Black Artist Incubator

Note from our founder:

Dear HiiiWAV Community,

How it started: A broken promise to our org left a $500k funding gap with only 30 days to close on a building.


How it’s going: Our new permanent home at 2781 Telegraph has become a hub for innovation, symbolized by the success of our Afro AI program, and a movement is swelling in Oakland – a powerful wave of creativity, entrepreneurship, and community empowerment!

As I reflect on this remarkable year, I am filled with immense gratitude and pride for our collective achievements. This has been nothing short of a transformative journey! HiiiWAV has not just been a participant, but is a driving force empowering artists and entrepreneurs via our programs, workshops and mentorship. This journey, amplified by our partnerships with, Zoolabs, EBPREC, Uptima, SanctuaryFSA, Hidden Genius, and EOYDC, reflects a magical yet scientific and prolific elevation of our city – a hellavation!

Hellavation (“hel-uh-vay-shun”) – a powerful wave of creativity, entrepreneurship, and community empowerment, elevating the Bay Area.


Black creatives, technologists, and allies have united, undeterred by false narratives and empty commitments, harnessing the Oakland Black Panther spirit of self-determination, channeling E40 and the energy of the hyphy movement, and building Ryan Coogler’s Wakanda IRL. Our collective work is turning visions of Afrofuturism and innovative technology into reality, writing a new chapter in Oakland’s story.

As we look ahead, I urge you to support this groundbreaking movement. Share this newsletter with creatives, technologists, and philanthropists who can help amplify our impact. Together, let’s continue to elevate the Bay Area, spreading this wave of innovation and empowerment globally.



With appreciation and excitement for the future,

Bosko Kante

Founder and President, HiiiWAV


Of $50B pledged to support racial equity after George Floyd’s murder, only 4% has been deployed – Washington Post

HiiiGHLIGHTS of the Year

How We Made WAVs in 2023!


Thanks to the incredible support and generosity of Carl and Pilar from Corduroy Media & Mama Dog Studios, who provided vital space access and support, HiiiToP was not just a celebration but a pivotal moment, providing the final push in our fundraising efforts to purchase the HiiiWAV building.


The event was energized by Patience Yi’s keynote speech and further enriched by heartfelt testimonials from Mani Draper of Grand National, Tommy & Kaitland of Alphabet Rockers, and Jasmine of Honey Gold, culminating in an electrifying performance by Alphabet Rockers. This gathering didn’t just mark the end of a fundraising chapter; it set a vibrant tone for the future of HiiiWAV, proving that together, we can achieve monumental goals.

YBCA 100 Honoree

The YBCA 100 list, launched in 2014, annually celebrates artists, activists, and leaders dedicated to building regenerative and equitable communities through art and activism. This year, the list returns to its roots, focusing on Bay Area individuals and organizations, including HiiiWAV, to honor those driving empathy, hope, and action. HiiiWAV, recognized as one of the 2023 YBCA 100 Honorees, was celebrated for our inspiring work in a dynamic program featuring live performances and interactive art.

Piedmont Wine Festival

The YBCA 100 list, launched in 2014, annually celebrates artists, activists, and leaders dedicated to building regenerative and equitable communities through art and activism. This year, the list returns to its roots, focusing on Bay Area individuals and organizations, including HiiiWAV, to honor those driving empathy, hope, and action. HiiiWAV, recognized as one of the 2023 YBCA 100 Honorees, was celebrated for our inspiring work in a dynamic program featuring live performances and interactive art.

Founders Dinner

This special gathering celebrated the synergy of generous funders, private donors, Afro-filterism Demo Day’s grant recipients, and supportive corporate partners, all integral to acquiring HiiiWAV’s new headquarters. Highlight of the night? Joshua Mays’ live painting, capturing the essence of our collective gratitude and dreams, complemented by delicious culinary creations from Town Fare, a fantastic black-owned restaurant run by Chef Michele McQueen, and the warm company of those who are the pillars of HiiiWAV’s success.

Funding Fair

HiiiWAV’s Funding Fair 2023 was a dynamic event aimed at empowering attendees with crucial insights into funding and investment. Key tips shared included the importance of knowing your purpose and value, finding aligned investors, and understanding your numbers. Alongside HiiiWAV, esteemed organizations such as Zoo Labs, ICA, Uptima and ESO Ventures, provided invaluable advice, with the event highlighting the collective strength in pursuing financial empowerment for creative ventures.


HiiiWAV’s “Frequency” Program (mentorship & more)

Frequency is a dynamic and comprehensive initiative offering artists and music professionals a suite of resources for holistic growth, including Design Thinking, Business Model training, and specialized industry workshops. Esteemed teams like Grand National, Alphabet Rockers, and Prospect have leveraged the program’s diverse offerings, from technical expertise and crowdfunding support to recording/rehearsal studio access and mentorship opportunities. This multifaceted approach fosters a thriving community where artists can develop, collaborate, and innovate in the ever-evolving landscape of the music industry.

HiiiWAV’s They Cloned Tyrone Screening

A spirited discussion led by Sistah Sci-Fi (Isis Asare), Taylor Nanz of Solid Grounds, and Bosko, unfolded, highlighting how comedy is often used by Black communities to mask trauma and deep-seated anger stemming from injustice. This exploration into the film’s themes revealed the dual nature of comedy as both a coping mechanism and a tranquilizer, masking the potent, action-oriented energy of anger. The event, part of our focus on impactful action, raised the critical question of how to channel this anger into constructive growth while remaining cautious of humor’s sedative effects. We’re looking forward to more Sci-Fi Sunday screenings in 2024.

Marc J. Spears Hall of Fame surprise Party

Marc J. Spears, a seasoned NBA writer and respected voice in sports journalism, was honored at a HiiiWAV-hosted event celebrating his induction into the NBA Hall of Fame. Spears, known for his impactful stories on race and culture in sports, shared insights and experiences from his distinguished career, which began with his early passion for sports writing and evolved into a role at ESPN’s Andscape. The event, marking a significant milestone in Spears’ career, was not only a celebration of his achievements but also an inspiring gathering of his colleagues and friends, featuring a screening of his new show and highlighting the importance of perseverance and authenticity in journalism.

Uptima Wine Down

Uptima’s annual Member Wine Down, hosted this year by HiiiWAV, was a vibrant gathering of entrepreneurs from various cohorts and accelerator programs, including Runway Project and the Berkeley Business Retention Program. This event underscored Uptima’s commitment to providing holistic, culturally relevant education and business advising, instrumental in HiiiWAV’s growth and success. As a cooperative, Uptima not only empowers entrepreneurs to own their businesses but also to invest in the collective future of their community, making the Wine Down a celebration of shared success and community building.

Ample Ecosystem
Summit 2023

Ample Summit 2023 was a landmark event uniting innovators and leaders to drive thought leadership and community growth & the importance of work/life balance. Esteemed speakers; Sydney Thomas of Symphonic Capital highlighted strategies for business funding, while David Kumaran from Satya Studio delved into the societal impacts of “Conscious Tech.” Teasha Cable, CEO of C-Model, emphasized purpose in business expansion, underscoring the summit’s alignment with HiiiWAV’s mission to support underrepresented creators and entrepreneurs.


BIY$ Workshop & Book Release Celebration

HiiiWAV proudly hosted and sponsored the “Healing Our Money Stories” workshop, a transformative two-day event tailored for RUNWAY entrepreneurs, which culminated in the celebration of Jessica Norwood’s book release, “Believe in You Money.” As the author of BIY$ and founder of Runway, Jessica has been instrumental in supporting both HiiiWAV and ElectroSpit, bringing invaluable insights into reimagining economic systems that empower Black communities. The book release party, open to the public, featured a display of Jessica’s work, thematic décor, and a lively atmosphere with finger foods and a bar, honoring her significant contribution to fostering a more inclusive and reparative economy.

The Gold Soul Show

The Gold Soul show is a variety game show where contestants come for the GOLD & stay for the SOUL! This eclectic, high energy collaborative game show puts 8 creatives head to head to see who has the most star power and determination to take home the cash prize for their team. Split into 2 teams of 4, the GOLD team and the SOUL team, contestants are put to the test with trivia, art challenges, and wild card surprises in a race to bag the most stars by the end of the game. The Gold Soul Show is filmed in front of a live audience and fosters an interactive experience where everyone in the room has the chance to take home some of the cash prize! Come play with creator and host Honey Gold Jasmine and more artists, comedians, gamers, and dope people who wanna have a good time! Special editions of the show include cosplay contests, pre show gaming tournaments, a free video game arcade, and open board game play. The last game show hosted at HiiiWAV featured contestants Stoni, Kaly Jay, Leinz, Pxychotyco, Jamel Griot, Lauren Dupreé, Zen Alaia Lotus, and Isaiah Mostafa. 


Esscents of Flowers Workshop

This delightful flower arranging workshop led by Esscents of Flowers, a fellow member of the Uptima and Runway communities, alongside HiiiWAV and ElectroSpit. In the creatively inspiring atmosphere of HiiiWAV’s space, participants crafted fall-inspired floral arrangements, drawing joy and inspiration from the art-adorned walls. The successful workshop has sparked enthusiasm for future events, encouraging attendees to sign up for the newsletter to stay informed about upcoming workshops.


September 21st, HiiiWAV HQ launched the AFRO AI program, immersing attendees in the exciting possibilities of AI in the creative realm. Bosko kicked off the event, highlighting the importance of pioneering AI technologies, followed by Lance Coleman’s mini-workshop that inspired participants, many new to AI, to create stunning AI-assisted album art, culminating in a $200 prize for the best design. The evening was further energized by an impromptu jam session featuring Bosko with the ElectroSpit and Fuze the MC, complemented by nourishment from Hella Nuts and Ayaba Wines. This kickoff event set a high bar for creativity and community engagement, promising more exciting HiiiWAV events in the future.

AFRO AI Virtual Courses

In October, HiiiWAV’s Afro AI program offered an exceptional series of four virtual courses, each hosting 25-30 participants, led by prominent experts in the field of AI and XR. Don Allen III, known as the “Bob Ross” of the Metaverse, guided participants through the astounding applications of AI in art, business, and daily life, emphasizing a human-centered approach to AI creativity. Lance Coleman, an AI expert and technologist, shared his insights on how AI is revolutionizing music videos, blending technology with culture. Benin Saffo, a leader in VR and AI-driven product development, imparted her extensive knowledge in building products with AI, making complex concepts accessible and exciting.


Finally, Aaron Wade from Google Creative Lab, with his diverse background in computer science, psychology, linguistics, and music, explored the role of AI in sparking new creativity and innovations, particularly focusing on large language models (LLMs) and other generative AI technologies. Each course was a deep dive into the future of AI, combining technical expertise with creative exploration.

AFRO AI: Demo Day

The AFRO AI Demo Day, hosted by HiiiWAV, was a spectacular showcase of Black-built, cutting-edge AI technology, featuring 8 highly talented competing teams. The event’s winners were truly remarkable: GOOROO clinched the HiiiWAV AFRO AI Apex Award and $10K for their innovative AI-assisted music engineering, transforming digital audio workstations.

Choice Scores, led by Kev Choice, won the HiiiWAV AFRO AI Rhythm Revolution Award for his groundbreaking project that turns hip-hop tracks into full orchestrations using AI, blending the legacy of Black composers with modern technology.

RyanNicole’s Worth.AI grabbed the HiiiWAV AFRO AI Spark Award, presenting a new artist pricing model that ensures fair compensation for artists and venues.

The esteemed panel of judges included Bryan Calhoun, an artist advocate and technology expert, Habibatou Magassa, a Producer at Google Creative Lab known for her AI-driven projects, Emi Kolawole, a multimedia professional and founder of Dexign LLC, Vinitha Watson, Founder and Executive Director of Zoo Labs and a Depth Hypnosis Practitioner, and the Grammy Award-winning artist Lupe Fiasco. Each judge brought a unique perspective. Their diverse backgrounds and expertise added depth and insight to the judging process, making the event a significant milestone in 

celebrating Black innovation in AI and technology.

Open Mic Solid Grounds

On Tuesday, November 14th, HiiiWAV hosted an unforgettable Open Mic Night in partnership with Solid Grounds and Soul Blends Coffee, celebrating the vibrant creativity of Oakland’s community. This event was a gathering of culture and connection, showcasing a diverse array of local artists and voices from comedy to spoken word. A portion of the evening’s ticket sales was dedicated to supporting Casa Borinqueña, marking the night not only a showcase of talent but also an act of community solidarity and support.


HiiiWAV headquarters buzzed with the warmth and joy of the HiiiFriends Holiday Potluck, a multi-generational gathering of family, friends, and colleagues. From 2pm to 5pm, attendees brought along their favorite dishes, contributing to a diverse and delicious spread that symbolized the collaborative spirit of the community. The open bar added a lively touch to the event, fueling a comical & exciting karaoke experience that had everyone singing and celebrating. This festive gathering was not just a celebration of the holiday season but a testament to building a legacy that echoes across generations.

Holiday Fest

In collaboration with Sanctuary, Bridgeyard, The Blackout Market, Hella Plants, Black Vines, Visit Oakland, & Kinfolx, sponsored the live performances for a vibrant local shopping event at The Bridgeyard. The event was enlivened with live performances by the talented Jazz-fusion group The 3 Elements, the soulful Bay Area musician August Lee Stevens, the inspiring Oakland School for the Arts band Prospect, and the remarkable young Tenor Saxophone Jazz musician Ayo Brame. Additionally, HiiiWAV artists Dame Drummer, Grand National, and Alphabet Rockers showcased their talents at the HiiiWAV merchandise booth, making the event a true celebration of local Black-owned businesses and artistic talent.

In community,

Bosko, Maya, and Miles

HiiiWAV Team