The Road to TechConneXt: Tristan Walker

The Road to TechConneXt is a lead-up series to Black Enterprise's TechConneXt Technology Summit, profiling today's tech leaders and innovators. This week: Silicon Valley trailblazer and business wiz, Tristan Walker

Tristan Walker
(Image: LinkedIn)

Tristan Walker is not only the CEO and founder of Walker & Company Brands. He is a technology tour de force and has set a blazing trail for other people of color to establish themselves among the Silicon Valley elite.

Walker will be part of a one-on-one discussion at Black Enterprise’s TechConneXt tech summit, October 10-11 in San Francisco, CA.

tcs-logoFrom Queens, NY, to Silicon Valley

His Walker & Company Brands, creates innovative men’s grooming products, including Bevel—the first and only shaving system designed for people with coarse or curly hair.

However, Walker’s foray into business and more specifically, technology, goes further back than the successful Walker & Company that landed $24 million in Series B funding last year and scored a deal with Target stores.

His beginnings are familiar to many in the black community. Raised in Queens in public housing by a single mother, Walker went to SUNY at Stony Brook University on scholarship, his intelligence and determination evident from early on.

He went onto Stanford Business School and landed a job on Wall Street but was dissatisfied with the world of finance. He wanted part of the Silicon Valley action and made a bold move in writing an email to the founders of Foursquare, the popular search-and-discovery act for fun places and things to do.

After an initial exchange of emails between Walker and the Foursquare founders, he was hired on as head of business development.

That position was Walker’s entry into Silicon Valley and the portal into a number of other positions at other hot startups. He was entrepreneur-in-residence at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, on the lookout for the next big, emerging tech startup.

The Value of Authenticity

Named a BE Modern Man in 2015, Walker said, “The most important value is authenticity.”

“I really have to feel like I’m the best person in the world building what I’m building. Nobody’s going to compete, or people will be scared to compete. I think a lot of people lose sight of being authentic to what they want to build because they seek the money and fame.”

Walker will lend his sharp insight and experiences in his one-on-one chat at TechConneXt.

Register for Black Enterprise’s TechConneXt Technology Summit: The Intersection of Innovation and Opportunity, held October 10-11, 2016 at the San Francisco Marriott Waterfront Hotel!