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101 Black Tech Titans 2022

Moms at BAM: A Fishbowl Conversation

“Being Black in tech, like being Black in America, is an exercise of mental toughness. ” - LeRon L. Barton, HBR

Thursday, March 25 at 10 a.m. PT  1 p.m. ET (4)

Thank you to sites that historically and continuously highlight Black people in Tech and VC Black Enterprise, Afrotech, Blavity, BLCK VC and many more.

This is BAM’s third Black Titans in Tech list, which includes Black folx in Tech and Venture Capital. Black people are not only in tech, we have historically and are currently innovating the industry. From the Hidden Figures, who were a group of African-American women mathematicians who launched the first astronauts into space to Arlan Hamilton, an author, VC and the founder of Backstage Capital.

In 2018, only 1% of Venture Capital funds went to Black founders. It is 2022 and standards have not shifted much despite diversity, inclusion and equity efforts. The pay wage gap is still an issue amongst employees and many people are left wondering, why? Some would say this is because of Necktie Syndrome but let’s call it what it is; nepotism.

90% of angel funding for tech goes to white men, while they only make up 30% of the country. There are only 3 Black CEOs in Fortune 500 companies. Many marginalized groups and people of color are experiencing the same invisible ceiling.

We think the first issue is to diagnose the problem and then provide solutions. One solution is eliminating the narrative that Black start ups and employees are not in the industry. This list of brilliant and beautiful Black leaders in Tech was created to redefine broken narratives. Our action is to highlight Black business minds, ideas and culture for our industry to see. 

Don't see your favorite Black Tech Titans? Explore last year's list: 101 Black Tech Titans 2021.

Please enjoy the BAM Black History Month Playlist as you scroll through the list.

1. Timnit Gebru

Timnit Gebru
 Timnit Gebru is an AI Ethics Researcher and Founder/Executive Director of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (DAIR), a space for independent, community-rooted AI research free from Big Tech’s pervasive influence. She works on algorithmic bias and data mining. Prior to 2021, Timmit worked at Google as the co-leader of their ethical AI team. Time magazine recently published an article about her titled, "Why Timnit Gebru Isn’t Waiting for Big Tech to Fix AI's Problems."

2. Idriss Monthe

Idriss Monthe

Idriss Monthe is the CEO and Co-Founder of CinetPay, a company based in West and Central Africa that provides financial services, specializing in online mobile payments and money transfers. Monthe was inspired to create CinetPay in 2016 after he experienced trouble collecting payments for his previous startup. In 2021 CinetPay secured $2.M in seed funding to become the primary payment method in Africa.

3. Shelly Bell

Shelly Bell

Shelly Bell is the Founder and CEO of Black Girl Ventures, which creates access to capital for female founders of color. Specifically, the company funds and scales tech-enabled, revenue-generating businesses (under $1M) founded by people who identify as Black/Brown and female. Recently NIKE, Inc. announced its Economic Empowerment Partnership with Black Girl Ventures with a $500,000 investment.

4. Arlan Hamilton

Arlan Hamilton

Arlan Hamilton is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a fund that is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Remarkably, she started her company while homeless. Today, it has raised more than $7 million and invested in more than 130 startup companies led by underestimated founders. She is also the author of “It’s About Damn Time”, a narrative about her journey into entrepreneurship and venture capital. Recently she founded Hire Runner, a temp-to-hire operations and HR talent for inclusive startups.

5. Ime Archibong
Ime Archibong

Ime is the Head of Product Experimentation and VP of Product Partnerships for Facebook; he’s known as the unofficial leader of the Black employee base at Facebook and is the most highly ranked black person at Facebook. Ime is a Yale graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Electrical engineering and computer science, and received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Prior to joining Facebook he was an Advanced Technology Business Development Professional at IBM. 

6. Stacy Brown-Philpot

Stacy Brown-Philpot

Stacy Brown-Philpot is the former CEO of TaskRabbit and a member of the board of directors at Nordstroms and HP. Before beginning her outstanding career, Stacy ran a paper route with her brother before attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.  In the year 2015 Stacy won a spot on the Forbes ‘40 under 40’ list and was named a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute in 2016. She is very passionate about creating diverse and inclusive opportunities, specifically for the black community, and expands her support through her participation on the investment committee on Softbank’s Opportunity Fund and as a board member for Black Girls CODE. Stacy Brown once shared, “There are a lot of little brown girls out there who want to do something to change the world, and all I want to do is help them get there.”

7. Tania Speaks

Tania Speaks

Tania is a 20-year-old CEO and Founder of Tania Speaks Organic Skincare, a skincare brand that focuses on organic products including cleaner, toner, moisturizer, and their most popular product- Tania’s famous eyebrow gel. Tania appeared on Shark Tank, where she secured a $400,000 and 15% equity deal with Mark Cuban. After being bullied at school about her bushy eyebrows, Tania shaved them off, and in her quest to grow them back, came up with the organic eyebrow gel that started her business. As of last year, Tania made a million dollars in sales and has been featured in Forbes, Time Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and more.

8. Tope Awotona

Tope Awotona

Tope Awotona is the Co-Founder and CEO of Calendly, the fastest-growing company in scheduling automation. Tope spent seven years growing strategic accounts and territories for some of the most successful software companies including IBM, Perceptive Software, ImageRight/Vertafore, and EMC. He launched 3 startups before becoming the founder of Calendly. Calendly is now valued around $3 billion, with a staff size of 213 people.

9. Morgan DeBaun

Morgan DeBaun

Morgan DeBaun is the CEO and Founder of Blavity, a media company created by and for black millennials. Today it is the leading news company and media brand for Black millennials + Gen Z in the U.S.

10. Sarah Kunst

Sarah Kunst

Sarah Kunst is the managing director of Cleo Capital and a contributing editor at Marie Claire Magazine. Prior to Cleo Capital, she was the senior advisor at Bumble. Kunst is an innovator and has been recognized by Vanity Fair as a Future Innovator, Forbes Magazine 30 under 30, Business Insider’s 30 under 30 Women in Tech, Top African-American in Tech & Pitchbook, and honored as a top woman in VC by the Wall.

11. Esosa Ighodaro

Esosa Ighodaro

Esosa Ighodaro is the Co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech, a community of 1,000+ Black woman founders that identifies, supports and encourages Black women to build the next billion-dollar business. Black Women Talk recently acquired Black Female Founders at the start of 2022. Esosa is also the program lead at RAVN, a community and investment syndicate of emerging Black + Afro-Latina women investors.

12. Angela Benton

Angela Benton
Angela Benton, CEO of Streamlytics, human-powered data that powers the future. Streamlytics educates people on how to talk about data equity. Angela Benton, was one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative, Inc. Magazine's Female Founders 100, and Business Insiders’ 25 Most Influential African Americans in Technology. Painting helps her take a break from work. Angela currently contributes to INC, and her latest article explains, What the End of Cookie Tracking Means for Businesses.

13. Michael Seibel

Michael Seibel

Michael Seibel is the CEO and partner at Y Combinator, which takes a fresh approach to funding early-stage startups by investing small amounts of money ($150K) twice a year in a large number of budding companies. He has advised hundreds of startups and has been active in promoting diversity efforts among startup founders.

14. Iddris Sandu

Iddris Sandu

Iddris Sandu is an Architectural Technologist who has worked with Twitter, Google, Uber, Instagram, Snapchat, Louis Vuitton & late Off-White's Virgil Abloh. He co-founded the first smart store, The Marathon Store, with late rapper Nipsey Hussle. In 2021 Jay-Z's investment firm Marcy Venture Partners invested in Iddris Sandu's incubator spatial LABS.

15. Annie Jean-Baptiste

Annie Jean-Baptiste

Annie Jean-Baptiste is currently the Head of Production Inclusion at Google. As it says on her website,  “Annie is passionate about making the web work for underserved communities while ensuring that Google is a place where everyone shines for their differences.” Anne's accomplishments have been covered by several publications including Vogue, Business Insider, CNBC and many more.

16. Sydney Sykes

Sydney Sykes

Sydney Sykes is Co-Founder of BLCK VC, a firm that advances black venture investors by providing a focused community built for and by black venture investors. In December  2021 she was named to the Forbes 30 under 30.

17. Charles Hudson

Charles Hudson

Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner at Precursor Ventures,a seed stage investment firm out of San Francisco, CA. Before launching Precursor Ventures, Charles was a partner with SoftTech VC and was also the CEO and Co-Founder of Bionic Panda, an android focused mobile games startup. He also worked in new business development at Google and focused on new partnerships opportunities for early-stage products in the advertising, mobile and e-commerce markets.

18. Terri Burns

Terri Burns

Terri Burns is a Partner at GV, and Former Associate Product Manager at Twitter. She is the first Black female partner and the youngest investment partner in GV history. In December 2021 she was recognized in Forbes 30 under 30.

19. Daniel Dindji

Daniel Dindji

Daniel Dindji is the Associate Director and co-founder of the aforementioned CinetPay. As associate director, Dindji is responsible for piloting projects from the study phase to completion, ensuring compliance with time, money, and quality requirements, and anticipating potential impacts and room for improvement. In 2021 CinetPay secured $2.M in seed funding to become the primary payment method in Africa.

20. Delane Parnell

Delane ParnellDelane Parnell is the Founder of PlayVS, a tech startup that has created an app used by U.S. schools to create esports teams and partake in state-sanctioned competition leagues. Although a tech entrepreneur, Delane grew up without the internet because he did not have access to it - his early life was spent bouncing between homes as his single mother bounced between jobs. At  the age of 13, Delane began his early career mopping floors, and by 17 had owned three Detroit area cellphone shops. Prior to founding PlayVS, Delane worked at IncWell Venture Capitalists, where he was noted as the youngest black venture capitalist in the United States. His creation of PlayVS has changed the esports world completely, making esports an official sport recognized by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

21.Phaedra Ellis- Lamkins

Phaedra Ellis- LamkinsPhaedra Ellis-Lamkins is the founder of Promise, a company founded to provide payment processing and solutions for utilities and government agencies. Prior to founding Promise, she was a labor organizer for South Bay Labor Council and advised Prince on digital-rights management. After witnessing the good and bad sides of the tech industry, Phaedra decided she wanted to use government technology to help underserved communities and solve the issue of prison overcrowding. After joining Y Combinator with her co-founding partner Diana Frappier, Promise took off and became a technological tool to help those in need.

22. Christopher Young

Christopher Young

Christopher Young is executive vice president of Business Development, Strategy and Ventures at Microsoft. Formerly the CEO of McAfee. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for American Express and as a member of the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee for the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

23. Melissa Hannah

Melissa Hannah

Melissa Hannah is the co-founder of Mahmee, a digital healthcare company that uses predictive analytics to provide personalized on-demand support for new mothers and infants - Mahmee is also backed by Serena Williams and Mark Cuban. At the age of 15 she founded her first start-up, Audist Entertainment, which was a live event production company; and then founded the Little Spoon Desserts Truck. Her focus has always been to forge cross-industry collaborations and partnerships to solve big challenges. She believes that equitable access to healthcare for women and children is a challenge we can all solve by working creatively together.

24. Corey Thomas

Corey Thomas

Corey Thomas, chairman & CEO of Rapid7, a company that manages cybersecurity for businesses. Previously,, Corey worked with Parallels, Microsoft, AT&T, and Deloitte Consulting. He is an amazing theoretical problem solver and an expert at managing telecommunication infulstructions.

25. Kimberly Bryant

Kimberly Bryant

Kimberly Bryant is the Founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE, a non-profit organization dedicated to introducing young girls of color (ages 7-17) to the technology and computer science industry.

26. Kathryn Finney

Kathryn Finney

Kathryn is the managing partner of Genius Guild, a $20 million dollar venture fund and studio that invests in amazing Black entrepreneurs who are building a scalable business that empowers black communities. Kathryn also founded The Doonie Fund which provides micro investments to thousands of Black women entrepreneurs, founded digitalundivided which is a women-empowering social enterprise, is a yale-trained epidemiologist and White House Champion of Change, and a best selling author.

27. Jessie Wooley-Wilson

Jessie Wooley-Wilson

Jessie is the president and CEO of DreamBox Learning, an online software provider that focuses on teaching elementary and middle school level math via thousands of digital lessons like games, challenges, and more. Before that, Jessie held many EdTech executive positions at companies such as LeapFrog SchoolHouse, Blackboard’s K-12 Group, and Kaplan. She has served as a board member at both Rosetta Stone and Quizlet.

28. Julie Collins

Julie Collins

Julia is the founder and CEO of Planet FWD, a company that is tackling the climate crisis by building software to bring carbon neutral, climate-friendly, and sustainable food products to market. She has helped launch countless food companies and co-founded Zume Pizza where she became the first Black woman to co-found a unicorn company. Julia currently sits on various councils and boards, is an active angel investor funding female entrepreneurs and BIPOC founders, and even founded When Founder Met Funder (WFMF) to further support Black women entrepreneurs.

29. Reginald Fils-Aime

Reginald Fils-Aime

Reginald is best known for serving as the president and COO of Nintendo of America from 2006-2019. Before his promotion, Reginald was the Executive VP of Sales and Marketing at Nintendo of America and also held similar marketing roles at Procter & Gamble, Pizza Hut, Guinness, Derby Cycle, Panda Express, and VH1. Reginald has received many awards for his work and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Video Game Hall of Fame. He currently is a Leader in Residence at his alma mater, Cornell University, started a video game podcast during the pandemic, and is on the board at Brunswick Co., GameStop, and Spin Master.

30. Stephanie (Lampkin) VanPutten

Stephanie (Lampkin) VanPutten

Stephanie is the CEO and founder of Blendoor, a diversity analytics and hiring software company that ranks employers on their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) performance in order to create a tech industry with less hiring bias and a more diverse workforce. Stephanie is a data scientist, thought leader, ski racer, Fortune 40 under 40, Stanford and MIT grad, and has helped companies including Microsoft, TripAdvisor, and Deloitte with software solutions.

31. Ernest Darkoh

Ernest Darkoh

Ernest is the co-founder and chairman of BroadReach Healthcare, a global social enterprise that uses health tech to deliver better health outcomes, resources, cost savings, and overall health systems. He received his medical and public health degrees from Harvard and MBA from Oxford. Ernest has gone on to revolutionize HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean- even making it possible for 10% of Botswana’s HIV-infected population to get free medicine. He is one of Time Magazine’s Global Health Heroes and was featured in the PBS documentary Rx for Survival.

32. Ruben Harris

Ruben Harris
Ruben is the CEO and Co-Founder of Career Karma, which helps users find the best online job training programs and has enhanced the careers of over 1 million workers with free coaching and peer mentorship. Harris has also worked as an Advisor at Forge, wrote the viral blog Breaking into Startups and created a podcast by the same name, worked as an investment banker, and is an accomplished cellist..

33. Simeon Iheagwam

Simeon Iheagwam

Simeon is the Founder and Managing Partner of NOEMIS Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests and partners with early-stage fintech, AI/ML, and marketplace companies to empower and help them grow. Simeon received degrees from Brooklyn College and Cornell and worked in investment banking/financial services at JPMorgan and Wells Fargo before starting NOEMIS.

34. Frederik Groce

Frederik Groce

Frederik is the Co-Founder of BLCK VC, the largest black venture community in the US whose mission is to connect, engage, empower, and advance Black venture investors. The company recently started a program for young, black professionals with the tools, knowledge, and networks to start their VC careers. Groce graduated from Stanford and went on to become a principal and partner at Storm Ventures, board member of Venture Atlanta Conference, and a VC/deal lead at Wellington Management.

35. Kayla Michèle

Kayla Michèle

Kayla is the Co-Founder and COO of PeduL, a company that connects diverse and underrepresented talent with corporations via scholarship programs, ensuring that all students have equal access to academic and professional opportunities. Kayla attended Rutgers University where she first saw the need for this program, and she has also worked with The Disney Dreamers Academy, The National Black MBA Leaders of Tomorrow, and was a Forbes Next 1000 List honoree. She has spoken about the need for early pipeline-building and diverse workforces on NBC, Forbes, and Complex.

36. Chisa Egbelu

Chrisa Egbelu

Chisa is the CEO and Co-Founder of PeduL, a company that connects diverse and underrepresented talent with corporations via scholarship programs, ensuring that all students have equal access to academic and professional opportunities. Chisa also attended Rutgers University where he produced a radio show and interviewed superstars, worked at NBCUniversal, was part of the Google Community Leaders Program, and is currently a musician and columnist for Inc Magazine.

37. Lauren Weston

Lauren Weston

Lauren is a Senior Associate at Thomvest where she focuses on early stage investments in fintech and real estate and is responsible for sourcing and evaluating new deals as well as supporting existing portfolios. Lauren graduated from Yale and has worked in equity research and as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley. She was also recognized as an Emerging Leader in Venture Capital in 2021 and is currently a member of All Raise and board member of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund.

38. Sheena Allen

Sheena Allen

Sheena Allen is the Founder of CapWay, which brings financial services and opportunities to underserved millennials. The company also works to promote financial literacy among its users. She is also an author and debuted in the documentary film “She Started It” which followed five-woman during their start up journey. She uses her platform and experience to educate and inspire people to develop their own start up.

39. Jared Council

Jared Council

Jared is a Senior Editor at Forbes where he manages editorial content for Forbes the Culture and focuses on stories at the intersection of business and race. He studied at Hampton University and also worked for The Wall Street Journal, Real Estate Alert, and the Indianapolis Business Journal where he covered finance and tech.

40. Alan Henry

Alan Henry

Alan is the Service Editor of WIRED in New York City. Before that, Alan was the editor for Smarter Living, a section of The New York Times where they focus on helping readers lead healthier and happier lives. Alan has also worked as the editor-in-chief of Lifehacker, a website that encourages it’s readers to optimize every aspect of their lives and “do everything better.” Alan has over a decade of experience writing and editing stories about productivity and tech.

41. Edward Ongweso Jr.

Edward Ongweso Jr.

Edward is a Staff Writer at Motherboard, VICE News’s tech section, where he covers labor and tech. His work focuses on app-based gig labor platforms, antitrust and antimonopoly law, labor movements, capital markets, and more. Edward studied politics, philosophy, and political economy at Hampshire College, was a congressional intern for the US House of Representatives, and is the co-host of This Machine Kills, a weekly tech and political economy podcast.

42. Mary Awodele

Mary Awodele

Mary is the CEO and Founder of MyTechBestfriend academy, a career development service that helps minorities break into the tech industry and get high-paying tech jobs by offering career coaching, bootcamps, and resume services. She decided to create the company after colleagues kept asking her for advice about tech job opportunities. Mary is a ServiceNow engineer, business analyst, system admin, and certified in 12 IT programs and software.

43. Jessica Matthews

Jessica Matthews

Jessica is the Founder and CEO of Uncharted, an award-winning PaaS (platform as a service) company that helps cities and developers lower the cost and complexity of establishing and managing smart, sustainable infrastructure. Jessica is a Nigerian-American inventor, venture capitalist, and graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She is one of Fortune’s “10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs” as well as an “Ambassador for Entrepreneurship” for Nigeria.

44. Dave Salvant

Dave Salvant

Dave is the Co-founder and President of Squire, a software technology platform for barbershops that helps entrepreneurs run their businesses by controlling operations, increasing revenue, and enhancing brand experience. Salvant has degrees from SUNY and University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked as a private banker at JPMorgan and sales associate at AXA before starting Squire Technologies in 2015 with his best friend, Songe LaRon. Squire has been featured in TechCrunch, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, and Forbes Next Billion-Dollar Startups of 2021.

45. Pariss Chandler 

5fffb6c0a7012768c92c1b49_Screen Shot 2020-07-07 at 10.34.34 AM Cropped

Pariss Chandler is the creator of the hashtag, movement, and global community #BlackTechTwitter; she is also the founder and CEO of Black Tech Pipeline. Not long after being laid off of her first job as a software engineer, Pariss began to tweet about the reality of being the only black person in a tech company, and quickly gained a large twitter following from other minorities working within the tech industry. From this point, many companies began to reach out to Pariss to help them recruit more black individuals into their tech companies. Although she did not know much about recruiting, she has met many individuals from a variety of different companies and has created new opportunities for many members of the black tech community. Chandler has created a business model to make sure her colleagues are in a safe and welcoming environment, making sure they are being set up for success by spending the first 90 days with her client at their new workplace and checking in bi-weekly to ensure positive progress.

46. Marques Brownlee

Marques Brownlee

Marques Brownlee, also known professionally as MKBHD, is a YouTuber best known for his technology-focused videos. The MKBHD Quality Tech YouTube channel has more than 10 million subscribers and over 1.6 billion views. Marques also hosts Waveform: The MKBHD Podcast. Made for gadget lovers and tech-heads, this podcast takes a deep dive into a variety of tech-related topics.

47. Dawn Dickson

 Dawn Dickson

Dawn Dickson is the CEO of PopCom, an automated retail company that uses facial recognition, AI, and blockchain technology to help retailers collect customer insights. She is a successful serial entrepreneur who has launched four successful cash flow positive companies since 2002. She has been recognized as one of the nation's top entrepreneurs on the rise and has been featured in several publications such as Forbes and Fortune. In addition to the previous accomplishments, Dawn was named among ‘50 Young Visionary Women Leaders to Watch’ by Innov8tiv Magazine.

48. Rodney Williams

Rodney Williams

Rodney Williams is Co-founder of LISNR, a data-over-sound platform, designed to enhance the end-user experience and improve connectivity between electronic devices with speakers or a microphone. Notable clients include NBC, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s entertainment company ROC Nation, the Dallas Cowboys, Sony Music, and Jaguar/Land Rover. He is also the founder of SoLo Fund, one of the leading financial technology companies for underserved communities.

49. Brandon Anderson

Brandon Anderson

Brandon Anderson is the Founder of Raheem, an independent service for reporting police in the United States. He started Raheem after losing his life partner to police violence. Anderson is a 2019 TED Fellow, and Smithsonian Ingenuity Award Nominee.

50. Diedra Nelson

Diedra NelsonDiedra Nelson is the Chief Financial Officer at Emerson Collective and the former CFO of The Wing. Before the pandemic, Diedra led The Wing to open 11 locations while raising nearly $118 million. Previously, Nelson worked for Glamsquad and SoulCycle.

 51. Monique Woodard

Monique Woodard

Monique Woodard is the Co-founder of Black Founders. Black Founders is an organization creating an ecosystem that stimulates tech entrepreneurship and economic growth. Its mission is to increase the number of successful Black entrepreneurs in technology. Monique is also the founder and managing partner at Cake Ventures.

52. Megan Rose Dickey

Megan Rose Dickey

Megan Rose Dickey is the Chief Content Officer at Backstage Capital. Megan was previously a senior reporter at TechCrunch and Protocol. There she focused on diversity and inclusion in tech, and the intersecting worlds of tech and social justice activism. She has extensive experience in print, radio, and television journalism, covering a wide array of topics such as technology and startups, city government, education, community activism, non-profit organizations, recreational activities, the judicial system, and business.

53. LaFawn Davis

Kaya Thomas

LaFawn Davis is the Group Vice President of Environmental, Social & Governance at Indeed, the world’s #1 job website. She has 15 years of experience in strategic leadership and previously used her experience with Twilio and PayPal’s inclusion department. LaFawn has a deep understanding of HR and worked in People’s Operations at Yahoo and Google.

 

54. Sevetri Wilson

Sevetri Wilson

Sevetri Wilson is the Founder and CEO of two technology start ups, Resilia and Solid Ground Innovations LLC, as well as an award winning founder and author. Solid Ground Innovations LLC, her first company, is a strategic communications agency and the inspiration for her book, "Solid Ground: How I built a 7 figure company at 22 with Zero Capital." Resilia, her newest venture, was founded in 2016 and advises and revolutionizes how nonprofits are developed and maintained. She is an advocate for Black founders, a contributor to Forbes, and is featured in several national publications. In 2021 she wrote, "Resilient: How to Overcome Anything and Build a Million Dollar Business with or Without Capital.

55. Sian Morson

Sian Morson

Sian is the Director of Strategy and Investments at Starfish Accelerator, an accelerator which invests in storytellers of color. She is an entrepreneur and founder of Kollective Mobile, a mobile development and strategy agency. She works as a mobile evangelist and strategist for independent clients as well as a variety of nonprofits. Morson focuses on combining creativity with technology and is not only an entrepreneur, but also an author and an internationally exhibited artist.

56. Abbey Wemimo

Abbey Wemimo

Abbey is the Co-founder and Co-ceo of Esusu, a financial technology company dedicated to helping individuals build credit and save money. In 2022, Esusu had a $1B valuation in their Series B round. Prior to founding Esusu, Abbey founded the Clear Water for Everyone, a social venture that provided access to clean water for about 250,000+ people in six countries. He had also founded a data analytics company designed to gather machine-readable data on NGO’s operating in Africa which was acquired in 2014. In 2020, Abbey was listed on the Forbes 30 under 30 list. He has spoken at the United Nations, the World Food Prize and the Clinton Global Initiative.

57. Brian Dixon

Brian Dixon

Brian Dixon is the first and youngest African American Partner at Kapor Capital. He is a two-time tech startup founder, a Kauffman Fellow, and a Management Leadership for Tomorrow Fellow. Dixon has shared his investment experience on several stages including TechCrunch. Additionally, he was named one of Business Insider's “46 Most Important African Americans in Technology.”

58. Shila Nieves Burney

Shila Nieves Burney

Shila is the Founder and Managing Partner of the Zane Venture Fund. Zane Venture Fund focuses on investing in early-stage companies led by diverse teams building tech-enabled solutions. She is also the founder of Zane Access, which is an entrepreneurial support organization that exists to break down systemic barriers for underrepresented founders. Shila was also a recipient of the Atlanta Inno’ 2021 Fire Awards and a winner of the 2020 Unsung Hero’s Champion Award by the Female Founders Alliance.

59. Regina Gwynn

Regina Gwynn

Regina Gwynn is the CEO of TresseNoire, a virtual beauty coach designed to provide custom hair care solutions for women with textured hair and co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech, a platform for Black women founders to build a support network and scale each other's companies into the next billion-dollar businesses. Black Women Talk Tech is the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the country, with 10 chapters across the United States.

60. Solomon Hailu

Solomon Hailu
Solomon is a Partner at March Capital where he places a primary focus on fintech investing. Prior to joining March Capital, he worked for Tusk Venture Partner where he invested in early-stage technology companies. He graduated from the University of Virginia where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science. Solomon has been featured in the Forbes 30 under 30 list, as well as the Business Insider’s Rising Stars list; and served on the board of BLCK VC.

61. Erin Teague

Erin TeagueErin Teague is the Director and Global Head of Sports, Film and TV Product Management at Google and YouTube. Previously, Erin was the Director of Product Management for Yahoo’s Fantasy Sports and a Product Manager at Twitter.

62. Lauren Ruffin

Lauren Ruffin

Lauren Ruffin is a thought leader, CEO, Founder, and Board Member focused on sustainable, anti-racist systems and organizations. Lauren is a co-founder of Crux, a storytelling studio that collaborates with Black artists in the virtual reality and augmented reality (XR) space, and serves as Co-CEO and Chief External Relations Officer for Fractured Atlas, the largest association of independent artists in the United States. Lauren is a board member of Black Girls CODE, Main Street Phoenix Cooperative, and on the advisory boards of ArtUp and Black Girl Ventures.

63. Maya Horgan Famodu

Maya Horgan Famodu

Maya is the Founder of a VC firm in Lagos, Nigeria called Ingressive Capital, which has backed a large number of promising startups in sub-saharan Africa. At the age of 23, with only 18 months of experience in the financial industry, Maya left her job in New York and went to Nigeria to begin her own fund. However, after not receiving the backing she had hoped, she founded Ingressive Advisory Firm as a way to gain exposure and experience in the industry and by 2017 launched Ingressive Capital at the age of 25. She is thought to be the youngest person to launch a tech fund in sub-saharan Africa and is the first woman to do so alone in Nigeria.

64. Eric Campbell

Eric Campbell

From growing up in poverty to being a part of the founding team of Uber Eats in the Middle East and African region, Eric Campbell has reached many milestones in his life and career. Eric now works at Value Investment Group, a company that works with black athletes and entertainers. He has helped raise and deploy $25 million so far for companies such as Epic Games, AirBnb and Lime. In 2020 Eric made the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Venture Capital.

65. Shellye Archambeau

Shellye Archambeau

Shellye Archambeau is the former CEO of MetricStream. Currently she serves on the boards of Verizon and Nordstrom. Shellye is one of Silicon Valley's first female African American CEOs.

66. Nnamdi Iregbulem

Nnamdi Iregbulem
A Los Angeles native, Nnamdi Iregbulem is a self-taught programmer and technology nerd. Following his graduation from Yale, he worked in technology, media, and telecommunications at J.P. Morgan. After leaving J.P. Morgan, Nnamdi joined the IQONIC capital team where he deployed over $500 Million USD into high-growth technology companies. He is now a partner at LightSpeed Venture, and spends his downtime writing essays and software.

67. Alexandria Butler

Alexandria Butler

Alexandria Butler is a Senior Program Manager at Twitter. She is the founder of Sista Circle, an organization that connects Black women in tech across the globe partnering with Phenomenally, Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin, and Slack.

68. Antonious Porch

Antonious Porch

Antonious Porch is the General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer of SoundCloud. In his role, Porch proactively recruits and works to retain a diverse business and legal affairs team. Prior to joining SoundCloud, he served as general counsel for more than two years at Shazam, where he led the successful acquisition of the company by Apple. He has long worked hard to be a leader on diversity and global inclusion, now serving as executive champion of Clouds of Color, the employee resource group for people of color at SoundCloud and their allies.

69. Jasmine Crowe

Jasmine Crowe

Jasmine Crowe is the CEO of Goodr, a startup focused on eliminating food waste and hunger. They take the surplus food from companies and distribute it to people in need. She is a TED talk speaker who is passionate about food hunger issues.

70. Kizzmekia Corbett

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Kizzmekia Corbett is the Lead Scientist on coronavirus vaccine research at the National Institute of Health. She is responsible for the development of the Moderna vaccine. Recently she joined the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as an assistant professor. In 2021, TIME named Kizzmekia Corbett one of four heroes of the year.

 

71. Lisa Gelobter 

Lisa Gelobter 

Lisa Gelobter is the Co-founder and CEO of tEQuitable, which provides an independent, confidential platform to address issues of bias, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace. She also played an integral role in creating Shockwave, a technology that formed the beginning of web animation--which is now used for animated GIFs.

72. Camille Hearst

Camille Hearst

Camille Hearst is the Head of Spotify for Artists and scout for Sequoia Capital. In 2020, her social network for startups, Kit, was acquired by Patreon. Previously she worked at Apple, YouTube, Google. Camille is currently on the board at Dev Color in Motion, a network of Black software engineers.

73. Lauren Washington

Lauren Washington

Lauren Washington is the Co-founder and CEO of Fundr, a platform that automates seed investing from deal flow to close and beyond using AI. She is also the Co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech and Talk Tech Association.


74. Kunbi Tinuoye

Kunbi TinuoyeKunbi is the Founder and CEO of UrbanGeekz, a multicultural media platform addressing the intersection between business, science, and technology.

75. Kellee James

Kellee JamesKellee James is the CEO of Mercaris, a market data service, and trading platform for organic, non-GMO and other certified agricultural commodities.

76. Danielle Washington

61e6d37204ce6e0018d7883dDanielle Washington is the Co-founder and CMO of Rebundle, the first U.S made plant-based braiding hair. Earlier this year Rebundle raised $1.4 million for plant-based hair extensions. Rebundle has been featured in Teen Vouge, INC., Coveteur, Allure TechCrunch and many more.

77. Abby Knowles

Abby Knowles

Abby Knowles is the Vice President of Information Technology at Verizon Wireless. She has 20+ years experience in driving transformation of tech. Abby leads a team of engineers that build and maintain wireless networks.

78. Carla H. McIntosh

Carla H. McIntoshAt the start of 2022, Carla Mcintosh joined Reddit as their Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition. Previously she was the head of U.S. Google operations at Google.

79. Simi Awokoya

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Simi is the Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft. She founded Witty Careers, a nonprofit that educates the underrepresented in tech. In December 2019 she was named to the Forbes 30 under 30.

80. Cierra McDonald

Cierra McDonald

Cierra is the Principle Program Manager at Microsoft. Known for being a gamer, she is a notorious game developer in Microsoft's Xbox Advance Technology.

81. Tiffany Brown

Tiffany Brown
Tiffany Brown is a Co-founder of Chordata Capital, which strives to take money off of Wall Street and into community investments that center racial and economic justice. Prior to entering the finance industry, Tiffany worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade. Her desire to work in social justice stems from her learnings about race and racism in the US and interning with the SE Regional NAACP’s Prison Project in Atlanta, GA. Tiffany has also worked as a co-director at Yes!,  as a board member at the Common Fire Foundation, founding advisor to Kindle Project Foundation and also served on the finance committee for the Haymarket’s People Fund.

82. Albert Brown

Albery Brown

Albery Brown is the lead on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Airtable. He has helped shape DEI programs at DocuSign, Pivotal Labs, and Hack Reactor. His LinkedIn bio says it all — “I’m rooting for everyone Black.”

83. Jeremy Richardson

Jeremy Richardson

Jeremy Richardson is the VP of Product at Catch&Release, an advertisement tech company. At 23, Jeremy Co-Founded San Francisco-based startup Womply. Today, having raised a $30 Million Series B, Womply employs over 250 people and is one of the fastest-growing merchant-focused companies in America.

84. Jasmine LaFlore

Jasmine LaFlore

Jasmine LeFlore, MSE, MBA is the Co-founder & Executive Director of Greater Than Tech, aimed to create the next generation of diverse tech leaders and business owners by exposing underserved girls to the combined world of engineering and entrepreneurship. She is also a Principal Business Development Engineer at Collins Aerospace (A Raytheon Technologies company) working on new business pursuits while also serving as Vice Chair of the Collins Aerospace African American Enterprise Board.

85. Kim Folsom

Kim Folsom

Kim Folsom the Founder and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners, LLC., (FFCP). She is a high-tech executive and serial entrepreneur who has founded, led, and grown innovative companies for more than 25 years. Founders is a $100M fund and the largest private capital provider of growth funding in the country for service-based businesses and the only minority and women-led revenue-based venture platform.

86. John Henry

John Henry

John Henry is a Venture Capitalist and 3x Entrepreneur. He’s the founder of Harlem Capital, has raised $40M and made 20 investments in Women and Minority entrepreneurs, and currently serves as the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Loop - an insurance technology company that leverages AI and data to create more fairly priced auto insurance products for all, creating a more equitable future in the auto insurance space.

87. Mike Roberts

Mike RobertsMike Roberts is the CEO of Creating Coding Careers, a company dedicated to recruiting and training individuals for a career in the tech industry, who thought they would never be able to. Through recruiting and training prospective employees, Creating Coding Careers is reshaping the tech industry to reflect a more inclusive and diverse community. Mike had always noticed during his time working in the tech industry that there was a like of diversity in the workplace and sought to change the culture of the industry. He discovered that he needed to provide individuals to harness their ‘superpowers’ to give them the opportunity to excel in the tech world.

88. Andrew D'Souza

Andrew D’Souza

Andrew D’Souza is CEO and Co-founder of Clearbanc, the fastest, most affordable way for founders to fund their business. He’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital and is an adviser and investor to companies such as WealthSimple, Properly, and Tulip Retail. Prior to Clearbanc, Andrew was the president of Nymi, a wearable platform focussed on identity and security and the COO of education startup, TopHat.

 

Black Celebrities in Tech & Venture

89. Andre Young aka. Dr. Dre

Andre Young aka. Dr. Dre

Andre Young, also known as DR. Dre, is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He’s known for his time spent in N.W.A, as the CEO and founder of Beats Electronics, and Aftermath entertainment. He also co-founded and co-owned Death Row Records. In 2013 Andre helped to establish the Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy at the University of Southern California, which aims to incorporate the arts and design; engineering and computer science; business and venture management; and communications into one school.

90. Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams

When he’s not producing music, the musical artist Pharrell Williams - known primarily for his award-winning song “Happy”, dedicates his time to helping children in underserved communities. His most recent project is called “Your Voice is Power”, and is working in collaboration with Amazon and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The “Your Voice is Power” project is dedicated to helping middle and high school students launch social conscious businesses and achieve entrepreneurial goals. Pharrell has also given out scholarships to high school students in the past, as well as started multiple music education programs.

91. Arian Simone and Ayana Parsons

Arian Simone and Ayana ParsonsArian Simone and Ayana Parsons are partners at The Fearless Fund. The Fear The Fearless Fund is a venture capital fund created that invests in start-ups founded by women of color seeking pre-seed and seed level or series A level funding. Arian Simone, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fearless Fund, is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, angel investor, author, and PR & marketing specialist. Arian has over 17 years of entrepreneurial experience: from pioneering and growing a successful PR and marketing firm to founding Fearless Magazine and the Fearless Platform in 2010, with a mission of inspiring millennial entrepreneurial women. Ayana Parsons is Chief Operating Officer of Fearless Fund. With nearly 20 years of experience as both a corporate executive and organizational consultant, Ayana leverages her expertise in consumer markets, international business strategy and operations, top team effectiveness, board effectiveness and inclusive talent management to help drive organizational growth and transformation. 

92. Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Serena Williams is an American tennis player and is the second-highest-paid female athlete, according to Forbes. When she’s not crushing it on the court, Serena sits on the board of Poshmark and SurveyMonkey’ s parent company, Momentive. Through her venture capitalist fund, Serena Fund, she has invested in 66 startups and is one of the most prominent investors in NFT platform Bitski. In 2018, Serena also started her own clothing line called S by Serena.  In 2021, Serena was noted by Forbes to be in the top 100 Most Powerful Women, as well as in the top 100 for America’s Self-Made Women.

93. Will Smith

Will Smith

Will Smith is an actor, film producer, rapper and most recently Co-founder of Dreamers VC. Dreamers VC is a venture capital fund that connects Japanese corporate investors with early stage U.S.-based companies. The firm invests in innovative companies, alongside top-tier lead investors, with the goal of improving lives through the application of emerging technology.

94. Shawn Carter

Shawn Carter

Shawn Carter, known professionally as Jay-Z, is a serial entrepreneur who acquired the tech company Aspiro in 2015 and took charge of its media streaming service TIDAL. In 2020, he raised $85M to back his venture capital firm, Marcy Venture Partners (MVP). Recently, Jay-Z created a $10M fund for cannabis industry startups founded by people of color to bolster participation in the cannabis industry. In 2021 the firm is managing $600 million in assets altogether.  

95. Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg

Snoop Dogg is co-owner of Casa Verde Capital, which recently raised $100 million in its second round of funding. Casa Verde (CV) is the leading venture capital firm focused exclusively on the cannabis industry.

96. Nas

Nas

Nas is not only regarded as one of the best rappers to ever touch a mic, but is also a Venture Capitalist and the Founder of Queensbridge Ventures. Queensbridge Ventures is a venture firm that invests in technology companies that transform life, work, and play. He is also the founder of record company & media mogul Mass Appeal. In 2022, Nas partnered with Google to fund $20 million for Carry1st, a mobile game based in Cape Town, South Africa.

97. Akon

Akon

Akon, renowned music mogul, has recently committed to building Akon City, a futuristic cryptocurrency themed city, that has secured over $6B in financing. The city will exclusively use the “Akoin” digital currency and plans to have parks, universities, schools, a stadium, hotels, and more.

98. Shaq

Shaq

Shaq, the 15-time NBA All-Star, has set the blueprint for other NBA athletes interested in the tech & startup world. He was recently announced as the new brand ambassador for Novex Biotech, a leading sports nutrition company. He is well-known for being an early investor in Google and Apple.

99. Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson

NBA Hall of Fame player Magic Johnson is the CEO of venture capital firm Magic Johnson Enterprises. In 2020 he was announced to the Board of Directors at Uncharted, a leader in smart power and data infrastructure technology. Uncharted has raised $12.5 million, with investors including Disney, Kapor Capital, BBG Ventures, and Lingo.

100. Malcolm Jenkins

Malcolm Jenkins

When he’s not on the field as a safety for the New Orleans Saints, Malcolm Jenkins spends his time working as the Founder of Broad Street Ventures, a fund started and operated by Malcolm to help black and hispanic investors build wealth. Malcolm's intent behind starting Broad Street Ventures is to open the door to more people of color to become venture capitalists and hopes that through opening the door to people of color, more individuals will follow suit. Broad Street Ventures is the first athlete-founded venture capitalist fund that focuses on giving people of color more control over their financial futures.

101. Angelica Ross

Angelica Ross

Angelica Ross is the Founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises, but you may recognize her as the ballroom queen on Fx’s Pose and American Horror Story. She is a self-taught computer programmer who accredits technology for keeping her from living in the margins. Angelica started TransTech to give tech apprenticeships to members of the trans community.

 

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