Onyx Valley offers people of color the opportunity to learn user experience (UX) and work with tech companies.

October 22, 2022

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Onyx Valley is a tech venture launched in late 2016 thanks to the Institute of Hip Hop Entrepreneurship (IHHE)’s startup incubator program. The startup offers people of color the opportunity to work learn user experience (UX) and work within tech companies. Industry professionals offer their connections and mentor current students.

Students are able to learn technical and professional skills to help themselves succeed after leaving Onyx Valley. It provides hands-on experiences with field trips, company visits, and professional networking. Programs are free of charge, encouraging people with financial restraints to apply.

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Founder Kyree Holmes came up with Onyx Valley after she graduated from college. She had stumbled on UX design in college and wanted to help others get into the field. For her, it was important to promote access and encourage diversity in the tech industry.

When she successfully pitched her idea to IHHE, she had the funds to start her venture. However, she wasn’t sure how she was going to brand it. She knew it had to appeal to younger audiences and get them interested in UX designing. While attending a few events, she was able to see Penji and learn about our work.

Kyree signed up for a Penji account and got to work. She started talking with her designers on what she wanted Onyx Valley’s brand to become. One of the most important aspects of her brand was the logo. It had to look modern and attract future programmers. Her logo was important; A logo design can set the tone for an entire business. After revisions, Kyree was happy with the look of her logo. It was simple but still looked futuristic. It would help with later marketing materials, such as her move to social media.

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When she later asked Penji for social media post designs, our team of designers was able to work with the brand identity we had created for her earlier. Using the same black and white branding, we created a set of posts. She was able to use this simple style to fill in quotes she wanted to post on Onyx Valley’s Instagram pages. It used hints of her logo to further push the startup’s consistency in their branding.

Kyree continues to work with Penji on smaller projects, and Onyx Valley continues to make strides in their field. In 2018, Onyx Valley was one of the Emerging City Champions in Philadelphia. The startup was provided a grant and a mission to help make increase movement in the city’s public spaces. In early September 2019, the startup launched a chapter on Drexel University’s campus. The initiative is led by a CCI student and helps students on campus become familiar with UX, similar to Onyx Valley’s mission and vision. Kyree was also interviewed by the Philadelphia Citizen and the Philadelphia Business Journal for her work.

Penji continues to help different startups with their branding endeavors. Red Queen, another startup based out of Philadelphia, had a specific problem with their ads. Check out how Penji solved their problems. Want to learn how Penji works with multiple brands? Sign up for a demo with us today. 



Chop Dawg recently celebrated their 10-year anniversary. In the decade since its founding, the company has grown significantly, bringing in multiple full-time designers and staff. It won ten awards in 2019, ranging from a top mobile app developer from UpCity to being a Clutch Top 1000 companies. Tammy continues to work for the company as the Chief Executive Officer, overseeing the multiple teams working at Chop Dawg. The company continues to use Penji for their social media design needs. With Penji, your company gains a new employee dedicated to ensuring your graphics are perfect. Interested in seeing how Penji can help your company with first impressions? Engageathon’s article is your next stop. If you’re ready to take the next step, head over to Penji’s pricing page and see your options.

About the author : Punit Chaudhary

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