Maria Oliveira Tamellini and Rodrigo Tamellini remind me of a couple I knew 15 years ago named Dave and Carrie. Their infectious enthusiasm for building a company that changes the world and makes it safer for people of all ages to game online without being harassed was nothing short of inspirational. GamerSafer develops technologies to prevent crime and toxicity online. Their ESports division promotes competition integrity for large groups of gamers, and systematically removes players and accounts that are identified as cheating or as creating an unsafe environment. GamerSafer for Multiplayer Games uses a prevention-first strategy to eliminate fraud. They offer a secure log-in, age assurance, and player insights to identify patterns and create a safe environment. Their Brazilian spirit and deep knowledge of the subject area made it easy for us to support them. It’s been many years since my Nintendo World Championship days, but I remain bullish on the power of safe gaming to give kids and kids at heart good, safe fun.
I met Thereasa Black through Clubhouse and was immediately taken by her story. As a single mother deployed serving our country in the armed forces, Thereasa realized that she wanted to be closer to her daughter. She also happens to be a very talented chocolate maker. Thereasa is the founder of Bon AppeSweet, a plant based chocolate and gelato company that is free of dairy, processed sugar, and sugar alcohols. Sweetened with dates, it is the healthy and environmentally conscious solution to her daughter’s dessert cravings. Thereasa’s gelato is made from oat milk rather than dairy milk, offering a healthier and more sustainable solution to traditional ice cream. Additionally, Thereasa is committed to justice and liberty for all, and believes that together, we can create meaningful change. Her website has links to important petitions to sign and information on the most pressing issues faced in the US today. When I tasted her gelato and chocolate, I realized that not only is her story great, but her food is too. I am delighted to support Thereasa and help her build a business to bring mission-driven chocolate and gelato to as many people as possible.
Albert Baez and Abigail Rose Baez are another driven, heartful couple building a very exciting business. With the talents of Abigail, a former actress, Albert, a businessman, and Georgina Elizondo, a photographer and design expert, Blended Sense was able to come to life. I happen to know a lot about SaaS in social media and I was delighted to learn of Abigail and Albert’s fresh approach to the industry. Blended Sense is a tech company that empowers small businesses with their creative assets. They create and store content for brands and companies that attracts new customers and engages current ones. Their creative team makes growing a business a more organized and creatively inspired process. Blended Sense helps brands take a leap forward in the quality of the content they put out, and in turn, increasing conversion and engagement rates. Additionally, Blended Sense’s Creative Network matches freelance videographers, photographers, and other local artists to reliable gigs in their area, growing the local economy. When all these groups merge, they generate amazing content that is invaluable to a brand and the local community. I am super excited to see where this awesome Austin startup goes.
CHRYSALIS STREAMING, INC.
Chrysalis Streaming, Inc. is the first educational platform created with the purpose of increasing the number of black & brown students pursuing higher learning and careers in STEM by centering the cultural relevancy of core STEM disciplines through streaming content. In May of 2021, David Hill founded Chrysalis to address one of the key problems that he encountered on his academic journey - the lack of relevant material, particularly as it pertained to STEM education. This is a problem that discourages students who have been traditionally been forgotten by curricula developers, especially those that are already burdened with problems stemming from lack of resources such as opportunity and foundational skill gaps and teacher qualification inequities. David attended a school that had annual minority enrollment of around 80%, yet the majority of the honors and AP science classrooms were not reflective of that diversity. This wasn’t necessarily a problem of the school, as they made significant efforts to increase the minority participation rate in these classes. The problem is one that schools across the country struggle with - teaching STEM in a way that manages to capture the complexity of its many disciplines while also piquing the interests of students. David built Chrysalis to ensure that the next generation of students, all of whom have been impacted by a virtual year of schooling, do not have to endure this problem and instead have the opportunity to access STEM in an unprecedented way.