Mixtroz, a minority and woman-owned tech startup specializing in connecting people at live events in real time, has reached the historic fundraising mark of $1 million. Kerry Schrader and Ashlee Ammons, the founding mother-daughter team behind Mixtroz, have joined the exclusive circle of only 40 black females to close $1 million in seed funding.
“Achieving this milestone is a huge success for us, especially considering we are black, female, non-technical tech founders,” comments Kerry Schrader, Mixtroz co-founder, CEO and a former HR executive. “As a startup, Birmingham has proved to be a perfect homebase for us. They have figured out how civic, corporate and tech ecosytems must come together to breed success, and we attribute a lot of our accomplishments to the supportive business community here. In fact, we would not have reached this milestone without the active support from Innovation Depot’s Velocity Accelerator; Bronze Valley, a Birmingham-based venture platform focused on diverse founders; as well as local corporations and businesses; and of course Birmingham’s robust investor community.”
Mixtroz has an impressive track record: In May 2018 they pitched to a panel of judges, including AOL co-founder and Revolution CEO Steve Case, as part of Revolution’s Rise of the Rest bus tour stop in Birmingham. They won the competition, securing a $100,000 investment from Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and a coveted place in their portfolio as the only business from Alabama thus far. This kicked off their now fully funded $1 million seed round.
The Mixtroz networking software can be used anywhere where 25 or more people gather. The team focused its initial efforts primarily on events hosted by enterprises, institutes of higher education, and conferences and conventions. The app-based technology drives attendees from phone to face-to-face meetings, creating diverse groups in an effort to spark dynamic conversation. At the same time, event hosts gain valuable data on those interactions to quantify a networking ROI. Ashlee Ammons, co-founder, COO and notably first intern to NBA superstar LeBron James, says: “The fact that we were able to acquire prestigious clients clearly shows that there is a real need for our product. People attend events to make valuable connections. In the digital age, if the main motivation was to consume content, we’d all just livestream at home. Mixtroz is a way to make the most of your time when you have decided to make the effort to leave the house and attend an event.”
Mixtroz allows the organizer and/or sponsor to tailor specific questions capturing unique data from event attendees. It eliminates the need for antiquated “icebreaker” games as well as the arduous task of matching people by hand. “It’s a win-win for the attendees and the organizers,“ states Ammons. “The attendees are guaranteed to meet people of interest at events, and the organizers and sponsors can gather valuable information about the event participants in real time.”
Mixtroz is leveraging the secured funding to support the growth and continued evolution of its newly launched SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform and grow its core team.