The new TED Talk from Marcus Bullock—founder and CEO of Flikshop, a tech startup with heart and a personal history—has already surpassed the 500k mark, in less than a week of being live. Bullock’s dramatic, inspiring story takes audiences on his incredible journey from behind bars to venture-backed; a man who made good and is doing good.
At the age of 15, he was sentenced to eight years in adult maximum security prison—for stealing a car. After serving his sentence, he got out and got busy creating Flikshop, an app that allows family members to connect with their incarcerated loved ones in an affordable, personal way. And it comes from a deeply personal place—if it hadn’t been for his mother sending him a letter every day he was behind bars, Bullock knows he could have totally lost contact with the outside world—and that’s a recipe for a difficult transition back into society. That’s a big part of what makes Flikshop so powerful—not only is it valuable for maintaining one-on-one connection, but it doubly serves an educational purpose by enabling non-profits to teach key transitional skills like applying for housing and jobs—before returning citizens are thrust back into society.
Now a rising star in the tech community, Bullock has been named one of John Legend’s Unlocked Futures business accelerators, and is a member of the Justice Policy Institute’s board of directors. He also serves as an advisor to the Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund, and his inspirational story has been covered by Forbes, CNN, Black Enterprise, and NPR.
In his hit TED Talk, Bullock shares his deeply personal experience of how those letters from his mother were his lifeline—and how, with his creation of Flikshop, Inc., he’s given that lifeline to hundreds of thousands of others. A charismatic, compelling speaker with infectious optimism, Bullock is truly beacon of resilience, and of how to use entrepreneurship for social change.