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Tulsa, Okla. – BrainTrust Founders Studio, the single largest platform dedicated to Black founders of beauty and wellness companies, today announced a partnership with Build in Tulsa, a non-profit organization committed to catalyzing multi-generational Black wealth through tech and entrepreneurship. 

Together the companies will build and amplify “Build Black Beauty in Tulsa,” or “B3,” to increase awareness of how Build in Tulsa’s infrastructure and programs can support Black founders of beauty and wellness companies.

To launch this partnership, Build in Tulsa and BrainTrust Founders Studio are hosting a panel, “Still We Rise” featuring BTFS member and founder of Divaneering Lab, Shawna Stepp-Jones during, the For(bes) The Culture Journey to Wealth Event that is taking place in Tulsa January 17th – 19th. 

“I’m extremely excited to be a part of this For(bes) The Culture/Build in Tulsa event because of the history of Tulsa and because this is the opportunity to be a game changer and history maker for underrepresented communities. This event will be pivotal in helping founders such as myself scale because it provides access and exposure to opportunities that Black and Brown minority founders and professionals typically would not have” – Shawna Stepp-Jones

In addition to For(bes) the Culture, through this three-year partnership, BrainTrust Founders Studio will place B3 at the center of national programs for beauty and wellness entrepreneurs, such as “Founders House,” an inclusive community-meets-commerce franchise for founders, influencers, industry leaders, service providers and investors.

After a successful launch in New Orleans in 2022, Founders House is planning 2023 “pop-ups” in Austin, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Martha’s Vineyard, Los Angeles, and New York, all of which will showcase B3. 

“B3 will deliver what Black founders need: Direct pathways to capital and strategic resources to help grow our businesses. We are honored to partner with Build in Tulsa to bring the beauty and wellness industry to Tulsa,” said Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Founder and CEO of BrainTrust Founders Studio.

“Rooted in the legacy of Black Wall Street, the programs being developed in Tulsa to empower Black founders is a blueprint for other cities to create ecosystems for winning. Increasing awareness of Build in Tulsa’s infrastructure supporting Black entrepreneurs is important work.” 

In addition to B3 and Founders House, BrainTrust Founders Studio founders have been invited to participate in the W.E. Build Accelerator by Build in Tulsa and sponsored by Goldman Sachs. The full-time program will empower 8 innovative and diverse early-stage startups led by Black women to create and launch scalable ventures in Tulsa, OK, from April 26, 2023 – August 10, 2023. Two spots are being held for applicants from BrainTrust Founders Studio, where 100% of founders are Black and 91% identify as women.

CEO Bracken-Ferguson and Co-founder and Chief Investment Officer Lisa Stone will join the advisory board for W.E. Build. This unique and comprehensive program will provide non-dilutive grants, business education, and wraparound services such as childcare. 

“Build in Tulsa is thrilled to partner with BrainTrust Founders Studio to grow Black beauty businesses in Tulsa,” said Ashli Sims, Build in Tulsa’s Managing Director. “Our community has long ties to the beauty industry going back to historic Greenwood where Madame CJ Walker had a beauty school in the 1920s. We’re proud to help carry forward that legacy and create more pathways to wealth for Black beauty founders.” 

Through B3, Black founders of beauty and wellness companies across the country will be able to access information on how to leverage a broad spectrum of Tulsa-based resources to scale their companies as well as tap into a valuable business community designed and developed to help start-ups scale. For more information about B3, founders are invited to email

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...