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 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.