Tag Archives: start up

Celebrity Cyber Report – Kevin Hart, Lionel Richie

Comedian Kevin Hart in association with Lionsgate will launch a streaming comedy app entitledLaugh Out Loudon August 3rd. Content for the show appears to be plentiful with Hart’s comedy front and center. Among the shows planned are “Campus Law,” which places recent grads in security guard jobs at their alma mater.  Another sitcom planned for the service is “Dead House,” where a human joins a reality show alongside four zombies. Comedian Jo Koy will host a series that highlights viral pranks called “Inglorious Pranksters.”  Another show,”Black Geo,”  is a comedy series that satirically investigates the origins of black culture.

“Laugh Out Loud” will also offer all theDef Comedy Jam” seasons as well as standup sets from the comedy festivalJust for Laughs.” The service will also offer comedy from YouTube star GloZellVine stars King Bach and DC Young Fly, Emmanuel Hudson and MADtv performer Anjelah Johnson. Kevin Hart will have his own comedy series as Lyft driver using hidden cameras entitledKevin Hart-Lyft Legend.” In the show Hart plays old and hilarious Lyft driver Donald Mac. 

The ” Laugh Out Loud” app will be available on Apple and Android for free on August 3rd for $3 a month allowing users to stream shows ad-free. 

Lionel Richie

Lionel Richie with “Heal” Founder Nick Desai

Singer, song writer and all around music legend Lionel Richie has decided to invest in new health care appHeal.” Richie is no stranger to tech investing as he was an early investor in the software colossus Microsoft. Richie has turned his sites and money on the new start up to bring the kind of quality medical care he remembers to others.

A native of Tuskegee, AL, Richie said, “If you’re born and raised in Alabama in a small, tight-knit community, you know all the doctors, you know all the nurses… No one said meet me at the office at 8 o clock in the morning and wait.”

That’s what drew Richie to “Heal.” He believes this technology and new business model could return a degree of service that seems to have disappeared from American healthcare.

“Heal” is a doctor-on-demand service that provides personalized doctor visits booked through an app on a user’s phone for $99 per visit.

Speaking about his first meeting with “Heal” founder Nick Desai Richie said, “When I met with Nick, he said ‘Here’s the pitch: we want to bring back affordable healthcare with doctors coming to the house in less than two hours.’ I said… are you kidding me… from there it was pretty much a question of how he could he pull this off? And when I realized they had actually pulled off the logistics of it, that was it… It was pretty much what I love.”

Richie, like many celebrity tech investors, has taken the time to get to know some of technology’s most influential movers and shakers as friends. Richie counts both Yuri Milner and Elon Musk as friends. It was Milner who got the music legend involved in the start up world. 

“Yuri is my entrée,” said Richie. “Yuri is the one who got me with the bug… I find that when I speak to him he has one one more fascinating thing to tell me after another.”

Richie likes the the fact he does not have to leave L.A. to find tech investment opportunities. “Silicon Valley and its innovation is moving here. That innovation is a new wave of creativity. And I can’t help but want to be a part of that future, said Richie.

“Heal” is free and available for the Apple and Android devices.

ShearShare – App of the Week and Start-Up of the Year

ShearShare Founders Courtney and Tye Caldwell

Business success is about finding the sweet spot where supply meets demand. The right recipe mixing supply and demand creates opportunity. Thats is why ShearShare is the App of the Week and Start Up of the Year.

ShearShare is the brainchild of Courtney and Tye Caldwell. This ingenious couple created an app that allows barbers, beauticians, manicurist and stylist to find a space to work. An empty barber chair or hair station does not make money. But using ShearShare a shop owner can fill that spot and a barber or beautician can have a place to work, on demand.

ShearShare has exploded on the scene in 250 cities and in 11 countries and expanding to another 32 cities. ShearShare plans to be in every state where booth rentals are allowed by June of 2017. ShearShare was named Tech.co Start-Up of the Year for 2016.

One of things that makes this app so powerful is the fact that it solves a problem by using technology to address a changing industry. Stylists were no longer renting space for very long. Many stylist became more transient. This is where supply and demand became genius for this Texas couple.

Tye is the owner of  Salon74 by Tye.  Calls came into his Plano, TX salon from stylists seeking to borrow a seat in his salon for a day or two. These calls came in from local stylists and out of state. A good stylists or barber is hard to find and the good ones have dedicated and loyal clients. But people move. And smart stylists wanted to continue to service their clientele. Let me give you an example; former President Barack Obama flew his barber in from Chicago every two weeks.  Short term rental of salon space was not an industry practice but it was a good idea.

Tye saw the opportunity. “We were still trying to fill our empty salon suites the old way, by having stylists sign long-term contracts,” said Tye. “But we soon realized that we could make some money on our space rather than none. We said ‘let’s try it out, it can’t hurt.’ Then it kept happening over and over again. We were manually matching stylists to salons at first, but at state number 5, we thought there had to be something out there to scale this. There has to be an app for that.”

The result of this action lead to the creation of an app that allows mobile and home beauticians an opportunity to work for their clients in a professional setting while at the same time creating revenue for the shop owner.

ShearShare is available for Android and Apple devices.


Black Women in Technology Doing Their Own Thing

Aniyia L. Williams, Founder, CEO of Tinsel

Women are different creatures. Their sense of beauty and aesthetics is keen. Because of this they are often caught at the collision of technology and style. The perfect outfit can be ruined by the functional style of technology. One black women has recognized that style and technology do not have to clash. Aniyia L. Williams is the founder and CEO of Tinsel. Williams creates technology enabled jewelry for women that blends the two. Tinsel products  are designed to ensure that women can enjoy technology with style.

Williams is an alumna of Code2040 a program who’s stated goal is to promote African-Americans and Latinos as true technology innovators and entrepreneurs by the year 2040. The leaders of this program believe that  “the nation as a whole will be stronger when the contributions of communities of color are sought out and included within the innovation economy. As result, in 2040, we envision a nation as a whole that is more equitable, innovative, and prosperous.”

Tinsel Dipper Ear Buds

Williams is a remarkable women who is proud of her multiple talents. Her personal website lists them as not only the founder of Tinsel but also marketer, musician, hair magician. techie, foodie and mother.

In addition to Tinsel Williams serves as Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) with her alma mater CODE2040, she works with Google for Entrepreneurs, and is a board member of the non-profit audio engineering group Women’s Audio Mission.

Aniyia Williams decided that style and function can work together with technology in the mix. Williams’ Tinsel design company is the product of a common dilemma that is headphones that lack feminine style and are a problem to keep track of and store.  There had to be an answer.

Tinsel Audio Necklace

Williams answer to the problem was to put great-sounding earbuds inside a fashionable necklace that kept them ready use, out of sight and still looking great with any outfit. A great idea but Williams had never started a business before nor created discreet, miniaturized audio equipment. This was her challenge.

Williams went to work on her dream even while hiding her pregnancy from her employees and investors. But that is another exciting story.

Williams startup was bare bones but her target goal was to get a prototype ready. She was dedicated to creating a quality product and studied audio engineering so her product would deliver quality sound while still looking great. Williams made maximum use of her connections  like her former boss at Vox CEO Tom Katis.

The results of one black women following her dream has resulted in a company that pioneers the converging region of style and technology. Williams worked with co-founder Monia Santinello to push Tinsel to the front as a fashion/tech brand.

Another remarkable fact of the Tinsel brand is that it is almost all women who have built it. “A man just doesn’t come from a place of knowing what happens when you wake up in the morning and decide to put on a piece of jewelry,” Williams said. “It’s not just about having the technical chops, it’s about deeply understanding the use case and the demographic.”

Tinsel’s first product named the Dipper launched an Indiegogo campaign  to generate much needed capital and to prove to potential investors that Williams had truly found a market worth backing. The campaign was a success bringing in more than $50,000 in pre-orders.

With this success Tinsel is now up and flying as a fashion/tech company. Check out the company website to see its products.

Now you know.