Morehouse College and the Tech Leaders It Produces
About the author: Austin Jeter is a senior at Morehouse College who aspires to work within Product after he graduates in May. Ultimately, Austin’s chief ambition is to be a venture capitalist. Feel free to contact Austin at Austinlb.firstname.lastname@example.org regarding opportunities, questions, comments, etc
When you think of the technology industry, the first place that comes to mind is Silicon Valley. Your mind might also drift to the t-shirt wearing, free food, and “nap pod” centric work culture. Others may think of the Stanford and Harvard grads forming startups trying to become the next Mark Zuckerberg. Regardless of the image that appears in one’s mind, many would agree that the technology industry is one of the most dynamic and impactful sectors globally.
However, there is one institution that produces bright technologists that may not be as commonly thought of. This institution is Morehouse College. Morehouse is a liberal art historically black college located in Atlanta, Georgia. The college is a known producer of leaders, with it’s most distinguished alumnus being Martin Luther King Junior. Leadership is a core tenet of Morehouse – it is central to the college’s mission of “developing men with disciplined minds who will lead lives of leadership and service”. This mission is lived through the alumni of the college in a variety of fields, including the tech sector.
In a study conducted by Harlem Capital, it was discovered that Morehouse College has produced the third-highest amount of black venture capitalists. More than the likes of Yale and Penn, but only trailing behind Stanford and Harvard.
To put this statistic in perspective, Morehouse has a total of 17,000 Alumni compared to Harvard’s 370,000 and Stanford’s over 220,000.
Below are some examples of Morehouse Men who exist in a variety of functions within the technology industry, from venture capitalists, founders, and corporate executives.
Elliott Robinson of Bessemer Venture Partners
Area: Growth-stage investments. Previous: M12, Georgian Partners
Aaron Holiday of 645 Ventures
Previous: Goldman Sachs ‘equities program trading desk engineer.
Rashaun Williams of Manhattan Venture Partners.
Previous: Co-founded Queensbridge Venture Partners, investment banker
Dr. Paul Judge, founder of Pindrop
Notable: Pindrop is a pioneer in voice security and authentication – they have raised a total of $212.8M. Investors included Andreessen Horowitz.
Shawn Wilkinson, founder of Storj
Notable: Storj Labs is based on blockchain technology and peer-to-peer protocols to provide the most secure, private, and encrypted cloud storage – it raised $30M through initial coin offering [ICO].
Scooter Taylor, co-founder of Looklive & Quarantine Con
Notable: Hosted a digital conference during the COVID lockdown for creatives called QuarantineCon. Looklive was a Y-Combinator backed company [S16].
Moreover, Morehouse Men have achieved corporate success in the technology industry at some of the top technology companies. For example,
Damien Hooper-Campbell, Chief Diversity Officer at eBay,
Notable: Serving as eBay’s first-ever Chief Diversity Officer. Previous: working in diversity and inclusion for other large tech companies like Google.
Fred Humphries, Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs at Microsoft.
Notable: Corporate vice president of US government affairs for Microsoft, the company’s chief public policy advocate internally and externally on all aspects of federal, state, and civic affairs.
These Morehouse College Alumni and many others have paved the way for Morehouse students who are interested in having successful careers in the technology industry.
I implore those in this space, who are decision-makers, to not only consider those from Morehouse but to hire them for competitive roles that directly lead to leadership within their respective organizations. Ultimately, there is one thing that Morehouse Men were groomed to do – lead.