Posted Yesterday: Update title from: Black In America 4, Silicon Valley spoiler alert! 26 things to keep in mind while watching #blackinamerica tonight
Black In America 4 spoiler alert, spoiler alert! (not really)but Black In America 4 airs tonight 8pm on CNN. The subtitle is Silicon Valley, the new promise land narrated by Soledad O’Brien. The base of story about Black In America 4 is the NewME Accelerator which I help plan/organize with Angela Benton and also as a participated in as an entrepreneur. CNN heard about the project via a Wall Street Journal Article and the rest I guess you can is history. You’ll see tonight right?
The leading producer is Jason Samuels and while Soledad O’Brien is the host we spent most of our time with Jason Samuels and his crew. The CNN Black In America production crew was great and was nice to work with. I want to say a special thank you to not only Jason but to Garland McLaurin, Kim, Mark, Ronnie Stevenson IV, Henry and more.
Some of the questions I received during the pre-screening interviews were, what was it like living in the NewME Accelerator startup house, was it like a reality TV show, how much of the documentary was real vs staged. I couldn’t answer to many of those questions before last week because I was not in attendance to any of the pre-screening until Wednesday. Now that I’ve seen it I’ll say that the documentary is not stage at all and it’s 99% accurate BUT it’s also only about 10% of everything that happen this summer.
To be fair Jason Samuels wanted two hours or at least 90 minutes for Black In America 4 but CNN only gave him one hour for the show. That’s tough to try to fit everything in one hour especially when CNN recorded over 300 hours worth of footage this summer. Regardless I’m very grateful for the one hour.
With that being said, while watching Black In America 4, Silicon Valley, The New Promise Land tonight keep in mind the notes below of things you won’t see while the cameras were rolling this summer.
1. Coffee shops in Mountain View, CA – The NewME startup house was in Mountain View, CA & many of the founders worked out of Red Rock Cafe, StarBucks and the Mountain View Library
2. Three other startups in NewME Accelerator 2011 were One School, Central.ly and AisleFinder
3. The NewME Accelerator had over 25+ different great mentor and speakers. You can see them here http://www.newmeaccelerator.com/speakers-mentors/
4. Coworking – We did a lot of coworking from Citizen Space, Tagged and at the NewMe startup house
5. Black Founders welcome event. Our first Sunday in CA, Black Founders held a meetup/welcome event. Thanks again.
6. About the midway point we had a “practice” pitch session at Blue Run Ventures, with Jay Jamison. This was a big deal, Blue Run Ventures is known as where paypal was funded.
7. There were some amazing speaker dinners at the house. Two notable ones were with Tristan Walker right after his birthday and with Shellye Archambeau.
8. Mentor sessions at Tagged. It was great to see how both mentors and the founders interacted
9. Dinner with Soledad O’Brien at the NewME startup house. That was an interesting, fun day.
10. The cookouts! Hank Williams was the man on the grill. You’ll see some of that in the documentary.
11. The July 4 cookout was epic! Come on, 8 black people in one house, you know we were having a cookout on July 4th.
12. Driving… I mean a lot of driving. The house was in Mountain View and a lot of our meetings/mentor sessions were in San Francisco. Not to mention giving people rides.
13. There was a lot of trash in the house, I mean, it was.. ok you can use your imagination.
14. Dirty Dishes … we told everyone to clean up after themselves but somehow I did a lot of dish washing. #justsayin
15. Hajj Flemings after dark.. that was the saying after midnight but it wasn’t just Hajj we had some epic/funny conversations late at night.
16. Google sent various team members from Youtube, App Engine, Android and Oath to talk with us. Thanks Google.
17. Tagged, I can’t say enough about Tagged. The cofounders gave us an awesome talk, they hosted us for coworking and the closing party.
18. Pizza… that is all.
19. Keep in mind that we started planning NewME Accelerator around February/March 2011
20. Demo day was great! A big thanks to Mitch Kapor and team at Kapor Capital for hosting us. I wish you could see all of the demo day pitches.
21. Stephen DeBerry and Stephen Adams. I don’t care what color you are, if you ever get a chance to talk with either one of these guys. Value it, listen and learn.
22. The Fights! …wait. we didn’t have any fights. Sorry to disappoint you but there were a few heated conversations at times. All in the family.
23. Jason Samuels, as the Black In America 4 producer he’s behind the camera. He’s a great guy and I appreciate him reaching out about filming us for Black In America 4.
24. To be fair…I was wearing a baseball cap. Watch the documentary & you’ll understand.
25. We met MC Hammer and Chamillionaire. Both were interviewed about NewMe and Silicon Valley but it didn’t make the cut.
26. Here’s the roommate format:
Tiffani Bell with Angela Benton
Crisson Jno-Charles with Hajj Flemings
Anthony Fraiser with Wayne Sutton
Pius Uzamere (dinning room air mattress)
Hank Williams (outside room air mattress)
Please don’t read this as a dis or as if Black In America 4 is not going to be good, it’s still must watch tech tv!. A big thank you to Jason Samuels, CNN, Soledad O’Brien, all of the NewME Accelerator, speakers, mentors, sponsors and the Silicon Valley community.
Enjoy the documentary!
Watch CNN Black In America 4 this Sunday 8pm EST on CNN and then go to your computer to watch the official after Black In America 4 online live video panel and discussion with Mario Armstrong called “Innovation Nation:Startup Success”. Join us in the live chat, google hangout and more as we’ll talk about Black In America 4, Silicon Valley and more. We’ll also take questions from the online audience. When tweeting about the online live broadcast use the hashtag #bialive. The Black In America 4 hashtag is #blackinamerica. For more information about the live broadcast visit: http://www.marioarmstrong.com/on-air/innovation-nation-the-official-live-webcast/