The African Diaspora Network (ADN) has introduced the third cohort of entrepreneurs in its Accelerating Black Leadership and Entrepreneurship (ABLE) program. This Silicon Valley accelerator initiative is tailored to uplift Black-owned businesses, providing training, mentorship, and networking opportunities throughout the United States, with the goal of fostering economic growth and entrepreneurial success.
The program is a response to the concerning disparity in venture capital funding, with Black startups receiving only one percent of the total. This figure is even lower for Black women-led startups.
ADN, working tirelessly behind the scenes, has been raising awareness and driving tangible change. Through the ABLE program, ADN aims to equip Black entrepreneurs with the skills, mentorship, and access to funding they need to thrive.
The diverse range of sectors represented in this third ABLE cohort includes education, healthcare, finance, renewable energy, and connectivity. Each sector addresses critical needs within the Black community while contributing to sustainable global progress.
Meet the Entrepreneurs:
Akinsola Jegede, CEO of Vital Swap Technologies
A seasoned systems architect and entrepreneur, Akinsola brings over seven years of experience in developing technical solutions for multinational U.S. corporations. His personal experience as an immigrant fuels his commitment to creating innovative solutions for global financial accessibility.
Bobola Odebiyi, Founder & CEO of CrossKudi
Bobola, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), has a unique perspective, having started his career as a taxi driver in Chicago. He has provided tax consulting services to hedge fund and private equity clients and co-led the PwC global Blockchain Community of Interest.
Omolola Omishore, CEO of TheraMotive
A first-generation Nigerian-American Doctor of Physical Therapy, Omolola brings over a decade of experience to her practice. She has worked with a diverse range of patients, from Professional Athletes to stroke survivors, and is committed to providing top-notch healthcare for all.
Serge Amouzou, CEO & Founder of Datatrixs
Serge empowers accounting firms with continuous client advisory services, drawing from his experience in the FinTech sector.
Samuel Baddoo, CEO of Fleri
Growing up in Accra, Ghana, Samuel’s experiences with migration led him to start Fleri, a membership-based platform for global migrants to support their loved ones back home.
Christopher Benneth, Founder/Attorney of T-I-L(R)
Chris is the founder of a social impact law and legal technology startup, working to make intellectual property rights more accessible to the underrepresented.
Tyrell Junius, Co-founder & COO of Tiami Networks
Tyrell played a key role at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center before co-founding Tiami Networks. The company focuses on connecting remote areas with reliable connectivity, promoting digital inclusion.
Rhode Malivert, CEO of K-12 Preparatory Academy
Originally from Haiti, Rhode’s entrepreneurial journey started after 14 years in the corporate world. Her educational empowerment initiative extends its reach globally.
Sarah Odiavbara, Chief Technology Officer of Craftmerse Inc.
An experienced full-stack developer, Sarah leads the technology efforts at Craftmerce, an online marketplace connecting African handmade brands with global buyers.
Clement Owusu-Donkor, Founder & CEO of Aquanto
With extensive experience in IT and telecommunications engineering, Clement founded Aquanto, an e-commerce, shipping, and third-party logistics company.
Shingi Samudzi, Founder & CEO of Asoba
Shingi is dedicated to clean energy, leveraging virtual power plant software through Asoba to aggregate excess clean energy and provide on-demand electricity.
The program commenced with a virtual Kickoff Celebration on Thursday, September 7, and will conclude with a Pitch Day for potential investors on October 26, at Santa Clara University’s Lucas Hall and on Zoom.
Almaz Negash, Founder and Executive Director of the African Diaspora Network, commended this cohort as the vanguard of future leadership. She urged those in positions of influence to extend a helping hand, unlocking doors and fostering pathways to invaluable opportunities.
ABLE is made possible through a partnership between ADN and the Silicon Valley Executive Center at the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University, with lead funding from Bill.com and the Makahakama Foundation, along with additional funding from KLA Foundation, Black Freedom Fund, Black Rock Foundation, and the County of Santa Clara.