BIG: Digital Undivided’s Woman-Led Incubator Program

Are you a Black or Latinx woman entrepreneur who needs a little bit of a push and a competitive edge? Look no further!

About the BIG Incubator Program:

As an award-winning program (2x SBA Growth Accelerator Winner, INBIA Incubator of the Year, MIT Inclusive Innovation) that provides a direct pathway into the innovation economy for women of color, the BIG incubator is the only space solely dedicated to the development of high-growth tech businesses founded by Black and Latinx women.

BIG is a direct response to the findings in digitalundivided’s ProjectDiane 2018, a groundbreaking research report that demonstrates the current lack of funding available for Black and Latinx women founders.

The BIG incubator is housed at the BIG Innovation Center, a 3,000-square-foot hub in downtown Atlanta dedicated to fostering innovation in diverse communities. digitalundivided is expanding its BIG Incubator program and Innovation Center to Newark, NJ in 2019 and 3 additional locations by 2020. Applications for the 2019 cohorts in Atlanta and Newark are available here. More details and FAQ’s are available here.


About digitalundivided:

digitalundivided’s (DID) mission is for Black and Latinx women to own their economic security through entrepreneurship and technology. Founded in 2013, DID takes an innovative approach to community-level economic empowerment by creating pathways for Black and Latinx women (BLWE), and thus the larger Black and Latinx communities, into the innovation ecosystem. digitalundivided has demonstrated core competencies in building and scaling successful data-driven programs that remove barriers and create highways for women of color into innovation, entrepreneurship, and has thus served as a singular force in moving the needle on inclusion in the innovation economy as a whole. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Don’t Deny The Importance of Graphic Design

It’s the first thing a customer sees—your design.

Packaging is all a part of the customer experience. Without the right design, you lose the attention of your audience. Everyone likes nice things, even if they don’t admit it. In the age of social media and visual storytelling, your design speaks to a potential customer before the product or service. From logos to websites, brochures, signage, even your business cards, all are a reflection of good branding through design.

It’s how brands stay competitive.

Businesses need good design to create gag-worthy marketing materials, down to the memes on social media. It’s all inclusive. Good design is now an essential part of business development on and offline.

So what is graphic design?

According to Design Hill, graphic design is the visual communication of a company which includes the process of developing typography, layering image with text, or animation in a specific way to convey a company’s unique and distinctive message. As a startup, entrepreneurs often bootstrap design elements, which sometimes works; however, if you want your brand to stand out and bring visibility to your products and/or services, a sizeable part of your budget should be reserved for design. You can Canva your way through business so much before you have to breakdown and hire a professional.

Unless you’re a designer, then…

Here are eight ways, according to Design Hill, graphic design creates influence:

  1. Sales boost
  2. Establish your company name
  3. Build goodwill in your industry
  4. Express your brand message
  5. Brand unity among staff
  6. Professionalism
  7. Persuasive power
  8. Content readability

Does your brand make the list? Click here to read more.


Reminders: Social Media is ‘Social’

Sure, we know social media is the wave, but there’s a responsibility that comes with it. Beyond bombarding your audience with information about your brand’s products and services, there is a duty to engage with your audience and know them intimately. In the early years of business, customers weren’t too concerned with mission and values, corporate and social accountability, or even the ingredients of products. If it tasted or worked good, it was good.

It’s a different time and day.

Consumers want to know as much as they can before they decide on where to spend their money and place their word. Brand loyalty is an investment for the consumer, as opposed to a necessity.

Though social media is a lucrative way to expand your target audience, the key is to stay engaged. It’s about building relationships. It’s hard to do so if all you do is drop a post and disappear. And yes, scheduling is necessary to ensure  continuity; however, lack of follow-up can cause a disconnect between the brand and the consumer.

Don’t forget to be social.

Have a social media manager crafting your content? Be sure they’re responding to comments and replying to DMs. Too much lag time in between responses makes your audience feel unheard and when people feel unheard, they rebel. Ever notice some pages have an influx of  “unhappy” comment? Lack of internal response is the culprit.

Social media is social.

In the age of technology, we’ve learned to remain connected in every aspect except human. Preserve your human currency. Consumers want to know that your business is human. Customer service doesn’t begin with an email inquiry, it starts with the first note of engagement. Your social media platforms may be their first experience and if it’s a sour one, best believe their network will know. For many, despite a hefty social media arsenal, word of mouth still accounts for a vast majority of their sales. The last thing a business needs is an adverse review before a dollar is spent.

Do more than merely push content.

It’s best to aggregate about fifteen minutes per post of “social time” to engage with your audience. The number of followers and reach of the post will determine if it’s longer or shorter. Even if you’re not responding to comments immediately, like the ones posted and be sure to go back send a note of thanks or, at best, an emoji. Acknowledgement goes a long way.

Are you social on social?

Share with us some of your tips and join the conversation on Facebook or Instagram.


Exercise Your Visual Storytelling Super Power With Photo Essays

“Pose for the camera, now flick!”

We’re sure Chinese Philosopher, Mozi, couldn’t surmise the pinholes he created in a darkened room would evolve into the cameras we have today. From the The Daguerreotype Camera of the mid-1800s to the Reise of the early 1900s, down to shakin’ it like a Polaroid, the ability to capture moments in time has become the fabric of cultures around the world. But it was Nicéphore Niépce in 1816, who we can attribute to the first successful photograph.

Since then, photographs became interactive ways to tell a story. Each image sparked a memory that led to a narrative and a rabbit hole of backstories that kept you engaged in conversation for hours. Over the last few years, Marketing Strategists realize this same community sharing is ideal for small business marketing. Creating intimate communities around products and services is important for small businesses and startups to best engage their target audience. Although considered an “overused” term, narratives engage the audience with a storyline they can connect and follow.

It’s all about relatability.

Posts we like: The Best Photo Essays of 2017

Visual storytelling brings life words on a page and allows the audience to create their own experience as if they were there and even imagine themselves in the still shots. Studies reveal web content with visual engage audiences up to 180% more than without. Although there are many visual storytelling elements to design, photographs are cost-effective and create immediate and long-lasting impact over time. Impact is a core outcome in all business. You want people to respond to your call to action. Click and learn more. Swipe through and comment.

Engagement is key.

Photo Essays help to propel a message forward and simple for even a non-tech savvy person to do. With Smartphones leading the way in technology, photo ops are easy and essentially seamless. Platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat provide the opportunity to master visual storytelling. Even the publishing platform, Medium, creates space for visual storytelling. Clear that image and text go together like PB&J.

So how can you get it done? What are the ways you can tap into your visual storytelling super power? We’ve compile four ways for you to begin using photo essays to craft your community conversation:

  • Royalty Free Images. Who doesn’t like royalty free images? Sites such as Unsplash and Pexels have become the saving grace for bloggers and web designers alike. If you have a graphic design hand, these images are perfect to “remix” with your own branding elements. Looking for create a color scheme? Type the color you want and watch the images flood. Mix the royalty free images with your own to create contrast but make sure the images aren’t too far off, then they’ll confuse your audience
  • Filters. Whether royalty free or in-house, impressing your brand aesthetic on your images creates visibility and a signature. Your audience immediately knows it’s you and engages. Don’t go overboard. For signature filters and design, VSCO is a great tool. Although considered an intermediate design app, it’s user-friendly with filters that can be adjusted to create the ideal look.
  • Elements. For the sake of this post, we’re going to call text, animation, and icons and such, elements. Sites such as Canva and Spark Adobe are perfect to add design elements to your image and create a strong brand image effect. Add shapes, animation, and text to further the narrative of your brand. Spark Adobe has image templates specific for IG Stories to add further customization.
  • Dollar stores and thrift shops. Designing on a budget? Dollar stores and thrift shops are great places to get set design elements. Doing a post on flat lays? Scoop up a few pens, notepads, glass jars, and faux flowers from the dollar store. Even places like Amazing Savings and Tuesday Morning have low cost items to add to your images. Feeling crafty, find a desk or patio set and make your designs there. But you gotta be quick! Snap real fast and make a dash.

There are many ways to create visual dialogue. Join the conversation on Instagram and share some of your favorite tips.


AI, Business, and Its Impact on Human Currency

EqualSpace AI

 An Op-Ed Piece by Keishawn

I, Robot, Detroit: Become Human and Wall-E all taught us the frail balance between man and machine. Although, looking back, technology such as: the print and press, pulley and the wheel portrayed the gaping margin of ability which separates us. Staring these comparisons in the face, mankind still finds ways to incorporate our gift from the universe into our everyday lives, our most present example being the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business.

Defined as the ability for a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior, the roles given to them have been quite remedial in a sense. To name a few, personalization, filtering, and certain customer service tasks have been popular among most. But what does it this mean to us, why should we care if businesses use AI? Well for starters it could be the end of your current job, or the start of your new career.

Imagine never having to clean your house again. Dust no longer lingers on the floor. Dishes always sparkling and your laundry (oh boy the laundry) the absence of stains replaced by crisp folds. What would you do with your spare time? How would your life change if one of your most remedial tasks simply vanished?

In business, the practicality of AI is almost comparable to the internet itself. Many business owners, whether small or sizable, find a lot more possibilities within the workplace when their most menial tasks are automated. The feeling is indescribable when answering calls turns into investing or categorizing files transforms into brainstorming, even filtering content turns into innovating. AI can even put business owners in a positive financial position. The average business spends around 10%-40% of their gross income on paying employees. Realistically speaking, the AI doesn’t need to eat, sleep or take vacation days; however, is the 40% profit boost really worth it?

Endless job searches, cut throat interviews, and the unrivaled determination of others in the workplace. Ever since our first job we’ve done nothing but compete. Countless hours spent stressing over how to answer self-incriminating questions and how to maintain the job you’ve loosely managed to secure. The stress of competition never left or revealed the slightest bit of leeway. Accompanied by the dreaded feeling of “Lazy Morning” in which you’d do anything to save you from leaving the comfort of your bed.

Who knew we were competing with ourselves!

All things considered, what are the chances of getting our name tag on a cubicle when there’s opposition that never sleeps, eats, or even flinches at reoccurring late nights. If we as a species can’t out work a print and press? How do we begin to oppose Siri and Cortana? Luckily, for every dark, there’s a light and for every machine there’s a technician.

Since these machines take on so many tasks at once, non-stop, they almost have little choice but to demand an overseer due to unforeseen discrepancies and flaws. Messiah’s such as IT professionals and System Admins give all of us hope that we are still worth something in the eyes of an electronic future. AIs may even prove beneficial, in the end, to entry level employees because it forces us to gain new and relevant set of skills we can use for the betterment of our own futures; while also making the future of our customers even brighter.

EqualSpace AI

As a regular consumer of Amazon, T-Mobile and Coldstone, I believe I wield a certain appreciation for an organized workplace that works quickly with little friction. I, personally, fear late night troubleshooting or ice cream cravings because people tend to have lives that the need to get back to towards the end of the day. In the near future, AIs may make that after hours scoop of ecstacy possible. However, under all the convenience of instant gratification, humans are naturally social animals and a comforting voice behind our phone screens may be all we need after a stressfully competitive day. This AI thing may be a bit uncomfortable or it could the start of something amazing, I’m not sure. What I do know is, however it ends up let’s just hope our frail balance is kept.

I, Robot taught me all too well.

Content Continues to Reign Supreme: Lessons and Reflections from the E3 Gaming Expo

E3 Gaming Expo

Earlier this month, the ever so anticipated gaming expo, labeled E3, took place in Los Angeles, California. Top companies in the industry came together to host this event for the gaming community and announce upcoming products, projects and services still in development. Opportunities for marketing and funding for these businesses are plentiful; however success not guaranteed for all with regard to recruiting new and veteran gamers.

In an ever changing and exponentially growing field, the amount of approaches toward their target audience is basically infinite for any given company. For example, Bethesda and Sony both left E3 with a variety of different outcomes, primarily due to contrasts in their presentations. Bethesda took a quality product approach, while Sony, a suspense intensive approach.

Microsoft E3 Gaming Expo
photo credit: Windows Central

In the aftermath, both yielded polar opposite; yet, beneficial results. Ironically, Sony’s conference was underwhelming. Despite the history and contribution to the gaming community, their portion of E3  left more to be desired. They led each upcoming game trailer with a live culture associated instrumental conceived a mist of silence that fell heavily amongst the crowd. The attempt to build suspense through audio was an amazing idea with profound musical choices that told a captivating story.However, no one was ready for what came next.

The games that were shown were somewhat repetitive or just not good. Elements that did garner a rise from the crowd was specific to a portion of the gaming community who have already pledged their allegiance to preceding storylines. An ideal example would be the difference in the reaction to The Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding. Although, Sony understood the power of suspense and harnessed it well, they left out the actual content people wanted to be excited for in the first place.

Fallout 76 Station. photo credit: Josh Miller for CNET

On the other end of E3, in its earlier stages, Bethesda took the stage only armed with confidence and quality and left with much more of using suspense as a vessel for their games. Bethesda took it upon themselves to bluntly showcase what they were working on and the crowd had absolutely no problem with it. They developed content fans have been actually wanting for years such as: The Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout 76. This display of “gamer loyalty” provided Bethesda with a fanbase wielding the devotion of true Spartans. By focusing on the content and allowing the suspense to manifest on its own, Bethesda gave their audience little time to wither with fresh and genuine responses. Feedback to a service based business is one of the most important “currencies” one could ever receive.

However, reflecting back on this event, we can ascertain feedback is not only a reassuring war cry but also, in some cases, humiliating silent stares. With regard to business metrics, we can determine the value in our next presentations and ask ourselves, “is this pointless suspense or exciting content,” to not only accept the feedback we need but also the type we desire.

Redefine the ‘Grind’ With Mindfulness

“All work without no play makes Jack a dull boy…”

May is National Mental Health month and it’s important to highlight the fixation with “the grind,” as well as how it affects people across all industries. The obsession, more times than not, attributes to mental instability through stress and fatigue and can often leave us dependent on outside resources to either escape the overwhelm or simply stay awake to push ourselves more.

In lieu of this, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and workplaces alike are turning to more mindful business practices. Although mindfulness isn’t new, it is becoming a more intricate part of the corporate cultures across the nation. CEOs recognize creating mindful organizations are more lucrative to the bottom line and reduce turnover.

It’s a dream to love what you do and mindful business practices assist in manifesting this dream.

Make mindfulness a skill

Social Media leads the charge with giving people a bird’s eye view of what appears to be hyper-focused work habits and the “glow-up.” However, is pushing the message of the “grind” lucrative to our overall well-being? Does the inundate of quotes and memes designed to encourage living one’s best life work for or against the masses?

Mindfulness Consultant, Clarissa Romero works with educational institutions and workplaces promoting the importance of mindfulness. When asked about harnessing mindfulness as a workplace skill, she had this to offer:

When unhappiness or stress projects a shadow in your work or personal life, mindfulness allows you to observe your thoughts and reactions without taking them in or personally. In essence, mindfulness allows you to catch negative thought patterns before they drag you down, Clarisa explained. It begins the process of putting you back in control of your life.

Though urban vernacular defines “the grind” as working tirelessly to achieve a goal, it’s removed from placing us in control of customizing our grind and is only shaped around the blueprint from others who precede us. This also doesn’t account for being present in the moment. The grind constantly urges us to work until the wheels fall off, burn the midnight oil, and join the #teamnosleep tribe but if we’re grinding so hard, when do we take the time to be grateful for how far we’ve come?

Be mindful of the food on your table

Mental health amid the grind expands to what we place in our bodies. Diet and exercise are key elements to implementing mindfulness as a skill and practice. Serial Entrepreneur Neil Grimmer took his passion for business and health and merged them together to create Habit—a company which designs personalized lifestyle changes to achieve long-term health.

Grimmer was inspired to create Habit from helping his wife recover from breast cancer, as well as, transforming his own health. In designing the ecosystem for Habit, Grimmer took account of how nutrition played an intricate role with work-life balance or the lack thereof. We get so caught up in the grind, we often forget to eat and when we do, the options chosen aren’t the greatest. Grimmer recognized this routine and made the shift.

“What I did adopt right away, and I adopted this from my wife, was mindfulness and gratitude,” says Grimmer. He recognized the mental shift to how he approached life was necessary for the success of his new lifestyle through nutrition but in business overall. Grimmer notes, “Whether I’m sitting with my team, whether I’m negotiating a deal or whatever it may be, it’s being absolutely in the moment. It’s recognizing the voices that go through your head, the distractions that come in, and not being moved by them, but rather letting them pass in and out of consciousness.

This prompted Grimmer to implement mindful nutrition which asserts it’s not just what you eat but your mental state when you eat and while you’re eating that matters.

It’s time we redefine the grind.

Many of us are enamored by Will Smith’s Instagram but what we miss is that he’s living his best life. He’s aware and present in each moment. Who’s to say that the grind has to be absent of this? Mindfulness isn’t exclusive to spirituals and the like, it’s a universal practice which can be applied across every aspect of our lives. It’s time we develop a “mindful grind.”

Share your thoughts below and be sure to #takeyourspace!

Diversity: Turning the Conversation Into Application


Inclusion and diversity: conversation topics among communities of color which are exhausting; yet, necessary. It is no secret POCs are consistently excluded from seats at the table. Although “splashes of color” are visible in various industries it does not outweigh the ocean of exclusion. The imbalance keeps the discussion open-ended, the disparities real.

When does the diversity and inclusion conversation hit a resolve topic without the requirement of POCs to change their names, omit their addresses, or manipulate their personal brand? Is it possible for the Black and Brown communities to be assessed by merit and experience? In what ways can companies work towards a strong representation of gender, race, and sexuality?  

In a recent article by Business Insider, media Executive, Joanna Cole shared the steps she took as Editor-in-Chief for Cosmopolitan and now Chief content officer at Hearst, all voices are included. First, Cole hired Tiffany Reid to assist with hiring and recruitment. Cole offer this insight on the topic: 

“…you want to have men involved in initiatives to recruit women and foster leadership among female colleagues in the same way you want white employees involved in initiatives about racial diversity. Otherwise, you’re siloing groups and not actually accomplishing what you should be trying to achieve — a workplace where diversity allows the company to both function and serve its customers more effectively.”

More than ever, inclusion is important. Black and Brown faces in Tech, Finance, Media, and more recently sharedspaces, cafes, and dispensaries are reshaping the narrative. Although strides are made, how can communities of color be more proactive instead of reactive?  The learn and apply method is necessary to carve our space in every industry. Seats at the table are necessary, but it’s quite clear while many of us need to be at the table, the rest of us need to create our own.

Let’s not make diversity and inclusion so linear.

To read more on the Joanna Cole article, click here.

Ready To Start Your Podcast?

Are you ready to start a podcast? There a few things you need to think about before making any moves:

The potential of podcasting

More than 39 million or 15 percent of Americans had listened to a podcast in 2014, up from 12 percent in 2013, according to Edison Research.

The realities of podcast production

Podcasting on the surface seems pretty straightforward. Record audio, upload it to iTunes and you’re on your way. However, the reality of producing a podcast is that there are more steps than people realize.

As Chris Cerrone, co-host of The Cerrone Show, explains, “People totally underestimate the time it takes to do a consistent podcast. I didn’t have a detailed plan going into my launch for things like editing and promoting the episodes, and having that foresight would have made my life a whole lot easier.”

Bring something new to the market

The reason shows like Serial capture the imagination is that they are new and innovative. So when figuring out what your podcast could cover, you want to ensure that you’re not just knocking off what’s already out there.

If you would like to read more about the pros and cons of developing a podcast, read more of this article. If you believe you are ready to start your podcast, feel free to read this article to gather the tools you need to make it successful. If you are looking for a venue space for your podcast, =SPACE does host live podcasts.

Why You Should Become A Traveling Entrepreneur

Many people become entrepreneurs to pursue freedom. Freedom to create their schedules based on when they want to work, in work ethic, in strategy, and at times, in location. There are a variety of careers that lucrative and easy to do from home. But, what if your home could be anywhere with a strong wifi connection and a bed. The possibilities are endless! Working as a content creator, web designer, creative strategist, accountant, digital marketer and public relations expert, travel expert, consultant, life coach, or tech support assistant allows you to make a profit without having to stay in an office building. Careers like these are commonly sought out by those who enjoy traveling and expanding their knowledge of the world.

Why work for a big corporation with the normal and old-aged hierarchy of power when you can make your own decisions, be your own boss, and still enjoy a nice sunset in Jamaica? As a traveling entrepreneur, you can take your business from San Diego, California to Seoul, South Korea. Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the world’s economy. In a recent survey by Financial Times, 59% of entrepreneurs around the world said they expected to increase their workforce in 2016. Entrepreneurship is the engine for economic growth! So, I bet you’re asking now, why should you become a traveling entrepreneur?  Well, because you can.

You can live a comfortable life and be your own boss. So, take that idea that you have and go for it. Do you enjoy blogging & food? Become a ghostwriter for food bloggers. Book a trip to France, home to some of the best restaurants in the world. You can do anything you put your mind to because your talent can take you farther. Take the next step, your FUTURE awaits!