. Their precision health platform leverages AI to assess a patient’s cancer risk based on factors like genetics and family history. Then, it connects them with personalized care plans, ranging from screenings to lifestyle interventions. The platform has already been in use at over 180 locations nationwide.

“CancerIQ’s vision is to end cancer as we know it by eliminating health disparities and democratizing access to the latest advances in cancer early detection and prevention,” Ayodele said after being featured in Forbes. “We started by making genetic testing more accessible and connecting patients to the right preventive services at the right time.”

Meanwhile, the new funding will further CancerIQ’s mission to bridge gaps in cancer screening and risk assessment, as highlighted in a recent report from the President’s Cancer Panel. With a vision to end cancer disparities, the company aims to democratize access to advanced detection and prevention methods.

The funding round was co-led by Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Amgen Ventures, showcasing industry support for CancerIQ’s vision. And with plans to hire 50 new team members, the company is gearing up to make an even bigger impact in the fight against cancer.

Learn more about the company via its official website CancerIQ.com


Meet The Black Entrepreneur Using AI To Help People With Kidney Disease

Meet Dr. Ikenna Okezie, the mastermind behind Somatus, a Black-owned healthcare company based in Northern Virginia that is revolutionizing kidney disease management. With the help of AI, his company helps with early detection, prevention, and empowering patients to take charge of their health.

In 2016, Okezie started Somatus with a mission to shake up how kidney disease is handled. Instead of waiting until it’s too late and relying solely on dialysis, Somatus puts the focus on catching kidney issues early and giving patients more control over their health.

Using RenalIQ, a special platform powered by AI, they monitor patients’ health through machine learning and analytics. It spots people who might be at risk and offers them virtual care options, all without them needing to leave home.

What’s more, they work closely with local doctors and health plans to ensure patients get personalized care at home. In 2022, they’ve served over 150,000 people got a whopping $325 million in funding in 2022. This made them one of the fastest-growing healthcare startups, valued at $2.5 billion.

“Since our inception, Somatus has always been committed to bringing superior evidence-based integrated care to patients with kidney disease, which delays disease progression, improves quality of life, and lowers total cost of care,” Okezie said, according to Shoppe Black.

In 2023, Somatus expanded its partnership with the Kidney Care Center across multiple states, enhancing patient care with local teams and advanced technology. They’re committed to addressing health disparities too, as shown by signing the Health Evolution Pledge.

In 2024, Somatus was chosen by Sun Life U.S. as a preferred partner to improve care for members with kidney and heart disease, using AI to cut costs and boost outcomes.

With innovative technology and strong partnerships, Somatus offers hope to millions battling kidney disease, marking a new era in healthcare.

Learn more about the company via its official website Somatus.com

Also, follow the company on Instagram @SomatusKidneyCare


Black Couple Honored For Their Business Contributions To The City Of Baltimore

Andra and Dr. Tam Taylor, an African American couple known as the founders of TaylorMade Global, have been recognized by Alignable as Baltimore’s 2024 Business Person of the Year. Alignable is the largest online networking platform for business owners with 8.7 million members, and this year’s competition was the most popular one that it has hosted in over five years, marking a 40% jump in participation over 2023.

The Taylors were honored for supporting vital business needs from tech to financial planning via their company which they say is a mission-driven collective with a resolute purpose that has an unwavering commitment to serve Mission-Driven Brands, Nonprofits, and Public Purpose Organizations. Their goal is to empower such entities to elevate awareness, enhance engagement, and achieve enduring results.

“In our local business community, we look out for each other and refer businesses down the street or around the corner to help make everyone in town as successful as possible,” said the Taylors “And the challenges we’ve all encountered have compelled many of us to offer counsel to peers fighting to keep their businesses afloat. While I’m thrilled to receive this award, it’s really a testament to our entire community.”

Alignable’s 2024 Local Business Person of the Year Contest reached unparalleled participation levels, logging a whopping 309,000+ votes, 64,000+ recommendations, and an unheard-of number of local winners – over 5,100 across the U.S. and Canada. During the 2024 contest, more than 5,000 business owners emerged as winners (including ties), across 4,820 communities. That’s an increase of more than 1,100 additional Local Business People of 2024 compared to 2023.

These leaders were commended for helping their peers and communities through a year with many challenges, including rising interest rates and rents, not to mention skyrocketing supply costs.

“Our members can’t stop raving about how this contest supercharged the relationships within their networks, which have sparked referrals, ignited fresh business opportunities, and fueled an unstoppable wave of mutual support,” said Eric Groves, CEO and Co-Founder of Alignable. “Small business owners are the vibrant heartbeat of their communities, and it’s high time they got the recognition they deserve. With over 64,000 recommendations pouring in from this year’s contest, it’s crystal clear: when small business owners unite, they become an unstoppable force.”

The Taylors received a special badge on their Alignable profile, recognizing this big win. In past years, the awareness generated through similar contests has spurred expanded connections, as well as new business for many winners.

Learn more about Andra and Dr. Tam Taylor and their company, TaylorMade Global, at its official website at TaylorMadeGlobal.com

For press inquiries and media interview requests, contact Chuck Casto at chuck@alignable.com


Black Woman Pioneers Patented Design For Eco-Friendly Paper Plates With Built-In Cup Holder

Lisa Renee Bell, a trailblazing African-American female entrepreneur from Washington, DC, is the mastermind behind Bell Bowls, a line of disposable eco-friendly paper plates with a built-in cup holder. Designed and patented under her visionary leadership, her unique products represent a paradigm shift in the food storage industry, specifically when it comes to paper plates and sustainability.

Bell Bowls is not just another food container; it’s a game-changer. Engineered to hold both food and a lightweight cold beverage in one hand, it allows the other hand to remain free to savor every bite. This innovative and ingenious design underscores Lisa’s understanding of modern-day convenience and the evolving needs of consumers.

Notably, Lisa self-financed every stage of Bell Bowls’ journey — from development and manufacturing to its importation from China to the USA. Her unwavering commitment to the product’s ingenuity and her entrepreneurial spirit have been the driving forces behind her product’s inception and successful journey to the marketplace.

Bell Bowls’ launch has been strategically orchestrated to align with Bell’s vision of attracting big-box retail distribution companies. Her ambition is clear: to position her brand as an indomitable force within the US market and then set sights on global expansion. With the correct partnerships, her design is poised to disrupt the $20 billion US paper plates and cups market and make substantial waves in the expansive $100 billion global market.

For consumers eager to experience the unparalleled convenience and future of food containers and paper plates, Lisa’s product line is currently available for purchase on Amazon and can also be ordered at BellBowls.com

For press inquiries, partnerships, or more information, please contact 202-744-6502 or lisa@bellbowls.com


Founder Empowers Black-Owned Businesses To Hire Through Innovative Bartering Platform

Nicole Murphy is creating a sustainable future for Black-owned businesses beyond financial constraints with Barter Black®. With over 3.12 million businesses owned by Black entrepreneurs making up a vibrant part of the economy, yet less than 5% reaching the status of employer firms compared to a little over 80% of white-owned businesses, the need for a shift from financial to human capital becomes clear. This discrepancy highlights not just an economic divide but a pressing call for a community-centric approach to fostering sustainable growth in Black-owned businesses.

Barter Black® rises to this challenge, showcasing that the key to longevity for Black businesses lies not in monetary influxes but in a dedicated community’s power to uplift one another. “Money alone won’t secure our businesses’ future,” asserts Murphy. “It’s about leveraging our collective human capital through a community committed to mutual growth. This is how we can truly start to rebuild Black Wall Street for the modern age, utilizing technology as our foundation.”

The platform’s mission directly addresses the triad of challenges most commonly faced by Black entrepreneurs: funding, hiring, and building a supportive community. By creating an ecosystem where businesses barter services and expertise, Barter Black® provides a practical pathway for overcoming these hurdles, enabling businesses to scale and thrive. Barter Black® cultivates this ecosystem through a variety of initiatives, including speed networking events, power hour sessions, monthly grant meetups, and a weekly podcast that showcases a diverse array of business owners. These efforts are more than just events; they are the building blocks of a robust support network, essential for the growth and sustainability of Black-owned businesses.

“Imagine a world where Black-owned businesses and business ideas aren’t hindered by lack of funds or the challenges of hiring,” Murphy invites. “Through Barter Black®, we’re not just imagining it; we’re building it. By prioritizing human capital over financial capital, we’re paving the way for a new era of Black entrepreneurship.”

This initiative transcends being a mere platform; it’s a movement dedicated to revolutionizing the Black business landscape. It’s a community of digital course creators, accountants, marketers, and more, all united under the mission to make Black-owned businesses more sustainable and independent.

Join us in this transformative journey at BarterBlack.io and engage with us on social media @ibarterblack

Subscribe to Exclusive Grant List – www.barterblack.io/grants

Apply for the Barter Black® Subscription Grant – www.barterblack.io/barter-black-subscription-grant

For press inquiries, send an email to contactus@ibarterblack.com


Founder Of Black-Owned Wireless Carrier With $12M In Revenue Celebrates 5 Years In Business

After 7 long months of closing out new activations to rebrand and restructure, Tesix Wireless Network, the prepaid wireless carrier founded by Chaymeriyia Moncrief, an Alabama tech founder, has officially reopened activations to the public this week. Over the last five years, the wireless carrier has generated over $12 million pre-profit, and while that’s a big number, the startup saw a number of challenges that called for a full reconstruction of the brand—and that also meant not welcoming any new subscribers for a while.

Chaymeriyia introduced Tesix Wireless in 2018 when she officially launched the telecom startup. What started as an idea when she was just 17-18 years old would later become one of the very few Black-owned wireless carriers in the United States.

The startup was born out of her frustration with her own wireless bill during that time. She had just gotten her first contract phone when turning 18 years old and was shocked at how the pricing, the plans, and bills worked with major carriers. Things were excessive and way more than the 18-year-old could handle.

“I was 18 years old, working at Taco Bell and making less than $450/month. I was finally old enough to get the phone I wanted on a contract. I thought everything was ‘pay-as-you-see’. I thought I would be paying $90/month — Something I thought I could handle, but to my surprise, I had so many different fees that were resulting in $150 or more bills,” she remembers.

Already working on the idea of launching her own smartphone (Which she later did in 2020), that’s when it hit her: Why not create a phone service that would be more affordable for kids her age? Easier said than done, the idea never left.

“The frustration kind of got worse over time because I found myself spending my entire work checks just to get my phone back on. It finally got to the point–I had to go prepaid. That pain point kind of stuck with me in the launching of Tesix Wireless years later because of course, launching a wireless carrier was easier said than done,” she says.

When it comes to creating, building, and launching a telecom company, the biggest issue lies in securing access to cellphone towers, land, and of course hundreds of millions of dollars to build these things. Like every major carrier in the world, each owns the infrastructure and towers that their service runs on and every prepaid carrier utilizes those same towers without having to purchase their own.

“When I learned this at 18 years old, I realized it was nearly impossible to get this kind of access or even that kind of money to launch a carrier. Expensive wasn’t even the word for it,” she expresses. “I left the idea alone pretty quickly and it wasn’t until a few years later that I realized I needed to lease space on the other major carrier’s tower to create a prepaid carrier.”

Once a full understanding was reached by the founder, she now knew what she needed to do and set out to become one of the youngest African American founders to launch a prepaid wireless carrier. Just 25 at the time, it was a huge milestone and breakthrough moment that isn’t commonly seen in the telecom space.

Over the last 5 years, the founder admits that the road has not been easy and that many hurdles were met. Running a wireless carrier in such a picky and brutal space — challenges are inevitable. But despite the challenges, the company has lasted far beyond what the average startup does and celebrates that very simple aspect, and has continued to grow.

Over the last year, the founder has spent time rebranding and completely restructuring the company’s backend. Integrating various aspects that will allow it to scale and has begun preparing the carrier for the future of wireless. From bringing the ability to activate instantly to integrating various AI features into its new mobile app to create easier account access and plan metric tracking — the 2.0 launch is a huge step forward for the company.

“This year we will be putting heavy focus into our marketing, more than ever. The key for us is to continue building brand awareness and increasing our brand credibility because, in this space, that credibility means everything to our growth,” she says. “I am very excited about the future of the company and everything that’s to come.”

Regarding working in the telecommunications and tech space, Chaymeriyia comments, “Being in this space has been a major eye-opener over the last 5 years. I’ve learned a lot that will allow me to move forward to really build an amazing brand going forward. Tech and telecom are a major part of the future — one that we are already entering, and running my startups has allowed me to really position myself for what’s to come in the space and to fully understand that there are no limitations.”

She adds, “The consistency and drive required to succeed in telecom when you’re among giants that take up more than 90% of the space may be very intimidating, but I’ve learned that if I can make it 5 years here, I can build something even more incredible.”

Learn more about her company at TesixWireless.com