Black Web 2.0′s Angela Benton Talks Startups, Mentoring & the NewMe Accelerator
BE Next: CNN’s Black in America 4 highlighted how hard it is for minorities to break into tech and Silicon Valley in particular. But many also say that Blacks in tech don’t stick together and help build the pipeline. What are your thoughts and experiences?
Angela Benton: I think it’s no secret that in general black people don’t stick together. But one of the surprising things about the documentary is that I was kind of scared of how people would react to it. I knew it was something positive we were trying to do, but I wasn’t sure how black people would react: Would they think we were trying to be white? Would they think it was stupid?
But overwhelmingly people responded positively and wanted to know how they replicate this in their community, how they could volunteer, and even how they could contribute to the program.
BE Next: Did you set up a way for people to contribute?
Angela Benton: No, mainly because NewMe Accelerator is set up under Black Web Media, Inc. We’re in the process of setting up a non-profit that will be called NewMe Community. These NewMe Communities set up in various cities for networking, founder matching, and educational programs will be under the NewMe Community label.
[Author’s Note: NewMe Communities had over 100 members in 37 cities within just 48 hours of availability.]