Displaying items by tag: Technology

Black and minority students at five school districts in the Washington, D.C. region will be beneficiaries of a $6 million commitment by JPMorgan Chase to help train and equip youth to land well-paying tech jobs.

Published in Around the Web
Thursday, 15 November 2018 15:09

Rapper Akon Aims to Build Real Wakanda

In his breakout hit single “Locked Up,” hip-hop star, producer, and songwriter Akon Thiam sings “Freedom ain’t gettin’ no closer.” Yet, Akon’s philanthropic work and vision for an empowered African diaspora are all about freeing others from economic barriers and creating opportunities.

Published in Around the Web

Aliaume “Akon” Thiam is taking his personal project of building Africa’s infrastructure with the creation of a futuristic city in Senegal whose economy he says will be powered by AKoin, his soon-to-be-launched cryptocurrency.

According to the New York Post, the U.S.-born artist and producer, who is of Senegalese descent, revealed the details of “Akon Crypto City” while speaking on a panel at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

“I think that blockchain and crypto could be the savior for Africa in many ways because it brings the power back to the people and brings the security back into the currency system and also allows the people to utilize it in ways where they can advance themselves and not allow government to do those things that are keeping them down,” Akon said at the Cannes Festival, according to The Post.

The futuristic city will be built on 2,000 acres of land that was gifted to him by Macky Sall, the president of Senegal, and is within 5 minutes of the newly built international airport and also a short drive from the capital city of Dakar, according to its official website. Deeming it the “real-life Wakanda” the site says the cryptocurrency will be a part of AKoin Ecosystem—a global project that “offers an abundance of digital and in-real-life platforms and experiences that create opportunity and inclusion for youth entrepreneurs by allowing consumers to buy, hold, and spend cryptocurrency right from their smartphone through a suite of blockchain-powered apps.”

In 2014, Akon teamed up with Thione Niang and Samba Bathily on an ambitious project to provide electricity to African countries through solar energy. Four years later, the group claims to have operations in 14 countries including Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Benin and Sierra Leone.

When asked technical questions by the panel, he said “I come with the concepts and let the geeks figure it out” per the Post.


Published in Around the Web

Since the 1990’s, One-E-Way CEO Earl Woolfork has been working to create wireless headphones. With perseverance and hard work, he created a pair of headphones that makes wires obsolete.

Woolfork created the E-Clip, wireless external headphones that can connect through AirPlay, Bluetooth and Wifi. The E-Clip is the first headset to connect via AirPlay and transmit high quality sound, according to Woolfork.

“We don’t believe there is a headset on the market that works with AirPlay,” he said. “So, we decided to put together the design and build and manufacture.”

One-E-Way has started a Kickstarter campaign for the E-Clip with a goal of raising $30,000. If connected to Wi-Fi, the E-Clip can play music for up to 10 hours. Through Bluetooth, it offers 50 hours of music playback. It is also equipped with an invisible microphone. The product is manufactured in the USA and can be used when taking calls, streaming videos and playing videogames.

Woolfork has a background in electrical engineering, having studied the subject at his alma mater: USC.

“I thought they actually provided plenty of information necessary,” Woolfork said. “That along with work experience to actually understand how to put something like this together.”

With the product, Woolfork wanted to give the customer a chance to hear music as the artist would want the customer to without wires. The E-Clip can connect with tablets, smart watches and laptops.

“When you’re talking about uncompressed audio, you’re talking about no loss of sound quality,” Woolfork said. “Bluetooth does compress the audio, they do have some compression in there, but Wi-Fi with AirPlay does not.”

What ignited his work was an observation he made while exercising at the Santa Monica stairs around 20 years ago. Woolfork noted that wireless headphones in the late 90’s could only provide AM/FM radio.

“I noticed that as people were working out, it’s kind of a challenge to actually have that wire, it’s kind of dangerous,” he said. “So, I said ‘We can eliminate the wire and not just eliminate the wire, but actually do it with quality sound.’”

Building the technology was a “process” for Woolfork, earning his first patent took him six years. He currently holds six patents.

“We actually started designing and researching and figuring out how this could all come together and then found the patent application. That was filed in 2001,” Woolfork said. “One of the things that we learned is that you have to stay diligent through the process.”

Woolfork however, did not leave the customer without the wire option, the E-Clip does contain a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

“We wanted to make it an all-around device that would provide high quality sound based on our patents,” Woolfork said. “And the ability to be able to use it in any kind of lifestyle.”

In 2015, Woolfork created a line of wireless wearable technology, merging earphones with caps, beanies and sun visors. At that time, he released seven products.

“We launched our first product with our caps, so that was basically having the wireless technology inside the caps,” he said. “It was still kind of unique at the time, that was our initial launch into the market.”


Published in Around the Web

After retiring earlier this year, Kobe Bryant, the former NBA MVP, announced the launch of a $100 million venture capital fund on Monday. Although the fund was quietly co-founded in 2013 with Jeff Stibel, news of the launch went public during a ceremonial ringing of the New York Stock Exchange bell.Shortly after the ceremonial ringing, Bryant and...

Published in Around the Web
Friday, 19 August 2016 07:00

Google Hosts Exchange To Fund Black Startups

The North Carolina tech hub American Underground has announced a first-of-its-kind program with Google for Entrepreneurs that is expressly focused on supporting African American founders raising a seed round (less than $750,000). The weeklong immersion program will run this fall from Oct. 9–15. “The goal is to fund at least 50% of the partic...

Published in Around the Web
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 11:32

From Prison to Wealth in Business Ownership

Black Tech Week held its second annual tech conference last week, which brought several innovators and entrepreneurs to South Florida. One particular panel, called Prison to Wealth, shared the story of Frederick Hutson, CEO of Pigeonly. Hutson’s story not only shared how his company fills a white space in communications but also how he became a s...

Published in Around the Web
Wednesday, 05 August 2015 22:55

Jelani Consulting Funnels Blacks into Tech World

With tech companies under growing pressure to diversify their workforces, Jelani Consulting Inc. is addressing tech disparities by pipelining women and minorities into tech sector careers....

Published in Around the Web

Minority Biz has released a new mobile app. In celebration, the Company is offering all black-owned businesses a limited time free business listing subscription.

Published in Headlines

Will.i.am is on a mission to inspire inner city youth to embrace science and technology....

Published in Headlines
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