Meet Joe Pledger, Principal Owner of Achieve Historical Appreciation!, LLC.  Joe has been a LaunchHouse Flex Member since August of 2015.  Since joining, he has been hard at work building his company.  Achieve Historical Appreciation!, LLC produces comic books, video games, and portable learning centers to connect individuals in the Black community to their heritage.

Joe was inspired to start his business because he felt a need to empower himself and others disaffected by popular culture.  Joe’s comic books and video games fall into the “afrofuturism” genre.  Afrofuturism uses elements of science fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy to critique present-day struggles of Blacks, while also re-examining historical events from the past.  Through his creative video games, users can take a look back at the history of African people, while also imagining and visualizing possibilities for their future.  He hopes the digital experience that his company offers will help other Blacks feeling disaffected by popular culture.

Since founding Achieve Historical Appreciation!, LLC, Joe has learned a lot.  Looking back, he says he would have taken more time to understand the market before starting his business, rather than making assumptions.  Joe is particularly thankful for a helpful resource he heard about from a mentor at JumpStart’s annual Startup Scaleup event: Fiverr.  Since founding his digital brand, he has had freelancers from Fiverr help him out with nearly 100 small projects.  But Joe has learned the most from the feedback he receives after pitching his products.  “People are not convinced that your product has value to them just because it’s advertised.”  He is constantly learning as he further develops his products.

Joe decided to join LaunchHouse so that he could have a professional environment for his business to call home.  He appreciates the educational workshops and business connections that he has benefited from.  Additionally, he needed an official business address, which he now has.  But moreover, Joe has found a community.  Last year, a few months after he joined, LaunchHouse hosted a Thanksgiving luncheon for members, friends, and family.  When asked about his favorite memory, Joe recalled this Thanksgiving meal, which his family also attended.  He looks forward to the next one!

When Joe is not at LaunchHouse working on his startup, he is at Cleveland State’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where he is getting his Master’s in Legal Studies.  He is specializing in Commercial Law, and will be graduating soon.  We look forward to congratulating him on his graduation!

This post is by Marybeth Stucker, Director of Operations and Membership.

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