TechTalk: Dawn Dickson, PopCom & the Future of Fundraising

This one’s for the Culture, this one’s for women in Tech!

Introducing; Dawn Dickson.

Dawn Dickson; investor, serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, & current CEO at PopCom – Black-owned startup– is surfing the diffusion of innovation (a theory that seeks to explain how, why, & at what rate new ideas & technology spread) as the first African-American woman to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign via Secure Token Offering (STO).

Dawn Dickson at at the #WSBAGala

Dawn started her first technology company in 2001. She has since launched 3 other successful companies.

Her most recent venture literally fell in her lap; on a night out in the club. Like every other woman wearing 6-inch heels for a long duration, Dawn was over it! She began to wish she had immediate access to some sensible flats to ease her poor toes. This started her venture into rollable flats for women dispensed via vending machine. However, this shortly pivoted into Pop Com; a software solution to make vending machines more intelligent. Checkout her breakfast club interview below for the scoop.

The 2014 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit laid the foundation for a panel session that would forever alter Dawn’s prerogative on investment. She was drawn to a session on venture capital where she met the speakers who would later become her mentors.

“That was my first exposure to venture capital and black people in tech. I never met anyone black in technology until I met Marc and Tim. They were talking about how they had raised all of this money from venture capitalists and they are venture capitalists. That really lit a fire under me. I said, ‘OK, I want to be on that level. How can I get on that level?”

– Dawn Dickson

Who knew what waiting a little later, being personable & introducing one’s self could do? Dawn Dickson did! Then she made her way to another event aimed at helping black entrepreneurs gain angel investment. & surprise! Surprise! She ran into people from the previous event.

“What I learned when I started taking that approach is that people help you and they’ll make time for you. Showing up, investing in yourself, and buying a ticket to go to a session shows that you are serious,”

– Dawn Dickson

Dickson attributes a shift in her mindset on funding vs bootstrapping a company to attending such events. Funding meaning taking investment dollars from outside sources, bootstrapping refers to a self funded endeavor. She realized the value of securing venture to drive a scalable software as a service business model.

Software as a Service (SAAS): is a software distribution model in which a third-party provider hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. Ex: Google docs.

Dickson pivoted.

“I pivoted the company’s software, what I decided was we got this hardware, it doesn’t really do nothing, I mean you could buy something out of it, but no data collected, no information, I didn’t know who my customers were, I had no idea what conversion rates were, there was such a lack of information.”

– Dawn Dickson

Her kiosks now have integrated facial recognition coupled with artificial intelligence that utilize blockchain technology. Cameras, through facial recognition technology count the people walking verses how many stop make a purchase, producing conversion rate. The sex & age of the user are also assessed to generate possible targeted marketing opportunities. Your user information is stored via biometric hash on the blockchain ensuring your personal privacy, the way only the blockchain can.

Now with a company valuation exceeding over $1million, Pop Social & its socially conscious CEO Dawn Dickson are raising another round of funding in a futuristic and inclusive way. We think she’s socially conscious because prior to 2012 only accredited investors had the legal ability to invest in early stage companies.

However thanks to President Barack Obama & SEC(Securities and Exchange Council) some laws were changed around, allowing Dawn Dickson –& many other minority entrepreneurs– to get funding directly from their communities. 2012 JOBS Act (Jumpstart our Businesses and Startups)

PopCom is currently raising funds through an equity crowdfunding campaign via a Secure Token Offering (STO). Secure Tokens offered in an STO are actual financial securities that are backed by something tangible like the assets, profits, or revenue of the company. They offer legal rights such as voting or revenue distribution. Secure tokens are representative of your ownership in the company.

This crossroads of legislation & technology are now being leveraged to allow a new group of investors into a formerly “exclusive” arena. Raising funding this way dissolves the barrier of entry allowing more African American funds therefore more African American control of African American companies. Dawn Dickson is working extremely hard to show the world what Black people can do when we exercise group economics by making investing in her company as simple as clicking this link. As of today; March 16,2019 there are onlooking 34 days left to get in on the investment !

Talk about switching the game up!

From vending machines & facial recognition to know your customer (KYC) data, & then a blockchain assisted Secure Token Offering. Only to seal it with the alley-oop!Extending an open embrace to the culture.

We stan Dawn Dickson for her efforts, and we hope PopCom the greatest valuations in times to come.

Remberer, WE TOLD YOU

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