After almost a decade of connecting incarcerated folks with friends and family on the outside, Flikshop Founder Marcus Bullock is boosting the company’s workforce development offerings with a new $250,000 investment from Boeing.
Since its founding in 2012, Flikshop, which is headquartered in the Navy Yard, has used a social media-like format to keep families connected and prevent recidivism. The company developed an app that allows people to send postcards, photos and letters to incarcerated loved ones. Credits to send the messages can be purchased by friends and family members, or through corporate sponsorships.
Bullock founded Flikshop after his own incarceration during his youth. He said his mom made it a mission to contact him daily while he was in prison, keeping him in high spirits and giving him something to look forward to each day. After he was released, he wanted to help others have that connection.
“We knew that if we did our jobs correctly, that we would be able to reduce recidivism simply by keeping the family connections close and allowing loved ones to share micro-moments the same way that we do on social media,” Bullock said.
The company has since expanded to other offerings for incarcerated people, founding the Flikshop School of Business and partnering with organizations like D.C. tech inclusion org Byte Back to provide digital literacy courses to inmates. Bullock said that following the success of Flikshop, the company wanted to make sure it was opening doors to digital careers in D.C.