Braze (Nasdaq: BRZE), the comprehensive customer engagement platform that powers interactions between consumers and the brands they love, has opened applications for the third cohort of its Tech for Black Founders product grant program. In its third year, the program will provide 15 Black entrepreneurs in Canada, EMEA, and the U.S., with a year of free Braze technology and resources that allow them to accelerate growth and scale as rapidly and efficiently as possible. Applications will be accepted now until Feb.19.
“Tech for Black Founders allowed us to scale our marketing communications with Braze, a premium product in the market, despite limited resources and pre-Series A funding,” said Winston Vakunta, Director of Marketing at Esusu, a fintech platform that reports on-time rental payments to credit bureaus to improve renters credit scores. “Braze helped us streamline our onboarding and ongoing messaging, improving customer engagement and retention.”
“Braze is proud to be a founding member of the Tech for Black Founders Program. It’s been extremely rewarding to see companies like Esusu use Braze, grow their business and eventually raise funding,” said Rod McLeod, VP of Social Impact at Braze. “At Braze, we take a growth mindset to everything that we do. In an effort to go above and beyond offering free products this year, we plan to increase customer success and support functions to focus on fostering community amongst these companies.”
Today, only 1% of founders backed by venture capital in the United States are Black. This figure speaks to the ways in which the odds are stacked against Black technologists and entrepreneurs. Tech for Black Founders was launched in May 2020 by Braze and its founding partners Amplitude, Branch, mParticle, and Radar, to provide Black founders with free access to valuable technology to accelerate their growth, increasing their chances at securing funding and building successful businesses. In 2022, Braze provided grants to 22 Black-founded businesses in EMEA and the U.S., totaling $744,000 in annualized value.
Grant Details and Process:
To be eligible for the grant program, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Identify as a Black founder in Canada, EMEA, or the U.S.
- Bootstrapped business or less than $30M in VC funding
- Have fewer than 100 employees
- Compatible SDK and appropriate Engineering/Marketing resources
Braze offers technology that allows recipients to capture, analyze and act on customer data to engage their customers across channels and create personalized experiences. For the 15 businesses selected to participate, the program will offer:
- Free platform access for 12 months, with opportunity to renew at discounted rates pending business qualifications at time of renewal
- Onboarding services to get you up and running (live within six weeks unless customers also purchase SMS)
- Unlimited Push Notifications, Webhooks, and In-App/In-Browser messaging for up to 250,000 Monthly Active Users
- Email costs covered up to 10 million emails and two IP addresses
- One Currents – Messaging Events integration
- Access to our SDKs and APIs
- Braze documentation and over 25 hours of educational marketing videos and content in Braze Learning
- Access to a dedicated, digital community space and programming events to connect with fellow Black founders from past and present cohorts