ImpactAlpha, June 10 – Before the economic fallout of COVID and mass mobilization for racial justice, Jewel Solomon Burks, Justin Dawkins and Barry Givens were working to rally more investment capital for Black founders and their business innovations overlooked by mainstream venture capital. The three Black entrepreneurs launched Collab Capital, to provide funding and business support to help early-stage Black-owned startups hit revenue targets and retain control of their companies.
“We guide portfolio companies to increased revenues and profitability instead of continuously raising valuations through modern venture capital funding,” the firm says.
Kauffman Foundation and hip-hop artist Lecrae seeded the fund, which has a target of $50 million.
Collab’s first investment is Hairbrella, a woman-owned business in Atlanta that makes weather-proof caps for women. Founder Tracey Pinkett launched the product and company with a Kickstarter campaign and $75,000 of her own investment, AtlantaInno reports. Collab invested $500,000 to help Pinkett grow sales and expand her product line.
In addition to capital, Collab connects founders to corporate and social influencers and hosts workshops and seminars targeted to Black founders and “the sea of challenges” they face.