The founder of an early stage company, which is still trying to figure out product/market fit, was asking me questions about getting acquired. He’d reached out because of some thoughts I shared in my newsletter. He’d latched onto my suggestion that Big Companies are slow and, suggested, that they hold the bulk of the cash in his industry and were consequently stifling innovation. He wanted to know how he might get the attention of BigCo to get his company acquired. It would have been laughable if he wasn’t so serious.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? I’m the co-founder of two businesses, KeepUp and Black Women Talk Tech. I started KeepUp, which automates social media listening for consumers and small businesses, in 2014 and shortly after won the largest business plan competition in the world, 43North competition. A few years in, I founded Black Women Talk Tech with two other tech founders to help provide resources, support and funding to help black women create the next billion dollar companies. Our main event, a two day conference
I’m ecstatic for the new Marvel movie Black Panther, which opens this Friday. For me, it’s much less about watching another action movie — my favorite genre of film — or getting to see what happens next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s much more personal than that. Black Panther means a lot because I finally, after 31 years on this earth, I get to see a black superhero star in a major franchise film. That’s not to say I haven’t loved every iteration of Superman, Batman, Ironman and the
We are so used to the narrative of the starving artist, or the former star crashing and burning, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at those hip-hop artists using tech to buck the trend. The ones who have been wise enough to capitalize on tech’s slow coup-ted of every industry. The ones who have been investing in startups, raising capital and founding their very own. This is far from the canonical list, and I’ve missed out on many others [honorable mention to Chamillionaire, and of course Dr.
Denise Hamilton is founder and CEO of WatchHerWork, a digital media training platform closing the professional achievement gap for women. It’s February and our focus shifts to celebrating Black History Month. Celebrating history is important, and acknowledging the contributions of Black heroes is critical to understanding the true story of America. I love hearing about Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, but I’m equally interested in MAKING Black history and in honoring those who are working every day to expand the boundaries of the Black experience in America. One group
Over the last 12 months, I have been creating content for dozens of platforms. Perhaps one of the highest profiles ones has been Blavity. ‘The digital voice of black millennials’ boasts a readership of over 30m readers a month across all platforms (incl social). It is an excellent example of fast growth and strategic execution. From inception in 2014, Blavity always positioned itself as a ‘Tech’ company and not only a media player as they had an ambitious vision. They fast grew from a newsletter to attain 1m MAU’s within
You shouldn’t be CEO if the title matters more to you than serving your employees and team everyday. And I do not mean that BS ‘servant leader’ stuff. I mean understanding that you have taken on the responsibility of feeding the people you have convinced to join your team. And as much as that thought of failing all these people you have convinced to help you do the work petrifies you, it drives you to sweat for them every day. You shouldn’t be CEO if you get into the office
“If you can’t fly then run if you can’t run then walk if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” Dr. King Year: Spring 2016 Location: San Francisco Mood: Defeated I was a year into founding my company, Blastchat. Blastchat is a social messaging app, and unlike other messaging apps that focus on one to one messaging (WhatsApp — Facebook Messenger — Kik), we focus on one to many messaging. The value proposition for the sender is that people who want to
My mother always told me growing up that “If you want something done well, do it yourself.” I write stories about founders & investors from diverse backgrounds to address the lack of tech inclusion across the globe. The 15 entrepreneurs featured in this article embody Gandhi’s quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Rather than complaining while sitting on the sidelines, they have taken accountability and started on the journey to build something bigger than themselves, a startup. Funding from investors by no means is a
If you had one year of living free of bills, what would you build, what company would you start, or what problem would you solve? The issue is critical because of some today’s most famous companies [both in technology and otherwise], began with the generosity of family and friends that provided them with ‘runways’ to start. What Is A Runway? One of many typical patterns that tie successful companies together is a ‘runway.’ I describe a ‘runway’ as dedicated time and resources to help get an idea to a successful