It’s no secret that Black entrepreneurs are less likely to receive venture capital funding. Historically, the same has been said for female entrepreneurs. So, you can imagine that the odds are stacked against you if you are a woman of color trying to set up a business.
Despite this, there are countless women of color doing incredible things in industries all over the world, specifically the tech space. And I wanted to do some shouting about a select number of said entrepreneurs. So, here are seven incredible tech companies that were founded by amazing women of color.
Angela Benton, Founder & CEO of Streamlytics
Angela Benton is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Streamlytics, which uses first-party media consumption data to bring transparency to what people are streaming on today’s most popular streaming services while helping consumers own their data in the process.
She is a pioneer of diversity in the technology industry and raising awareness around the inequalities that exist in the industry. In 2011 she founded NewME, the first accelerator globally for minorities. Through her leadership NewME has accelerated hundreds of entrepreneurs helping nascent companies to raise millions in venture capital funding. Prior to that she launched BlackWeb 2.0 in 2007, a multimedia platform which filled a much-needed void by becoming a vital nexus for African-Americans interested in technology. She is a seasoned Entrepreneur and Internet Executive having worked in various roles from design, to development, to strategy at IAC. Needless to say, she’s been busy folks.
Asmau Ahmed, Founder of Plum Perfect
Asmau is an accomplished executive, operating at the intersection of business and technology, with a proven track record of building widely adopted digital products, running successful large-scale digital transformations, and leading corporate strategy teams across multiple industries including financial services, consumer retail, and technology. In 2013, the Columbia graduate founded Plum Perfect, an app that scans a users’ selfie to find the perfect makeup for their skin tone – including the various tones of women of color.
She was recently listed as one of five “Top Women in Digital” entrepreneurs by Cynopsis Media, as well as being named as one of seven “Business And Tech Professionals Who Are Changing The Game” by Huffington Post. All in a day’s work.
Kathryn Finney, Founder of Digitalundivided
Named by Inc Magazine as one of the most influential women in tech, Kathryn Finney has made her mark as an entrepreneur, social media visionary, “women in” advocate, investor, writer, and television correspondent.
Kathryn is the founder and founding CEO of digitalundivided, a non profit social enterprise that takes an innovative, transformative approach to economic empowerment by encouraging Black and Latina women to own their economic security through entrepreneurship. Kathryn grew the organisation from an idea to 10+ staff members, in two locations (Newark and Atlanta) and managing a budget of over seven figures. After eight years as CEO, she recently stepped down to become the first black woman business author at Portfolio/Penguin Books.
Kimberly Bryant, Founder & Executive Director of Black Girls CODE
Kimberly Bryant is the Founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color (ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts.
Kimberly has been recognised as a thought leader for her work to increase opportunities for women and girls in the technology industry and has received numerous awards for her work with Black Girls CODE. Kimberly has been awarded the prestigious Jefferson Award for Community Service for her work to support communities in the Bay Area, named by Business Insider on its list of “The 25 Most Influential African-Americans in Technology”, and named to The Root 100 and the Ebony Power 100 lists in 2013. Kimberly has been named one of FastCompany’s Most Creative People. Kimberly was named a White House as a Champion of Change for her work in tech inclusion and for her focus on bridging the digital divide for girls of color and received an Ingenuity Award in Social Progress from the Smithsonian Institute.
Jasmine Crowe, Founder & CEO of Goodr
Jasmine Crowe believes everyone should eat, and eat well. She founded Goodr, a company that aims to reduce food waste by leveraging technology. Using their logistics, analytics, and security, businesses can donate extra food to nonprofit organizations and earn tax deductions in the process. The platform, enabled by the blockchain, benefits hungry people, the donor businesses, and the environment.
She is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the social impact industry. She describes herself (as per her LinkedIn anyway) as a strong entrepreneurship professional skilled in Community Relations, Event Management, Fundraising, and Leadership.
Kunbi Tinuoye, Founder & CEO of UrbanGeekz
Kunbi Tinuoye is an award-winning British-born journalist and broadcaster based in the States. She is the CEO of UrbanGeekz, a groundbreaking digital news platform focused on technology, science, business, and startups.
UrbanGeekz is a first to market tech blog focused on covering content from a diverse and multicultural perspective. The groundbreaking videocentric multimedia platform covers technology, business, science, and startups. Their mission is to make tech ‘cool’ and accessible while highlighting business, entrepreneurship, and STEM-related fields as exciting and rewarding career paths, especially for women and underrepresented groups. The business has negotiated partnerships with AT&T, Zoho, Flatiron School, PagerDuty, and Wallbreakers among others, and has also secured sponsorships with Calendly, SalesLoft, and BeVisible (among others) for x2 onsite UrbanGeekz tech conferences. Not bad, right?
Natasia Malaihollo, Founder & CEO of Wyzerr
Natasia Malaihollo is the CEO and co-founder of Wyzerr, a startup company that gammifies customer feedback collection, analytics, and reporting. At Wyzerr, Natasia grew its customer base to over 2,100 small and large businesses in 42 countries in less than 2 years, and counts Google, Facebook, P&G, Unilever, Walmart, and Kroger as clients. Wyzerr continues to provide enterprise companies market research services focused on innovative ways to collect feedback from consumers at point of sale, such as through wifi, cell phone charging stations, and other unique engagement points.
Natasia has won multiple business and innovation awards for her customer feedback work with Wyzerr. In 2017, Smithsonian Magazine named Natasia to their annual Eight Innovators to Watch List. She has won a number of other awards including Forbes Under 30 Global Change the World, FedEx’s 36|86 Entrepreneurial award, CART Retail Innovation, Cincinnati Courier’s Women Who Mean Business, and Kentucky’s Thoroughbred Award.
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