Happy Spring Kidogo Community!
In order to write this post, I had to scroll through my emails and social media to jog my memory about this month's happenings It's been a LOT!
I am ecstatic to announce that I am now a member of the Ujima Good Business Alliance! I was first nominated as a Business We Love by Ujima member, Shironda White (friend, board advisor, Spelman Sister, fellow Bethelite :-)), I then applied to join the alliance. During the interview by the Community Standards Committee, I expressed the why and the what of Kidogo. Ujima will be a part of the how. Ujima will be able to offer the following: capital investment, local procurement assistance, education and network opportunities, professional development opportunities, and marketing support. I hope all of you can join me in understanding the game-changing goodness of this update!
I visited Ellis Early Learning earlier this month. I was invited by Patti Keenan the center's Vice President of Advancement, Community and Equity. I was blown away by the care, dedication, and the love the staff shows for all of the children there. The South End facility is beautiful with natural lighting and lots of space for children to explore and learn. After Patti gave me a tour, I sat down and met with her, Claire McNally (VP of Programs), and Lauren Cook (CEO) to discuss how Kidogo Productions can be of benefit to the center. It was a great brainstorming session! I am so excited about how we can collaborate! The only thing I regret is not getting a picture!
I graduated from the Black and Latinx Media Mastery program by All Raise! Woohoo! It was a great program because I was able to connect with several all-star entrepreneurs, some of whom I have admired from a distance. Brilliant! Now, all I have to do is apply all that I have learned! When you see me in a major publication, you'll know that I have.
As some of you may know, I have been engaging with Pipeline Angels since late 2022--I applied to their pitch summit by submitting my business plan, income statements, financial projections, a marketing plan, and pitching before them in two rounds. In mid-February, I received the wonderful news that the 2022 Fall Global East Coast PipelineAngels class has selected Kidogo Productions, LLC for their Pipeline Angels investment! This meant a $25,000 minimum investment.
I was then invited to join their deal flow meeting where I could pitch to get additional funding above and beyond the $25,000 earlier this month. My pitch was met with favorable comments, though I certainly felt I could have done better. Then..... the SVB collapse, the fallout and domino effect of which the banking, founder, and investment communities are still experiencing. Y'all please pray for a favorable outcome. This funding (whatever it ends up being) still hangs in the balance, subject to the whims of fiscal fate.
In other investment news, I had a meeting with someone from Launchpad and they commented that I was "too early" for their consideration. This means that they need to see more proof that I can make this business work. I'd have to show an MVP or even a prototype. I'm working on it! I also have a pitch coming up with The Capital Network-- Demo Day. In April, I will join 7 other female entrepreneurs to get the attention of investors who have already invested in female and BIPOC founders (not just offered lip service). For this pitch, I am asked to bring a champion. One of my board advisors, Katia Powell-Laurent has volunteered to fulfill this role, yay! My aim for Demo Day is to raise awareness, interest, and yes, the wallets of investors. The investors who show up that day may not be my person, but perhaps they'll refer me to someone who is! For the second time....
I can now add "judge" to my resume. As a MassChallenge alumna, I was a panelist for prospective applicants and I am now judging their applications. It is so cool to see how others have filled out the very application I was sweating over less than almost year ago. I wish everyone the best of luck!
And I might be able to add TEDx speaker to my resume as well. I applied to TEDx Roxbury to talk about representation in children's media. When I didn't hear back, I figured my application wasn't strong enough. My friend Thato Mwosa kept on telling me to check my trash and all of my email accounts because she was confident (more so than me) that I had made it to the second round. Lo and behold, I got a call 24 hours before the committee was to review the applicants' second-round 3-minute videos, that they had indeed advanced my application and was wondering why I hadn't replied (my email had bounced for some reason). I got the video done (couldn't go to church), but I got it done. Again (for the 3rd and last time in this post)...
By now, you should know that I have a sincere heart for children. Over the course of my 6 years of teaching piano, parents have most often noted my patience with their children (now why I can't exercise that same kind of patience with my own child.... ;-)). For some reason, I have a way of communicating and encouraging my students to do their best. And the best they did during the 2023 Winter Piano Recital! This was the first recital in person. This program confirmed all of the reasons why I continue to do what I do. I push for representation. I push for community. I push for excellence. I push for joy. To see it all on display was brilliant and exhilarating. I have 20 students and not much room for more on my personal calendar. After the recital, I now have a waiting list. This is incredible and presents the business question of how do I scale? I can see doing pre-recorded video lessons. I would add them to Kidogo.TV of course! Speaking of recording-- the recital's recording was terrible. I have to recognize my limitations-- the tech stuff is just not my wheelhouse, y'all......
Speaking of tech stuff, I have been speaking with various tech people about building the Kidogo TV app. I am 99.99% sure of who I will pick, but I will wait for the formal proposal before announcing. In the meantime, I have 1 single survey question for you:
For the Kids, for the Culture,