April 24, 2024


Unlimited Technology

StartsUps on the Blocks focusing on Black and brown entrepreneurs

Carlos Kyles grew up in the small town of Century and was bullied frequently in school. He would be called names, cursed at, and people regularly tried to physically hurt him. 

Kyle’s bullying made him develop anger issues and depression but he found help through therapy. Now he wants to do the same for others by creating his own startup company to help those who have been bullied by finding alternative ways to heal through his start up Polisal. 

“I came up with the company because I wanted to find creative ways to share my story and to help people heal and grow from bullying,” Kyles said.

The problem for people like Kyles, who is Black, and many Black and brown entrepreneurs, according to Lloyd Reshard, is they don’t know about the resources and ways to get money to help their startups flourish.

Mentor Brian Wyer, President & CEO of the Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce, left, and entrepreneur Tia Robbins, owner of Taste of Pensacola, talk as they participate in the new "Startups on the Blocks" program at The Kukua Institute in Pensacola on Monday, Nov. 8, 2021.

That is where StartUps on the Blocks comes in. 

StartUps was started by the Kukua Institute last August to help aspiring Black and brown entrepreneurs tap into resources, build connections, and find mentorship to turn their ideas into reality. 

There are weekly networking events with budding and successful start-up founders to build networking within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Participants are given free access to portfolio companies like StartUp Rocket, which helps track their progress, mentoring with local entrepreneurs, and a weekly newsletter with opportunities to apply for pitch competitions with award money. 

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