The technology sector is becoming increasingly diverse, and that’s worth celebrating! In honor of Black History Month, we’ve compiled a list of five Black leaders in tech that every techie should know.
Stacy Brown-Philpot, C.E.O. and Fortune 500 Board Director
Stacy Brown-Philpot founded Opportunity Fund with Soft Bank, which is a $100 million fund investing in Black, Latinx, and Native American founders. She was also C.E.O. of TaskRabbit until June 2020, making her one of the few black women in executive spaces in Silicon Valley. But she stays humble, knowing that, ultimately, her role doesn’t determine how she changes the world: “So when I think about legacy, it’s not about the CEO; I can have an impact independent of being a CEO.”
Andre Young, aka Dr. Dre, Creator of “Beats by Dre”
Andre Young, more popularly known as Dr. Dre, collaborated with Jimmy Iovine (Interscope Records co-founder) to create “Beats by Dre,” a leading audio brand producing ear buds, headphones, and more. Dr. Dre was determined to let listeners “hear what the artists hear,” focusing on heavy bass and low-end frequency unique to modern music. His brand ties tech to pop culture icons and fashion, making “Beats by Dre” a standout in the technology sector.
Angela Benton, Founder and C.E.O. of Streamlytics
Angela Benton founded and leads Streamlytics, a data science firm dedicated to an ethical and upfront method of data collection. One goal of Streamlytics is to utilize data to diminish bias in Artificial Intelligence, and her focus is primarily on Black Americans and underrepresented individuals. In addition, she founded BlackWeb 2.0, a multimedia platform for Black Americans interested in tech, and NewMe (acquired), a global accelerator dedicated to helping companies raise capital funding for minority entrepreneurs. Benton says, “Given where the world is today, creativity is needed now, more than ever, to solve some of our biggest challenges.”
Kathryn Finney, Founder of digitalundivided
Kathryn Finney is best known for founding digitalundivided, a company that promotes Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs, specifically in the tech and data sector. She hosts a Podcast called “Build the Damn Thing” to inspire women of color to launch their own startups. Notably, Kathryn Finney is the first black woman business author at Portfolio/Penguin Books. And, in addition to her many other accolades, the Borough of Manhattan created “Kathryn Finney Appreciation Day” in her honor.
Jessie Woolley-Wilson, C.E.O. of DreamBox Learning
Jessie Woolley-Wilson, C.E.O. of DreamBox Learning, designed a program to help all students excel in math. DreamBox is an intelligent adaptive math curriculum that conforms to children’s unique learning styles. The program is designed to pair with the guidance of a teacher to help students succeed in math classes across the world. Currently over five million children are utilizing Dreambox Learning. Woolley-Wilson states, “I believe that the first step in unlocking our human abilities is to unlock our learning potential.”
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