Elevating Emerging Entrepreneurs

DJ Riley

Founder, Tendaji

Daryl “DJ” Riley, Jr. is more than an entrepreneur; he’s a visionary from Newburgh, NY, whose entrepreneurial journey unfolded during the challenges of COVID-19. Graduating from Hampton University and North Carolina A&T State University, DJ’s story resonates deeply with anyone who’s pursued their dreams against adversity. His fashion technology venture, Tendaji, conceived during a senior design project, blossomed into a beacon of hope. Tendaji, meaning “make things happen” in Swahili, embodies DJ’s mission to impact society positively. Recognitions like a Top 7 business in the Black Girl Ventures x NBA Foundation NextGen Program and a 2023 Prize Winner in Pharrell Williams’s Black Ambition Prize Competition testify to Tendaji’s success. Beyond business, DJ co-founded GiveBLK (pronounced “Give Black”), a testament to his commitment to community empowerment. As President, DJ leads initiatives empowering HBCU talent and the broader African Diaspora. Notably, GiveBLK organized the ambassador program at the Legacy Classic, hosted by Michael B. Jordan, showcasing HBCU talent and promoting community engagement. Personal struggles, including Newburgh’s challenges and personal losses, forged DJ’s resilience and deepened his advocacy for mental health. These experiences make him relatable to those facing adversity. His dedication to brotherhood and service is evident in his membership at the Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. This brotherhood reflects DJ’s leadership values, community upliftment, and excellence. DJ’s story inspires us to chase dreams, overcome obstacles, and make a difference—one step at a time.