BLAK Fintech (BLAK) was born out of pure passion of social responsibility in the spirit of entrepreneurship. Founded by our CEO Divine, the concept of BLAK (Building Leverage Acquiring Knowledge) was first ideated when he discovered that African-Americans possessed over $1 trillion in annual spending power. Wielding a wealth so large, that if African-Americans were a country and it was their GDP, they'd be the 16th largest in the world. Knowing first hand the poor financial health of African-Americans, especially those who reside in low- to moderate-income urban communities throughout the US, Divine was compelled to close that gap and build a tech-driven solution. Having an intimate knowledge and keen sense of what was necessary to build a real solution that would facilitate and expedite financial and economic empowerment for African-Americans, BLAK was born! BLAK is an acronym for Building Leverage Acquiring Knowledge, it denotes a process of success that Divine has always personally applied throughout his life to overcome odds, obstacles and disadvantages.
During a first time meeting in NYC with Will Hayes, President and CEO of Lucidworks, Divine shared his passion and enthusiasam about BLAK and what it had the potential to become in solving a huge problem. Will was sold! He believed in the vision, the mission, and most importantly, Divine. He became our first pre-seed investor and now serves as BLAK's Chairman.
Since then, BLAK has focused on building the brand in a way that not only lets the customer know that BLAK products and services are a real solution for them, but that could resonate as genuine, authentic and trustworthy with a very skeptical demographic.
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We at BLAK know that finding the right products, services and/or strategic partner is a choice not to be taken lightly. That’s why we offer the opportunity to discuss your needs, the scope of your goals, and your strategy to see how we can best assist and potentially partner.
CEO & FOUNDER
DIVINE (THE URBAN ENTREPRENEUR)
Divine is a disruptor in every sense of the word with his relentless ambition, determination, grind and hustle. He is a visionary, leader and a raw and intuitive entrepreneurial thinker with infectious energy and passion, and relentless focus and drive. A former substantial street hustler, and Hip-Hop/Rap recording artist turned tech entrepreneur, he first appeared on the tech community radar in 2014 when he reached out to famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist (VC) Ben Horowitz, Co-Founder of top-tier VC firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), on social media via Twitter, and the two eventually became friends. A year later, with only an 8th grade formal education and no tech background, Divine would found his first startup, BLAK Fintech.
Divine has over 15 years of experience in the urban music industry, culture and lifestyle marketing, as well as 2 years in fintech focused on prepaid debit cards, banking and payment systems, and emerging financial technology. His personal redemptive life story and journey into technology has been an inspiration to many. Divine has been featured via such media outlets as Forbes, TechCrunch, Black Enterprise, Entrepreneur, and Inc. Being a formerly incarcerated individual with a decade of incarceration, as an inspirational speaker, Divine now utilizes his life story and journey of redemption to inspire people worldwide.
In 2017, he was selected as a keynote speaker by Georgia State University’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute’s Russell Center, for their Influential Speaker Series, and for the annual event, France Fintech: Revolution held in Paris. He has been featured at numerous events focused on diversity and inclusion in tech, and most recently become a voice against mass incarceration and for criminal justice reform. Divine is currently writing a book on his life, is now a Contributor to Black Enterprise (BE), and was a panelist at the 2018 BE Tech Connext Summit.
CHAIRMAN & INVESTOR
WILL HAYES (THE BIG DATA TECHNOLOGIST)
Will is the President and CEO of Lucidworks and has run startups in Big Data and Technology for 15 years. Will has served as the Director of Business Development, Senior Solutions Architect and Engineering Program Manager at various tech companies with successful exits, and has extensive hands-on experience in engineering and programming, business development, Big Data and Technology.
CEO & FOUNDER, PIGEONLY
CEO & FOUNDER, VALMO VENTURES
MANAGING PARTNER, THE WALKER GROUP
CEO & FOUNDER, FINSTRIDES
CEO & FOUNDER, REZZ CARD