November 1, 2023
Today, Visible Hands has announced the first cohort of 23 entrepreneurs for this year’s Amex Ventures x Visible Hands Founder Summit, which will be held on November 8th in collaboration with Amex Ventures. The goal of the program is to provide exceptional founders with an inside look into corporate venture capital and building commercial relationships, as well as connect with fellow founders.
Visible Hands is an early-stage venture capital firm that supports and funds founders from diverse backgrounds across the US, and is teaming up with Amex Ventures, the early-stage venture capital arm of American Express. This half-day immersive summit is for diverse founders of pre-seed and seed-stage ventures, in alignment with Amex Ventures’ investment
criteria. This year’s Founder Summit will focus on helping startups build impactful relationships within American Express, as well as helping them build broader support networks within the founder community. Amex Ventures not only provides capital to startups but also offers them
access to American Express' resources, expertise, and industry knowledge.
“At Amex Ventures, we are always looking for the best and brightest entrepreneurs who are solving real problems for our customers and can drive innovation for our business,” said Matt Sueoka, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Amex Ventures. “ We are excited to work with Visible Hands to host the first Amex Ventures x Visible Hands Founder Summit. This is a valuable opportunity for Amex Ventures to connect with and support promising founders from different backgrounds.”
“We’re excited to team up with Amex Ventures to provide our diverse community of founders unique insight into corporate venture capital and enterprise relationships,” said Justin Kang, General Partner and Co-Founder at Visible Hands. “Founders will leave having made connections with experts from Amex and better prepared to navigate large corporations, a key vehicle for growth for many founders.”
This year’s cohort is made up of 23founders innovating in core focus areas to Amex Ventures and American Express, across the consumer, B2B, and enterprise sectors.
Here are the founders part of this year’s Summit:
Blacktag — Akin Adebowale
Blacktag is a global platform for Black creators.
Blue Onion — Lyndsey Bunting
Blue Onion automates order-to-cash reconciliation across order management systems, payment processors, and bank payouts. They ensure that companies get paid for every order and can focus on scaling the business with accurate financial data.
BoxedUp — Donald Boone
BoxedUp is a Cloud-based e-commerce platform for B2B rental companies — the Shopify for rentals.
CaliberX — Dakotah Rice
CaliberX provides infrastructure for the antiquated, highly manual alternative asset industry using APIs. Its system makes it easier than ever for companies to manage Alts offerings by abstracting away the technological and operational complexities needed to support Alts, massively reducing operational costs.
Churchspace — Emmanuel Brown
ChurchSpace is a two-sided marketplace that helps churches turn their underutilized real estate into on-demand commercial space for locals (just think the Airbnb for churches.)
CyDeploy — Tina Williams-Koroma
CyDeploy uses machine learning to solve the problem of technology changes that result in broken infrastructure and disrupted operations.
Dioptra — Farah Gasmi
DivySci — Ariana Abramson
DivySci helps customer service agents communicate more effectively with their customers. DivySci’s novel AI Speech Technology enables businesses to convert lost opportunities due to ineffective communication into money back into their pockets through a B2B SaaS platform.
Dorothy — Arianna Armelli
Dorothy is the first comprehensive benefit network for homeowners and commercial businesses, providing access to streamlined cash from filed insurance claims, enhanced accessibility to recovery services, and tangible rewards for all property prevention, maintenance, and recovery spending.
FanFest — Segen Tilahun
FanFest is the first interactive live podcast network optimized for the biggest names in sports to monetize new fan segments with minimal operational effort. The FanFest network combines sports influencers from around the world, virtual event technology, and integrations with every digital fan touchpoint to help teams monetize their fans through sponsored and membership/token-gated interactive podcasts.
Genie AI — Imge Su Cetin
Genie is revolutionizing the way teams do data analytics. Genie is a AI data analyst that never sleeps. Utilizing a gen-ai-sql technology, Genie automates the writing of complex queries to get to insights in seconds.
Guava — Kelly Ifill
Guava is the digital banking and networking platform designed by and for Black small business owners.
Hype — Nick Chen
Hype is the all-in-one marketing and payments app that’s helping a new generation of social-savvy entrepreneurs and freelancers grow their businesses faster.
Metal — Sergio Prada
Metal is an LLM retrieval engine and apps platform.
Musetax — Colin Horsford
Muse is a platform that helps individual taxpayers and SMBs extract data from tax returns, maximize refunds, and create personalized tax plans through an AI-based, tax planning module. Muse’s tax engine can be embedded into 3rd party platforms so financial institutions can provide custom, scenario-based tax planning and better serve clients across their ecosystem.
Overwatch Data — Zara Perumal
Overwatch Data is an AI-powered monitoring platform. Whether you want to understand a fast moving issue or industry, gauge sentiment around brands, or track global events, Overwatch has users covered.
Paerpay — Derek Canton
Paerpay is the fastest payment and guest engagement platform for merchants.
Re/tell — Joy Fan
Re/tell is building the future of neighborhood retail. The B2B marketplace and booking platform brings the best online brands to the physical world through shared retail by matching brands to underutilized excess space within SMBs.
Shubox — Anthony Matos
Shubox uses alternative data and clustering models to help small business lenders underwrite more loans with less risk. It leverages artificial intelligence to drive real impact.
Sign-Speak — Yami Payano
Sign-Speak provides real-time ASL Translation, enabling businesses everywhere to more effectively communicate with their Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients and employees.
Sprezi — Jennifer Laine
Sprezi is an inference engine connecting people with places — globally. They’re uniquely able to avoid false positives and false negatives in novel ways by weaving together our users’ most valuable assets — their history, taste, social preferences, and relationships. Sprezi in turn becomes the one trusted partner for their scare social attention and even scarcer sought-after memories.
Stratyfy — Laura Kornhauser
Trayd — Anna Berger
Trayd is a construction payroll platform designed for same-day pay.
About Visible Hands
Visible Hands is a VC firm that provides exceptional founders from underrepresented backgrounds with the funds, hands-on support, and community they need to thrive at the earliest stages of company building. VH invests in overlooked founders nationally at the pre-seed and seed stages and run programs like accelerators, fellowships, and wellness retreats. Every year, Visible Hands supports and invests in hundreds of companies through its programming and partnerships with companies like AWS, Google for Startups, the Barr Foundation, and more.
About Amex Ventures
Amex Ventures was formed in 2011 as the venture capital arm of American Express. Amex Ventures invests in early-stage startups at the Seed to Series A & B stage that operate in areas strategically relevant to American Express. These areas of relevance extend beyond fintech and payments
to encompass retail, consumer, lifestyle, marketplace technologies, Web3, and more. Their team offers the resources of a global services company paired with the experience of a leading venture fund. Learn more here.