flickr photo By Dunechaser
Since coming back from CA and co-launching the NewMe Accelerator, I’ve received tons of emails and phone calls from various entrepreneurs across the country looking to either launch a startup, launch their own accelerator or minority tech conference. You get the picture. Like I said in one of my previous post, the topic of lack of diversity in tech is hot this year and the conversation around the lack of blacks startup founders or trying to be one is even hotter.
One of the many reasons we launched NewMe Accelerator was with the hope of being examples for other like minded entrepreneurs who wanted to pursue their dream of launching their own startup. The experience was life changing. A popular question I get asked is what was some of the things I learned while in Silicon Valley. I learned a lot but one thing I learned in particular about the Silicon Valley community is that majority of the entrepreneurs, investors, Venture Capitalist for the most part are willing to work with each and help other entrepreneurs succeed. I left with the feeling that they understand the ech system, how it works and knows that if they help and support one another, communicate and provide introductions and referrals then it not only helps them but it helps makes Silicon Valley what Silicon Valley is, the leading place in the world to launch a web/tech startup. You have your few individuals who are cut throat and only care abut themselves or their startup etc but we have those everywhere.
There are programs and communities across the world trying to duplicate the Valley success. Now apply that to the African-American tech community and our culture. We’re spread out, disconnected and known via our “culture” not to work together well with others.(please prove me wrong). Going back to problem and conversation of why so few blacks in tech or black founders and the whole diversity problem. I don’t believe we “Blacks in Tech” needs a modern day Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks, we just need to start working together and those who are working together do even more. Myself included. There are tons of resources, various niche communities from Facebook groups in California, to Meetup Groups in NY and State of Black Tech panels in DC and if we really want to help close the digital divide, create jobs, launch startups and be examples to the community and for the next generation, they’re won’t be one or two or three people doing it or leading the charge. It will be a dynamic change in the African-American culture/communities how we work together and educate each others about technology.