ABOVE: Bet on Black judges
Black founders only received a fraction — 1.2 percent — of the $147 billion in venture capital invested in U.S. startups through the first half of 2021, Crunchbase numbers show. Compared to the more than 13 percent of the U.S. population that is Black or African American, those figures are concerning.
Aware of this disparity, Target and Revolt recently announced they’ve partnered to “advance Black founders who have disruptive ideas to make the world a better place Target’s multimillion-dollar investment includes $500,000 in startup funding and mentorship for founders,” per a news release.
Bet on Black, a new series where Black entrepreneurs pitch their businesses in the hopes of securing critical funding will premiere on Revolt’s digital platforms January 10 at 8 p.m. CST and extend to all platforms starting January 11 at 8 p.m. CST.
The show features expert judges and celebrity guests including T-Pain, Zerina Akers and DJ Envy, who will select their favorite business ideas to receive financial backing. Target’s Melanie Gatewood-Hall, Senior Divisional of Merchandising in Apparel & Accessories and former Director of Multicultural Merchandise, will also serve on this panel of judges.
Revolt and Target says the series aims to invest in businesses that build communities, support social justice, and create lasting change, with one entrepreneur ultimately walking away with $200,000 in funding and mentorship from Target. Each episode will feature the business ideas of three innovative entrepreneurs working to revolutionize a range of industries – from technology and entertainment to style, beauty, and beyond.
“We appreciate Target for being a fearless partner that understands and supports our vision to launch programs like Bet on Black, which expand beyond entertainment to inform and inspire our community in every category,” said Detavio Samuels, CEO of REVOLT. “Empowering Black entrepreneurs starts with providing access to the capital, guidance and resources they need to build companies that revolutionize industries and make a scalable impact on the world.”
Target’s multimillion-dollar investment in the series is one of many in support of its Racial Equity Action and Change (REACH) strategy to create an environment where Black guests feel more welcome and represented at Target.
“Target has a long history of partnering with diverse media organizations to reach our guests, and we’ve committed to increasing our investments with Black-owned media companies and better supporting Black entrepreneurs,” said Maurice Cooper, Senior Vice President of Brand and Category Marketing for Target. “We’re proud of our groundbreaking partnership with REVOLT, which is unlocking inventive and impactful ways to connect with and bring joy to our guests. Our investment not only enables the creation of a must-see series, it will also fundamentally change the trajectory of deserving Black enterprises.”