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Apple accepts 15 Black- and brown-led businesses for impact accelerator

August 17, 2021, 5:25 PM UTC
Fifteen Black- and brown-owned green technology and clean energy businesses are joining Apple’s inaugural impact accelerator, part of the company’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.
Courtesy of Apple

Apple said Tuesday it would accept 15 Black- and brown-led businesses into its first-ever impact accelerator that focuses on companies working on environmental solutions.

The 15 businesses were selected from states and regions across the U.S. including Silicon Valley, Michigan, and tribal nations of the Midwest. The companies, whose founders are Black, brown, Native American, and Indigenous, focus on solving a variety of environmental problems related to clean energy, green chemistry, and recycling, among others.

“On our journey to our 2030 carbon neutral goal for our supply chain and products, we’re determined to help create a greener and more equitable future for all people,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy, and social initiatives, in a statement. “The businesses we’re partnering with today are poised to become tomorrow’s diverse and innovative industry leaders, creating ripples of change to help communities everywhere adapt to the urgent challenges posed by climate change.”

During a three-month virtual program, the founders will participate in customized training and receive support from Apple experts and a community of alumni. At the program’s end, the businesses will be considered for opportunities to act as suppliers to Apple. The tech giant wants to achieve carbon neutrality for its supply chain and products by 2030.

The impact accelerator is part of Apple’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, which it launched following the death of George Floyd last summer. The initiative consists of a $100 million commitment dedicated to supporting Black and brown communities.

Earlier this year, Apple said it would donate $25 million to Propel Center, a learning hub for historically Black colleges and universities, as well as $25 million to Siebert Williams Shank’s Clear Vision Impact Fund to help invest in companies with diverse founders.

The selected companies are:

  • BlocPower — Founder and CEO: Donnel Baird (Climate Technology Company in Brooklyn)
  • Mosaic Global Transportation — Founder, President, and CEO: Maurice H. Brewster (Transportation Firm in San Jose)
  • Volt Energy Utility — Cofounder and CEO: Gilbert Campbell III (Utility-Solar Energy Development Firm in Washington, D.C.)
  • Bench-Tek Solutions — Founder and CEO: Maria Castellon (Manufacturing and Automation Company in Santa Clara, Calif.)
  • GreenTek Solutions — Founder and CEO: Anuar Garcia (Recycling and Reuse Company in Houston)
  • Diversified Chemical Technologies Inc. — President and Chief Financial Officer: Karl Johnson (Chemical Safety Firm in Detroit)
  • Oceti Sakowin Power Authority — Chairman and Head of the Board of Directors: Lyle Jack (Clean Energy Developer in Tribal Regions Across the Dakotas)
  • Vericool Inc. — Founder and CEO: Darrell Jobe (Packaging and Shipment Company in Livermore, Calif.)
  • Dunamis Clean Energy Partners — Founder and CEO: Natalie King (Environmental Solutions Company in Southfield, Mich.)
  • VMX International — Founder, President, and CEO: Vickie Lewis (Environmental Services Company in Detroit)
  • Argent Associates — Founder, President, and CEO: Beatriz Manetta (Technology Consultancy in Plano, Texas)
  • Inspectorio — Cofounder and CEO: Carlos Moncayo (Supply Chain Solutions Firm in Minneapolis)
  • Group O — CEO: Gregg Ontiveros (Supply Chain Solutions Firm in Milan, Ill.)
  • RFG-MPW Environmental & Facility Services — Chairman and CEO: Roderick Rickman (Industrial Cleaning and Environmental Service Firm in Detroit)
  • L2S Engineering LLC — Founder: Laurie Ann Sibani (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Engineering Design Firm in Leesburg, Va., and Apollo Beach, Fla.)

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