As part of the Government-backed UK Black Tech Founders Mission to New York in February, Nnamdi Emelifeonwu (above left), co-founder of Definely, and Richard Robinson (above right), founder of Robin AI, will be joining 10 other company creators from across the country for this special visit.
The trade delegation is part of a programme that offers UK-based Black-founded companies the opportunity to explore the US tech ecosystem. Definely is a drafting tool for lawyers, and Robin AI is an NLP-backed ALSP for contract work, (see full list below).
‘Recognising the barriers Black tech founders face accessing venture capital, this mission will seek to elevate the founders’ profiles to NYC based investors and the wider NYC tech community. The delegates will engage with over 100 US based venture capitalists through networking events, meetings, and a capstone pitch night,’ the project said.
‘The UK founders will also meet with their US counterparts to discuss the differences between scaling a business on each side of the Atlantic and the lived Black entrepreneur experience in the UK and the US,’ they added.
Emma Wade-Smith, Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for North America and HM Consul-General in New York, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome this impressive group of Black founders to New York, who represent some of the most innovative emerging tech firms in the UK. According to some research, in 2019 just 2.9 percent of deals that UK VCs made had Black founders, and we must take concrete steps to reduce this disparity.
‘Achieving more equal racial representation in the workplace is a top policy priority for the UK Government, and I am very pleased that this annual trade mission is making great strides in tackling this crucial challenge and we are determined to keep closing the gap.’
The UK’s flag carrier, British Airways, has also partnered with the British Consulate-General in New York to fly the founders to and from New York in support of this mission.
Emelifeonwu of Definely told Artificial Lawyer: ‘It’s an incredible privilege to be chosen as a delegate by the DIT for the Tech Trade delegation to New York and to have the support of the British Consulate-General in New York and British Airways. It is particularly an honour to be selected alongside other incredible start-ups and it’s great to see Robin AI, another LegalTech startup, also in the cohort.
‘New York has the highest density of lawyers in the US, the trade mission is a fantastic opportunity not only to showcase Definely to hundreds of law firms but to raise awareness of the UK LegalTech industry as a whole.’
And Robinson, of Robin AI, told this site: ‘I’m thrilled to have been chosen to represent innovative black entrepreneurs as part of this up coming trade mission to New York. Robin has huge global ambitions, which includes opening an office in the US later this year, so the timing and support of British Airways and the British Consulate-General is something we’re really excited about. We’re looking forward to meeting investors and clients in New York in February.’
The full list of companies taking part is below: