‘Black in America’: Angela Benton, One Year Later

After launching NewME Accelerator last year, the renaissance woman has expanded the program

The best business advice I received from a NewME mentor…

Have a clear vision of where you want to go, but it might not all unfold at once; it’s a process and once you find your sweet spot, you have to move fast.  It’s important to listen to the advice that you get along the way but pick and choose what is right for you and where you know you want to go.

The environment in Silicon Valley has changed for the better because…

There is more awareness around what the status quo had been. There is also a real effort to change it, from groups like NewME, Black Founders, [and] Black Girls Code to the businesses in the Valley that support them like Google and Facebook to Andreessen Horowitz, and many others.

What is needed more, black CEOs with technical skills or business skills? I think…

You need both skillets to run a tech business so this is like a chicken and egg problem.

There is no one solution to increasing the number of blacks in Silicon Valley because…

In reality it will take an orchestra of people, education, programs, exposure, etc. to make it all happen successfully.  At the end of the day, we should not just look for increasing the number; we should be looking at increasing the quality and likelihood of success.

I’m a fan of how the Black in America 4 documentary turned out…

It did a great job of showing most aspects that we [entrepreneurs] went through during the summer as well as where we all came from.  In terms of it being successful in shedding light on the problem: Absolutely!  I have hundreds of emails from people around the world, who saw the show, which this problem resonated with.  People in Africa, Israel, and even the Philippines.

NewME has helped…

Twenty-seven founders since the first class in June 2011.  We just had a NewME Accelerator Popup for 3 days in Miami where we helped 60 companies.  Additionally, we have 1200 entrepreneurs in the NewME Community around the country.

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