Former New York-based investment banker Shondra Washington has just been named the chief exec of Black@™, as the newly launched membership community announces the rollout of its first product for web3 communities, GATED.
Launched in December 2021, Blackat, LLC (dba Black@TM ) is now a rapidly growing web3 community of over 200 Black founders, funders, creators, and community-builders. With a heavy emphasis on the value of social capital, it aims to create spaces online and offline for its members to connect, share resources and grow professionally. Black@ also hosts events for its members to network and learn.
“I am excited about the new business models that web3 creates which will put economic power back in the hands of creators and contributors,” says Washington, a University of Maryland grad. “I always tell my team to be creative when solving problems and being at the forefront of new technology allows the Black@ team to do just that but on a much bigger scale,”
Membership functions through ownership of a Black@ NFT, which then grants access to the private group chat, online and in-person events.
“When we started Black@ we had no idea what to expect, however seeing our token-gated community chat turn into real opportunities to change the Web3 space and offer value in the form of jobs and products has completely opened my eyes to what we can do together. I believe our tech solutions will change multiple industries and I couldn’t be more thrilled for it to be built by Black hands and Black minds.”
Washington brings a wealth of knowledge to the role having spent nearly a decade in finance and entrepreneurship. After spending several years as an investment banker, she co-founded TBC-Capital, an education-first investment firm, in 2018.
At TBC Washington, advised underrepresented startup founders and entrepreneurs as a fractional Chief Financial Officer. Her clients, which include Topicals and Bandwagon, have raised more than $25 million in venture capital and have created hundreds of jobs.
While her experience with blockchain technology dates back to early 2017, she started her NFT collection late last year when she received an NFT from the CPG Club which was created by Chris Cantino and Jaime Schmidt.
“A few months ago, I was invited to a Women in Web3 dinner hosted by Paris Hilton with powerhouses like Jamie Schmidt and Brit Moran,” she adds. I had no idea who else was invited so to walk into Paris’ home and see Jaime was such a full circle moment for me.”
The appointment of Washington as CEO coincides with the launch of Black@’s first product. GATED is a messaging tool that helps web3 communities connect with their community members asynchronously, sharing the most notable messages and content from their group chats – normally Discord or Telegram – in a simple daily newsletter or a web app.
GATED launched its private beta with communities like CPG Genesis, Pop, and Hugs (founded by Randi Zuckerberg and Co-founded by Debbie Soon). Their private beta will remain open for the remainder of Q3 as the company evaluates the needs of its community partners. The platform is outperforming expectations, with an impressive open rate of 77%.
Joining Washington on the Black@™ leadership team are ecosystem builders, Co-Founder Audrey Taylor-Akwenye (CTO) and Co-Founder Harold Hughes (CXO).
Read more about Black@ on their website.