Bullock is also founder and CEO of Flikshop, Inc., a software company that builds tools to help incarcerated people stay connected to their families and build community. The Flikshop mobile app enables families and non-profit organizations to send personalized postcards to any person in any cell in the US, with the mission of using social connections to decrease recidivism. He also founded the Flikshop School of Business, a program that teaches returning citizens life skills and entrepreneurship via computer coding and software development. As Forbes writes, “Will Flikshop, the Instagram for prisons, solve all of [the mass incarceration] issues? No. But Flikshop typifies the sort of work that needs support to scale to address these issues from many angles.”
Bullock is an inaugural cohort member of Techstars Anywhere and John Legend’s Unlocked Futures business accelerators. He was selected as one of The Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans in the US. Shortly after, Bullock was named a 2020 Halcyon Incubator Fellow. Additional awards include: Aspen Ideas Award, WBJ 40 under 40, US State Park Distinguished 400 Award, and 2021 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Finalist.
He is a member of the Justice Policy Institute’s board of directors, Advisory Board member for Princeton University’s Prison Teaching Initiative, and serves as an advisor to the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business and Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund.
Married with two children, Bullock’s story has received coverage from Forbes, CNN, Washington Post, Black Enterprise, and NPR.
- Finding Creative Inspiration from Challenges: From Convict to CEO
Marcus Bullock is the epitome of resilience. As a fifteen-year-old-kid, he wound up in adult maximum security prison for auto theft—for eight years. His mother sent him a letter every day, a gesture akin to winning the lottery in a world where you’re otherwise totally isolated, without even internet access. When he got out, he was determined to create positive social change; coming up with the idea for Flikshop, a tech company that connects families with their incarcerated loved ones. Bullock is no stranger to the pain and challenges of life in prison—and life once getting out brings its own as well: when there’s a lack of support and resources, recidivism is common and circumstances bleak. But he found not only the strength to overcome his adverse circumstances, but the entrepreneurial spirit o help others with theirs, by creating an app that not only connects those behind bars to the outside world, but that can assist with their education, skill-building and getting a head start on the challenges of life after release like housing and job applications. 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.
- Harnessing the Power of Diverse Entrepreneurship: Building Technology for Social Good
What does it take to build a business that has a positive impact on society, and is successful? And how does an ex-prisoner penetrate Silicon Valley? Marcus Bullock knows the answer to both, and with good cause—he’s done them all. After leaving prison as a young adult (incarcerated for eight years for stealing a car), he saw a lot of challenges—but he also saw unique solutions. With a brilliant idea—the app Flikshop—he was able to get into the startup market even with a lack of resources, criminal record and a knowledge gap in the complex world of tech. One of the rare, truly feel-good apps of the last five years, Bullock shares how solutions like Flikshop are waiting for the world—but they’re all too often hiding in underserved communities. How can you reshape the narrative of tech entrepreneurship to not just be for the privileged, but for everyone—especially any marginalized group that can benefit from enhanced connectivity the most? Building technology and harnessing entrepreneurial ventures for social good is the way of the future, and Bullock and many other Black entrepreneurs are leading the way.