In 2016, a national campaign was launched to prevent the doors of Bennett College in South Carolina from closing. Efforts poured in from celebrities and organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., that successfully kept the historic institution open.
After seeing the campaign, Howard University alumna Dominique King was inspired to bring technology to HBCU fundraising so that anyone can support a Historically Black College at any time –– not just when the school may be in trouble.
"That moment when it came to my mind, the state of HBCUs and what is causing us to have these near closures of our sacred institutions," King told the Black Information Network. King wondered, "What can we do? What can our community do to have an impact and really make change?"
King said that while she really wants HBCU alumni to engage with the app, that "anyone with a cellphone can support," adding that the I Heart My HBCU is "really an app for our community to give back."
"This app is a way for us to support institutions that were made for us and to preserve their legacies, and is also a way to network and connect," King said, noting that her app –– unlike others in the industry –– has a chat room feature designed to get like-minded donors talking and connected.
"It's a place for our community to congregate and communicate about moving our community forward," the Houston native and marketing professional said.
King is encouraging other aspiring Black tech founders to bring their ideas to life, sharing that they should know: "it doesn't matter where you start," what's important is keeping a pulse on what's new in the world of tech and what consumers are responding to.
For King, it was the intention of bringing the widely-acclaimed spare change technology to a real issue in our community in order to address it in a real way, as she said, "bringing that technology to our community for our community."
Be on the lookout for I Heart My HBCU as the app expands its partnerships. "Stay tuned," King told us.