Free software solutions for Black-founded SMBs
Five martech vendors offer free tech to Black founders.
A group of martech vendors have banded together to give away their technologies to Black-founded businesses that have bootstrapped or raised less than $30 million in venture capital, and have fewer than 150 employees.
The first five vendors involved in the initiative were Amplitude, Branch, Braze, mParticle, and Radar. They have since been joined by Dialpad, Notion, and some other vendors yet to be announced.
How did it all start? Will Crocker, VP, Customer and Partner Marketing at Braze credits mParticle CEO Michael Katz with the initial idea. “We wanted to figure out what we could do within our expertise to give back to the larger community,” said Crocker. “Michael Katz had the idea around two weeks ago, he shot around an email, and the five original partners—we’re very close, we integrate together all the time—quickly got on board. Our mission is to create an eco-system that provides technology to empower these Black entrepreneurs, and we just want to level the playing field.” Applicants can sign up here.
With so many vendors committing to the cause in such a short period, it surely has the potential to grow much bigger. “We want this to grow as large as it can. We only know where we are today, but I hope it gets quite big. We have probably another half dozen on the brink of being added.”
Who exactly is this aimed at? The offer is aimed at any Black-founded brand which meets the basic criteria of limited funding and relatively small workforce. “Each vendor that’s part of the program can put some additional criteria on it. Speaking for Braze, something we did was limited our initial cohort to ten companies. We plan to expand that, but we feel that in order to be maximally effective, we want to provide all these people onboarding services as well as our software, and we don’t have unlimited onboarding services to offer. Some of the other partners have set some other small limits.”
Why we care. Most companies in the martech space, and especially some of the major players, have been getting the rhetoric right on diversity—and that’s important. It’s great to see vendors coming together in the hope of making a practical difference, in a movement with potential for rapid growth.