“I joke now that I was always trying to be the perfect balance between Bill Nye the Science Guy and Beyoncé.” ~ Jessica Matthews, Cofounder of Uncharted Play
Summary: Jessica O. Matthews is a Nigerian-American inventor, CEO and venture capitalist. She is the co-founder of Uncharted Play, which makes Soccket, a soccer ball that can be used as a power generator. Jessica O. Matthews is a lot of things: a Harvard graduate, an American, a Nigerian, a black woman, an inventor, and a CEO. Matthews is the founder of Uncharted Play, a company that makes kinetic energy-harnessing products in order to “democratize energy access worldwide.” Uncharted Play first made headlines for its energy-harnessing soccer ball, called the Soccket, that could power a lamp after a few hours of play. But the company has recently made a big pivot, raised a Series A, and moved to a new office, which is all part of what Matthews calls “phase three.” The company also recently raised a $7 million Series A round, which Matthews says is the largest amount raised by a woman of color, ever.
Q: How did you feel about raising $7 million series A round? on businessinsider.com
A: The average amount a black woman will raise over the course of her life is $34,000. We raised $7M — the average series A that people raise. And by people I mean white, straight males. Why is this exciting? We’re in the game now. I’m excited that I’m playing on an equal level as the people that look opposite of me in Silicon Valley.