Finally, the conversation about the lack of diversity in social media and web/tech entrepreneurship is heating up. Now what?

April 4, 2011 — 5 Comments

African Americans Only 1% of Internet Start-up Founders

Finally, a few post about the lack of diversity in social media and web/tech entrepreneurship outside of the “black channel” are starting  to pop-up around the interwebs. Maybe 2011 is “our” year or the year we’ll not only see more minority own startups launch but get funded, covered by major tech blogs and receive the same respect as other social media and web/tech entrepreneurs. Hey… I can dream right? Before I post a few links of the recent blog post about the lack of diversity problem, lets look back on a some articles I think really started to highlight the problem. Most are from BlackWeb 2.0 where my friend and colleague Angle Benton and team have been covering the minority web tech space since 2007. The post that really has been an eye opener is the Venture Capital Human Capital Report in which BlackWeb 2.0 highlights that African Americans Only 1% of Internet Start-up Founders as you can see in the chart at the top of this post.


Other articles from around the web about the lack of diversity in the social media and tech entrepreneurship space pre 2011 are:


Fast forward to late 2010 and early 2011 the conversation about the lack of diversity in social media and tech entrepreneurship is heating up and others are starting to take notice. Also note the previous post were discussed a lot during SXSW 2011 and a few of us decided to launch our own startup (gokit) during SXSW as you can read here on Black Enterprise as a result. You see, the links above are primarily from minority own or affiliate sites with the exception for one or two. In the past few weeks there have been Quora questions and other post by non minorities noticing the lack of diversity in the social media space and highlighting minorities entrepreneurs. Here are a few:

Now What?

So now what? The conversations are heating up, we know there is a problem, few are making it or at least trying. How can myself and others help solve the problem?  I have a few ideas along with some of the notes and comments from the TechCrunch post about women of color. Here are some suggestions


Also note, I’m working with a team planning an accelerator based in the Bay Area this summer around minorities startups. For more information on the project email me if you would like to get involved.

Your turn!

What can you do and/or what are some suggestions how to solve the diversity problem in the social media and web/tech entrepreneurship space?

Wayne Sutton

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Wayne Sutton is a serial entrepreneur and general partner at Wayne has over 14 years experience in technology, design and business development. Wayne was recently recognized as one of the Silicon Valley 100 coolest people in tech, one of the 52 hottest new stars in Silicon Valley, one of the 46 Most Important African-Americans In Technology by Business Insider and one of the Top 100 most influential black people on social media in 2014.

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5 responses to Finally, the conversation about the lack of diversity in social media and web/tech entrepreneurship is heating up. Now what?

  1. Wayne,

    Great (and timely) piece. I think a lot of black people, and women, are exposed to social media, but don’t really understand the back end of what it means to be in “tech” or to be an “entrepreneur”. For many outside of that realm of knowledge, those terms can be very vague. I think building a culture around it is the best way to go.

  2. Thanks, Wayne, for a great post and starting the discussion. I’ve attempted to start something with some close friends for some time now. The obstacle – FEAR (including my own from time to time). We must stop talking about it, and just do it – go for it.

    Thanks again.

  3. I don’t understand what the problem is? Is anyone stopping minorities from creating a social presence or business? Not that I’ve witnessed. Furthermore, have you compared the usage of Twitter amongst black teens to others? Its not comparable. So who is out there facilitating those conversations? Who is leading those participants? This is not a color or gender issue. This is an issue of action and SELF-education. Not blaming schools, our home or our neighborhood. Looking inside ourselves. If groups of people (the human race) find they are under represented in the category of business ownership, then I suggest the people of those groups be proactive. Do something.

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