‘Pokémon Go’ creators sue ‘hackers’ over illegal knockoffs

Gotta catch ’em all —without getting caught. Niantic, the software development company behind “Pokémon Go” and upcoming “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite,” is suing a group it claims has created knockoff versions of the games. In the suit, Niantic accuses Global++ of being an “association of hackers,” which distributes altered versions of the games that give…
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25-Year-Old Nigerian Entrepreneur Is One of the Top Young Wealth Creators

25-year-old Nigerian fintech entrepreneur Odunayo Eweniyi was voted one of the Top 100 Inspirational Women in Nigeria. Forbes Africa named her one of the top 20 young wealth creators in Africa.

In under three years, her startup PiggyVest has helped over 230,000 African millennials invest and save over $ 15 million, reversing the trend of not just millennials (20% of which think they’ll die in debt), but also narrowing the black/white wealth gap.

“PiggyVest actually exists because 80% of Nigerians—and probably Africans—need to save at least 40% of their monthly income to survive,” Eweniyi says. “The black dollar—or in my case, naira—is so important, much more important than most realize.”

In the business of finance and tech, Odunayo—as a woman—sits in the minority. This is exactly why her story is so important. In this Q&A, Odunayo breaks down the importance of black savings, her advice to aspiring founders, and why a broken financial system helped create a quarter million black investors.

BLACK ENTERPRISE: What made you want to become an entrepreneur?

Odunayo Eweniyi: I’ve always wanted to make an impact. I didn’t know how I would do it, but I felt a compulsion to. After graduating from university and trying and failing to get a gig that fit, it became clear that the only thing that’ll fit is something I started on my own. So, my journey as an entrepreneur started the same year I left university.

You’ve managed to effectively change how young Africans invest. How did the idea come about?

Piggybank.ng (now PiggyVest) started as a sustainable alternative to actual, physical piggy banks. People had been using that to save and the process was so flawed. But it also showed that there clearly was a gap in the finance industry that we could bridge.

How did you bridge it?

Piggybank.ng was built as an automated savings platform that helps Africans better manage their finances by making it clearer and more transparent. Our platform helps Africans save automatically. We focus on low-to-middle income earners who are struggling to meet up with their responsibilities and payments because they have no way of saving up. We automatically deduct fixed amounts of money from our users’ accounts periodically, according to their instructions toward a target.

Here in the U.S., we see Millennials and Gen Z who never invested now doing so through Robinhood, Qapital, and so on. Is there an appetite for this in Nigeria? 

Huge! Piggybank.ng actually exists because 80% of Nigerians – and probably Africans – need to save at least 40% of their monthly income to survive. Because we have no credit system most of our payments are done in bulk, upfront, and in cash. The current African banking system, as it is, is heavily transactional—and the charges you incur when you interact with your account form part of a commercial bank’s revenue.

Right.

That doesn’t apply to Piggybank.ng. Our platform is personal, but yet super disciplined. Unlike the banks, Piggybank actually encourages saving by automating the savings process and creating a barrier to access.

How so?

You get four free withdrawal days in a year. Outside of that, withdrawal attracts a penalty. We also offer savings interests rates that are more than 50% better than that of commercial banks.

What’s the traction so far?

We now have over 230,000 users whom we have gathered organically, with about 50% of them actively saving on our platform. And we’ve so far saved over $ 15 million with about $ 7 million in assets under management. We concluded our seed funding round in March last year closing $ 1.1 million from local and international investors.

What’s your advice to young entrepreneurs of color, especially young women? How can they do what you’ve done? What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give?

Embrace the failures and the mistakes; they are opportunities to learn. Persevere; almost everything that is worth it takes time — and aim big. Don’t let anyone place limits on you, and more importantly don’t place any limits on yourself! Whatever you dream of, focus – like laser focus – and then go get it.


Black Enterprise Contributors Network 

The post 25-Year-Old Nigerian Entrepreneur Is One of the Top Young Wealth Creators appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Google is Once Again Looking for Podcasters and Creators of Color for 2019

The Google Podcasts Creator Program, run by PRX, is back and is looking for its next round of participants. The program provides 20 weeks of training and mentorship as well as seed funding to promising podcasters with the aim of promoting underrepresented voices throughout the industry and around the world.

Catalina May and Martín Cruz, the team behind Las Raras (The Outsiders), are independent podcasters based in Santiago, Chile. They are one of the six teams participating in the first round of the program. Their training began in January 2019 with a week-long intensive bootcamp at the PRX Podcast Garage in Boston, and will culminate in a final showcase on June 19.

“At the PRX Podcast Garage, we met amazing trainers and the five other teams in the program,” stated the Las Raras team. “It was a dream to talk about podcasting for 12 hours a day with a diverse group of people who share our passion.”

Other podcasts accepted into the program included AfroQueer, a podcast that sets out to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ people’s lives in a place where homosexuality is illegal, Long Distance which tells stories from the Filipino diaspora; The Colored Girl Beautiful which reflects on modern beauty standards; Timestorm introduces children to Puerto Rican history, and “Who Taught You How to Drive?!”, a [odcast that talks about car culture and road rage.

Las Raras,” was inspired by the first season of Serial. As a journalist and a sound engineer, the team understood the influence that podcasts could have on their culture. “This intimate medium is perfect for telling stories of people who are frequently overlooked, stories of people challenging norms, and stories of people defying the status quo.”

The Google Podcasts creator program has sense assisted all of the teams in bringing their goals to fruition by helping to increase the diversity of voices in the podcasting industry.

Applications for the next round are currently open and will be accepted until 11:59pm ET, Sunday, April 14.

The post Google is Once Again Looking for Podcasters and Creators of Color for 2019 appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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AT&T ‘Dream In Black’ Black Future Month Celebrates Black Creators

The AT&T “Dream In Black” Black Future Month launches by celebrating people who are making history now while shaping the new future. Black Future Month highlights inspiring black creators including Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, Reginae Carter, Terrence J, Phoebe Robinson, DeVon Franklin, Zendaya, Van Jones, Vic Mensa, Lena Waithe, Omari Hardwick, Jamil Smith, Angela Yee, Baron Davis, and a slew of others.

AT&T dream in black

Dream in Black (Image: AT&T)

Black History Month, a time when we reflect on the leaders of the past who helped pave the way for black excellence today. It’s thanks to these great people throughout history that this generation has more potential to accomplish their dreams than ever before,” Queen Latifah said in a statement to Black Enterprise. “The black community is facing a new generation of infinite possibilities, if you can dream it, you can do it.”



Week-over-week, they will roll out their futurists and the display will culminate on the 28th with the last futurist being selected by you in a competition-style. The organization invites everyone to connect with AT&T this month by posting a photo/video sharing history in the making by using #DreamInBlack for a chance to be honored as the Dream in Black 28 Future Maker.

“At AT&T, we come to work every day to make a difference in people’s lives. That’s why we’re so proud to join in the celebration of Black History Month. It recognizes an extraordinary legacy of helping others. Our Black Future Makers campaign honors the great trailblazers who inspired the next generation of leaders called ‘The Dream in Black 28,” stated John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications.

In addition to selecting key figures, other initiatives have been added to the celebration. The organization has also taken the liberty to highlight movie and television shows that African Americans should pay attention to as they are currently changing the scope of how we view ourselves on television. Shows include True Detective, black-ish, Empire, God Friended Me, American Soul, The Chi, Power, This is Us, 2 Dope Queens, and Greenleaf, to name a few.

Additionally, to help celebrate, AT&T has created the Exclusive Dream in Black gif pack and keyboard emojis that represent nothing less than black excellence. The gifs have already been released but, the emojis will be ready to hit our keyboards shortly.

“We also work hard to align our business practices with our values,” continued Donovan. “A good example is our Supplier Diversity program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Through this effort, we’ve spent more than $ 158 billion with minority, woman, service-disabled veteran and LGBT businesses.

And we’re proud to see our employees stepping up to lead AT&T Believes campaigns in Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, and elsewhere. These initiatives show our company’s spirit of service and commitment to a better future for everyone.”

AT&T continues to support organizations like Black Girls Code by supplying them with financial resources that allow young black girls to continue to create and innovate. Their latest check was a capital infusion of $ 350,000, which was used to increase access to technology and entrepreneurship skill-building opportunities for underserved and underrepresented youths.

The post AT&T ‘Dream In Black’ Black Future Month Celebrates Black Creators appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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How Marvel and Corporate Comics Are Failing the ‘Vulnerable’ Creators Behind Their Superheroes

Last month, novelist Chuck Wendig—the bestselling author of the licensed Star Wars novel Aftermath and its sequels—stood before a crowd at New York Comic Con and announced he’d be working on Shadow of Vader, a miniseries for Marvel Comics. A week later, on October 12th, Wendig made another announcement: he’d been fired. The reason given, Wendig wrote on his personal website, was “the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark, the editor said…It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.”

Wendig, an openly progressive and occasionally combative presence on social media, had been the target of a long-running harassment campaign* fueled by reactionaries in the Star Wars fan community. His books were review bombed; he dealt with SWATing attempts, harassment from bots and sock-puppet accounts, and creepy personal messages. “People have been trying to get me fired from Star Wars since Aftermath came out. Since before it came out, actually,” he told The Daily Beast in an email. “[Lucas Film Licensing] has always had my back, and with Marvel, my politics never came up. And I haven’t been shy about those politics—or about being vulgar, which has been part of my voice so to speak since my first novel, Blackbirds, which is a very vulgar book…I never received any warnings about my behavior.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘Making a Murderer: Part 2’ Creators Tell All: ‘What Happens When Injustice Is Exposed?’

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Upon its premiere in late 2015, Netflix’s Making a Murderer became an instant phenomenon (and sparked a true-crime documentary renaissance) by bringing to national attention the plight of Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, residents Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, who in 2005—shortly after Avery was released from prison after serving 18 years for a rape he didn’t commit—were charged with the murder of Teresa Halbach.

Filmed over the course of 10 years, during which time Avery and Dassey were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos’ series was an exhaustive examination of injustice, laying bare the devious motivations and tactics (including planting evidence and eliciting a false Dassey confession) used by state and law enforcement officials to put the men behind bars. Depressing and enraging in equal measure, it was an expert non-fiction exposé, as compulsively addictive as anything released during our modern binge-watching era.

Fans of Making a Murderer are thus thrilled by its return for an all-new 10-episode run—except, of course, that like its predecessor, the series continues to paint a portrait of the legal system that’s destined to infuriate. Charting Avery and Dassey’s attempts to exonerate themselves with the aid of new lawyers (famed attorney Kathleen Zellner for Avery; Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth co-founders Laura Nirider and Steve Drizin for Dassey), Ricciardi and Demos’ follow-up affords a detailed look at the myriad obstacles of the post-conviction process, the amazing possibilities afforded by forensic science, and the dogged obstinacy of the state of Wisconsin, which continues to uphold Avery and Dassey’s convictions even in the face of contradictory evidence. Multifaceted, eye-opening and heartbreaking, it’s yet another must-see effort from the directors.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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