Black Web 2.0′s Angela Benton Talks Startups, Mentoring & the NewMe Accelerator
BE Next: What impact do you think Black in America, or more so NewMe Accelerator, will have?
Angela Benton: The impact already is that whether you come from a technical or business background, people see that being a tech entrepreneur is accessible. Also, it’ll affect how people view Silicon Valley. Already 60% of the founders who participated the first time plan to relocate to Silicon Valley within one year. So the long-term impact will be additional people introduced to the tech community in a meaningful way.
BE Next: How many of the founders have been funded? The documentary ended with only Hank Williams and Pius Uzamere receiving undisclosed funding.
Angela Benton: That’s true. One founder prefers bootstrapping and isn’t interested in giving away much equity at all. Tiffani [Bell] also was another founder uninterested in giving away a lot of equity and wanted to scale her business in a organic way. So these are choices that these individuals made.
Anthony [Fraiser] is in the Apple App Store, and he doesn’t even have a technical background. His goal was to get his team focused enough to submit something by the time the documentary came out. I’m not even into [video] games and was able to try it out. It works great.
Wayne Sutton is spending a lot of time working with me. I’ve put my start-up [Cued] on hold and NewMe is pretty much my start-up, in a way. I’ve gotten new funding for 2012 for the next round of NewMe. The next round will start on February 20.
BE Next: Are people still applying? Could you share how many applications you’ve gotten so far?
Angela Benton: Yes, applications close on December 16. No, not at this time.
BE Next: How do you top what you’ve done?
Angela Benton: That’s easy. Get more people funded. We all know what Y Combinator has done. They’ve done a ton of exits and have helped a lot of people. When I see blacks, Latinos, and other minorities able to get opportunities, become funded, and become a part of the industry, it’s a huge bonus.