‘Black in America’: Curtiss Pope, One Year Later

Former Microsoft programmer talks about his hometown, Silicon Valley

Curtiss Pope's AisleFinder app makes shopping easier. He fine tuned the business model when he participated in the NewMe Accelerator (Image: Kent Hwang)

Last November, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien explored Silicon Valley through the eyes of eight African-American entrepreneurs. All participants of the inaugural NewMe Accelerator class, the Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley cast invited viewers into their journey as startup founders competing in an industry comprised of less than 1% of entrepreneurs that look like them. BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the tech innovators to see what they’ve been up to one year later.

AisleFinder, also known as the GPS of the Supermarket, is the brain child of Curtiss Pope, a former programmer at Microsoft and Yahoo. AisleFinder is a location-based app that makes it easier to find the items on your shopping list by providing the exact aisle numbers. The app is available in more than 6,300 supermarkets in the U.S. and Canada, including well over 100  Walmart supercenter locations.  Over the last four years, Pope has been able to grow his user base from 40 to over 64,000, as of January 2012, and much of that growth is due to resources he attracted taking part in programs like the NewMe Accelerator. Although CNN only chose to cover a select number of NewMe participants, you can catch Pope’s story here as he reflects on the accelerator program and gives his take on Silicon Valley diversity.

For me, Silicon Valley is…

Home. I was born and raised here. I was one of the local startups selected to be in the accelerator.

Since NewMe ended…

AisleFinder is still my main project, but I have a few other ideas that I’ve been able to get off the ground. I’ve been building a Supermarket API , and GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) checker.

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