digitalundivided's BREAKTHROUGH Program, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase's Advancing Black Pathways, provides founders with a deeper understanding of their customers, startup funding, growth marketing strategies, and networking opportunities to scale their ventures. Each company accepted into the program will receive a $5,000 grant*!
In order to qualify for the program, founders must:
- Identify as a woman
- Identify as Black or Latina (or both)
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Have a business registered for at least a year
- Have a majority ownership of an established business with traction
- Have a technology component incorporated in business (website or mobile app)
- Generate a minimum of $50,000 annual business revenue
Selected founders will receive:
- A $5,000 grant*
- A business mentor
- A deeper understanding of the tools and resources necessary for establishing banking relationships
- Sessions with industry leaders focused on growth marketing strategies, customer analytics, and startup funding
- Access to digitalundivided’s community of Latina & Black women entrepreneurs
- Business Advisory Sessions with our Entrepreneur in Residence and post-program support
*Program recipients receive a $5K cash grant that is subject to taxes.
Meet our Miami Cohort
BLUE MOUNTAIN COFFE HOUSE
Allison Boettcher is the Founder of Blue Mountain Coffee House, a single-estate premium coffee company specializing in certified 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. Our vision statement is “Real Coffee, One Love, One World’, committing to preserving and palletizing the authentic taste of coffee, created with love, for the world to enjoy.
Blue Mountain Coffee House was incorporated in 2019 and celebrated its grand opening on January 28, 2020. As founder & CEO of Blue Mountain Coffee House, Allison is the salesperson to the meticulous cook, the shrewd marketing manager to the exacting finance manager, and the HR representative.
Allison considers this journey a test of limits and an embodiment of the saying that with great challenges, come even greater rewards - her commitment to turning her vision into a reality. To date, Blue Mountain Coffee House has been recognized as State of the Union 2022, Emerging Business of the Year 2022, and was a finalist of the Diversity Business of the Year 2022 and Small Businessperson of the Year 2022.
STANDARD MEASURE TECHNOLOGIES CORP | NAILSTRY
Aurelia Edwards is the founder of Nailstry, an AI-powered virtual fingernail-sizing technology. Her mission is to inspire beauty and creativity through inclusion and collaboration.
Nailstry was founded in 2018 and launched in 2020 when she was missing press-on nail sizes to complete her manicure. At that moment she realized that the current method used to size press-on nails was inefficient, inaccurate, and wasteful. As founder & CEO of Nailstry, Aurelia oversees B2B SaaS enterprise sales and brand partnerships.
Aurelia believes that the consistency of showing up and doing a little bit everyday leaves a path for future generations to follow. To date, Aurelia has been supported through Apple Entrepreneur Camp, Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women, and the Alan B. Levan NSU Broward Center of Innovation. Aurelia Edwards has been featured in Business Insider, Elite Daily, Glossy, and Allure.
JACQ'S SKIN CARE
Barbara Jacques is the Founder and CEO of JACQ’S a vegan and sustainable skincare line created specifically for women of color. Barbara created JACQ’S after a health scare. As a way to cope with her illness, she began studying green medicine, and holistic plant botany. The more research she did, the more determined she became to help others. She has dedicated her entire career to creating a purpose- driven beauty brand with a focus on clean non-toxic formulations, sustainability, and inclusivity.
JACQ’S Skincare is not only a Green America-certified business and an award-winning skincare brand, but Jacques has also received investments from Pharrell Williams and Karen Civil. The science-backed collection is fueled with green formulations, plant actives, probiotics, and antioxidants to formulate a collection truly for the often overlooked and forgotten skin tones.
In 2022, JACQ’S Skincare was named by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics the Top Black-owned Beauty Brand for her exemplary commitment to the health and safety of Black women because she has led the movement to address the injustice of Black beauty in the beauty industry. She has also been named by Essence Magazine as one of the top 75 Black Beauty Founders three years in a row and the brand has also been featured in over 40 magazines including Women’s Health, Vogue and Elle. Most recently Allure magazine named JACQ’S Skincare as one of the top 14 Black-owned Vegan Brands to Shop Right Now.
WELL SPRINGS COUNSELING SERVICES LLC
Crystal Turman is the owner of Wellspring Counseling Services, LLC, a company founded by an Air Force Veteran with a passion for treating mental health needs using neurofeedback, where mental health meets technology. Her mission is to help people reach their mental health goals by discovering their brain’s full potential.
Wellspring was founded in 2013 while partnering with a local non-profit, giving back hundreds of thousands of dollars in services. In 2020 Wellspring ventured out to shift the focus of care from psychotherapy to neurofeedback. As founder of Wellspring, Crystal conducts clinical assessments and collaborates with the client's psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and neurofeedback technician to attain client- driven goals.
Crystal believes it is her calling to come alongside clients to offer alternative treatment to medication or psychotherapy alone. To date, Crystal has been featured in Senior Life Magazine, Co-Host of an 8 series podcast, published in ISNR (International Society for Neuroregulation and Research).
MAKABU GORDON LLC
France Makabu- Gordon is the owner and GM of Makabu Gordon LLC, a real estate company. Her mission is to help you become a savvy homebuyer in this economy by providing financial literacy resources such as budgeting, credit score building, and home maintenance for example.
The company was founded in 2022 when she realized she was on her way to becoming a top producer within a group of 1500 agents. At that moment, she realized she was building something special for her community. As the general manager of Makabu Gordon LLC, France oversees in-person, in-mail, and online marketing operations, as well as customer service.
France believes that enforcing homebuyers' education can help close the homeownership gap between minorities and non-minorities. She is actually pursuing a PhD in psychology to back up this belief with research. To date, France has been recognized as the top producer in 2022 and top 43 Florida realtors on social media by Property Shark.
ALBERTO PUERTO MUSIC
Gined Lopez Ganem is the Co-Founder of Alberto Puerto Music and GG Art Space, an arts and culture promotion company. Her mission is to advance the work of South Florida artists across disciples, educate young artists, and organize artistic events.
Alberto Puerto Music was founded in 2021 when two former higher education professionals decided to join forces and create musical and educational products of the highest caliber. As Co-Founder, Gined oversees marketing, production, and implementation of educational and artistic standards.
Gined believes that Miami needs greater collaboration among creatives to ensure the growth of artistic quality and diversity in the digital age. The company has been featured in the cultural magazine The New Tropic, VoyageMIA magazine, and Revista Nagari. The company has been sponsored by Miami Dade County Cultural Affairs, the Spanish Cultural Center, and has recently been chosen for fiscal sponsorship by the National Performance Network.
Jamila Powell is the founder of Naturally Drenched, a sustainable eco-conscious curl care company. Her mission is to affirm, inspire, and educate people to love their curly hair in a planet-friendly way.
Naturally Drenched was founded in 2020 when the pandemic hit. While taking a break from running her curl-focused salon, Jamila Powell decided to formulate a sustainably packaged salon quality curl care line. As a founder of Naturally Drenched, Jamila overses and implements many of the responsibilities necessary for the brand to grow. This includes packaging, social media, hiring, marketing, sales, and operations.
Jamila believes that access to salon-level hair rituals that are curl-inclusive and promote a better planet are necessary and her foremost goal. Naturally Drenched has received an Essence Best in Black Beauty Award, and has been featured in Allure, Instyle, Byrdie, and Glamour.
Karina Moises is the Founder and CEO of BEAUTOLOGY LAB, a clean-clinical, multi-tasking skincare company that’s BIOHACKING SKINTM. Her mission is to provide clean, everyday, multi-tasking skincare products that stimulate autophagy - our body's natural detoxification process - in order to improve the health and longevity of our skin at the cellular level.
BEAUTOLOGY LAB was founded in 2019 when Karina’s health and wellness journey drove her to clean up her diet, change her personal care products, and become aware of her environmental surroundings. She then realized that there were no truly-clean skincare products that could detoxify her body from the outside-in, so she set out to create them. As Founder and CEO of BEAUTOLOGY LAB, Karina oversees day- to-day operations including sales and distribution, product development, marketing, and finances. Her small team manages day-to-day social media management and content strategy while manufacturing and logistics are outsourced to 3rd party partners.
Karina believes that bringing clean, science-backed skincare that improves the health and longevity of our skin to the masses would not only change the way people care for the body but also improve the health of the environment which suffers as a result of toxic chemicals in our personal care products. BEAUTOLOGY LAB also has a social impact program that donates trees that are planted across sub- Saharan Africa through our partner organization because she believes that we need to help restore the environment and reduce the impact of climate change by feeding the planet that feeds us. To date, BEAUTOLOGY LAB has been featured in Forbes, People Magazine, InStyle, Good Morning America, and Univision recognized for its clean, innovative, impactful, and inclusive skincare products that deliver health and wellness for our body and the environment.
NOKOMIS HOME FRAGRANCE
Lymarie Jimenez is the Founder and CEO of Nokomis Home Fragrance, a sustainable and eco-friendly fragrance company. Lymarie's goal is to deliver a unique fragrance experience while maintaining high sustainability standards.
Nokomis Home Fragrance was founded in 2020 when Lymarie discovered she was pregnant with her miracle IVF baby. She wanted to create a business her daughter could be proud of. As a founder Lymarie oversees everything from fragrance creation to customer service to brand development.
Lymarie believes that fragrance is a special way to capture memories and elevate mood. Her goal is to create fragrances as unique as her customers. To date, Lymarie has been recognized in publications such as Gulfshore Life Magazine and Voyage Tampa numerous times. She is a 2023 Tory Burch Fellow and the recipient of the 2023 Women of Color grant by The Fearless Fund.
VAKIS FOODS CORP | TRATTORIA DI VAKIS
Monika Sanchez is the founder and president of Trattoria Di Vakis, a fresh pasta shop and restaurant. Born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monika found her passion for cooking early on in her life, but always as a side hobby. She moved to the United States where she developed her culinary skills (self-taught) and eventually started a small catering and meal prep business. Later on, she evolved the concept to make fresh pasta and sauces. Her mission and business goal are to reach more people and offer them quality products in an accessible way. Most people can’t have access to good quality, nutritious pasta, and my goal is to increase the reach.
Vakis Foods Corp /Trattoria Di Vakis was founded in 2016 when she decided to commercialize her homemade pasta and sauces to a bigger audience, after receiving great compliments and increased orders on an informal meal prep and catering service. As a founder and president of Vakis Foods Corp / Trattoria Di Vakis, I have many hats. I’m in charge of the production of the pasta, cooking the sauces and also customer service and sales at our location inside the farmer’s market. I also manage all administrative functions to help continue the growth of the business.
Monika believes in never giving up, nothing is impossible when you believe in your dreams and nurture them when they actually come true! She believes in innovation, constant evolution and getting ahead in the game. She highly values the importance of building relationships and developing talent, as people are the main asset in every organization. She also believes in teamwork and proactive collaboration, enjoys working with people and leading teams by example and inspiration, knowing by experience that business goals can’t be achieved alone. We have been featured in the Sun Sentinel Newspaper and also in many Instagram food influencers pages throughout the years.
Paris Allen is the Owner of iTravel2Getaway, LLC, a luxury boutique travel agency. Her mission is to provide luxury travel to middle-class African Americans at economic prices.
iTravel2Getaway, LLC was founded in 2016 after Paris realized there was a need in a specific demographic for luxury, yet affordable travel services. After posting her own personal travels on social media, individuals in the middle to upper-class African-American demographic began to ask her to plan trips for them or ask if she would host group trips that mimicked her own travels. As owner and travel specialist of iTravel2Getaway, LLC, Paris currently wears all the hats of the company, which includes trip logistics, booking intake, social media, on-site hosting, and accounting.
Paris believes she is truly making a difference of others by helping them invest in their personal self-care by going on a luxurious once-in-a-lifetime vacation that did not 'break the bank'. To date, iTravel2Getaway has been featured in Canvas Rebel magazine and has booked hundreds of vacations for a clientele list of over 500 people.
SENSUAL CANCLE CO.
Sentrell Marsh is the Founder and Creative Director of Sensual Candle Co. A Miami-based home fragrance brand prioritizing an immersive sensory experience through thoughtfully designed products that engage and awaken the senses. Her mission is to offer an elevated sensual experience through luxury products while inspiring women to slow down and create deeper connections with themselves and their spaces.
Sensual Candle Co. was founded in 2019 after a hormonal imbalance diagnosis prompted her to work on managing her stress level and prioritize her health. Her candle-making destressing hobby evolved into a business, fusing her passion for candles and interior design, while also addressing the overall importance of well-being. As Founder and Creative Director of Sensual Candle Co., Sentrell has a comprehensive scope of responsibilities that encompass marketing and product development. Her primary focus is on steering creativity and preserving a cohesive brand identity as Sensual Candle Co. expands. Additionally, she leads the product development division, where she crafts new fragrances, manages the product pipeline, and collaborates closely with the COO to bring concepts to fruition.
Sentrell believes in the significance of overall well-being. As an interior designer, she understands the profound influence our environments have on our well-being. By encouraging women to embrace sensuality, slow down, and connect with themselves, she aims to provide products and lifestyle tools through Sensual Candle Co. which help women to be present and practice mindfulness. To date, Sensual Candle Co has garnered recognition in publications like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, The Zoe Report, and Popsugar, and participated in the Nordstrom Black Business Month pop-up in 2022. Additionally, we've successfully engaged in custom candle collaborations, notably with LVMH beauty brand OLEHENRIKSEN, beloved baby brand Frida, and Miami-based interior design studio MONIOMI.
KURLEE BELLE LLC
Terrinique Pennerman is the CEO of Kurlee Belle LLC, a hair care company that manufactures and produces hair care products made from natural and organic ingredients for naturally curly hair. Our goal is to encourage healthy hair growth by making easy-to-use products. Our mission is to encourage every curly-haired person to love and embrace their naturally curly hair no matter it's texture.
Kurlee Belle was founded in Florida in 2018 when Terrinique decided to stop chemically relaxing her hair. She remembered mixing hair care treatments, with her mom in the Bahamas and that is how Kurlee Belle began. As founder & CEO of Kurlee Belle, Terrinique oversees day-to-day operations: formulating new and innovative products, fostering retail partnerships, and overseeing marketing campaigns for a cohesive flow of brand messaging.
Terrinique’s goal is to create products that make curly hair more manageable, no matter the texture. To date, Terrinique Pennerman has been recognized as judge by her alma mater, Duke University, Fuqua School of Business, for Fuqua Fast Pitch (Entrepreneur Program). Terrinique Pennerman has been featured on Good Morning America, ABC News and Business Insider.
TRU LOGISTICS LLC
Trudie Ives serves as the CEO of Tru Logistics, a company specializing in auto transportation services. Her mission is to deliver peace of mind with each load.
Tru Logistics was established in 2018, marking Trudie’s transition from her prior profession as a high school teacher to the world of auto transportation. Through direct exposure to the auto shipping industry, she recognized the pressing need for qualities such as empathy, trustworthiness, and dependability. Her clientele seeks to avoid the anxiety of cross-state travel and the unnecessary wear and tear on their vehicles. As the founder and CEO of Tru Logistics, Trudie addresses these concerns by coordinating the seamless transportation of customer vehicles using car carriers. She supervises the entire process, from initial pickup to the final delivery.
Trudie firmly believes that by upholding customer-centric, people-oriented values, she can challenge and change the negative stereotypes commonly associated with freight brokers.
MICRO - BUSINESS CATALYST
Yasnay Montalvo is the founder of Micro-Business Catalyst, a full-service accounting and consulting firm helping business owners organize their business finances and operations to maximize profits and access capital. Her mission is to empower and provide the tools for business owners to enjoy a profitable and successful business while finding balance and joy in entrepreneurship.
Micro-Business Catalyst was founded in 2020 with a pivotal moment in Yasnay's life – the birth of her child. This significant life event ignited her quest for greater flexibility to spend cherished moments with her family. Before starting her business she helped her family business for over 15 years and served thousands of business owners leading a micro-business development program in a non-profit organization. As a founder & CEO of Micro-Business Catalyst, Yasnay leads a team of business advisors, accountants, and consultants to support business owners in integrating financial management, operational efficiency, and mindset.
Yasnay believes that the business is a reflection of who you are as a person and to see real success in business we have to do the inner work and personal development. To date, Yasnay Montalvo has been recognized by Profit First Professionals, QuickBooks Pro-Advisor, FIU Honors College, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program, Small Business Development Center, Chambers of Commerce, among many community development organizations she partners week to support the entrepreneurial community. Yasnay Montalvo has been featured in the Miami Herald and Miami-Dade County STRIVE 305.
Get to know our BREAKTHROUGH Entrepreneur-in- Residence
Chasity Williams has over 15 years of experience as a technology leader. She’s led high-performing teams to build technology products, design innovative solutions, develop business-tech strategies and deploy capital investments resulting in increased business performance and profitability. She currently serves on Microsoft’s US CPG & Retail digital advisory empowering Fortune 500 organizations to discover new growth opportunities leveraging digital transformation.