TECH: 20 Millennial Innovators of Color You Should Know

(photo credit: Culture Shift Labs)

by Kunbi Tinoye via urbangeekz.com

It’s common knowledge that the tech industry has a diversity problem. Employee demographics clearly show a dearth of women and untapped minorities in the leading technology firms. Then when black and Latinx founders do decide to start businesses of their own they often struggle to raise capital. Research by the #ProjectDiane, for example, reveals African-American female founders raised a mere 0.2 percent of venture funding from 2012-2014. With that being said, there are many young and talented innovators and entrepreneurs of color making waves.

Last month a handful of these trailblazers attended the Culture Shifting Weekend‘s ‘Millennial Breakfast’ at SAP in Palo Alto. Founders were given a platform to talk about their startups to a room full of industry heavyweights. The mission is simple. Create a safe space for diverse talent to secure support, expertise, and partnerships with key players in the tech ecosystem. Co-founder and CEO of On Second Thought, Maci Peterson, at the Culture Shifting Weekend. Peterson was just one of the founders who presented her startup at Millennial Breakfast.

Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade Communications Systems, was just one of the influencers in attendance. Carney, a Jamaican immigrant, recently sold his company for $5.5 billion. Other attendees included Danny Allen, VP Diversity & Inclusion, SAP; Jacqueline Jones, Strategic Partnerships, Global Inclusion, LinkedIn; and Rachel Spivey, Diversity Specialist, Google, among others.“I added an element to the event,” said Andrea Hoffman, CEO of the management consultancy Culture Shift Labs, who organized the annual Silicon Valley event.

“We had a Millennial Tech Entrepreneurs and Influencers Breakfast that was sponsored by Vista Equity Partners. It was an experiment and it went really well. There’s more to come from in terms of millennial tech entrepreneurs of color.”From software to recruitment, check out this list of 20 black and brown millennial innovators and founders who all presented their startups (except two bonuses #19 and #20) at the Millennial Breakfast.

1. Stephanie Lampkin – Blendoor

Stephanie Lampkin is a TEDx speaker and founder & CEO of Blendoor, a recruiting application that reduces unconscious bias in hiring. With a 14-year professional career in tech, she is all too familiar with the difficulties faced when one doesn’t look like the typical software engineer. Through technology and data, her mission is to reduce bias and challenge the assumption that homogeneous environments are a meritocracy. Stephanie holds a BS in Management Science & Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from MIT Sloan.

2. Harold Hughes – Bandwagon

Harold is the founder & CEO of Bandwagon, an online marketplace and fan community designed to improve the game day experience for sports fans everywhere. As a leader in the growing startup community in Greenville, South Carolina, he is the co-managing Director of Collective: a coworking space for small teams and entrepreneurs. He is also Director of the Founder Institute-Greenville chapter, a member of NEXT, and involved in the Greenville Chamber of Commerce. He recently participated in the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange Program in Durham, NC. Continue reading

Engineer Stephanie Lampkin Launches App to Curb Discrimination in Hiring

(Forbes)

Blendor creator Stephanie Lampkin (photo via thegrio.com)

article via thegrio.com; forbes.com

Stephanie Lampkin, a black female engineer, has seen her share of workplace discrimination. Despite the fact that she was a full-stack web developer by the age of 15 and then went on to get her education at Stanford and then MIT, she often had a hard time getting her foot in the door to get into the tech industry, which has long been dominated by white men.

But Lampkin has developed an app that would help to curb discrimination in hiring by eliminating even unconscious bias from the hiring process.

The app, called Blendoor, uploads resumes without a name or a picture so that candidates are judged solely on their merits and their technical abilities.

“My company resonates more with white men when I position it as, ‘hey, I want to help you find the best talent. Your unconscious mind isn’t racist, sexist — it’s totally natural, and we’re trying to help you circumvent it,’” she told Forbes.

Already, Lampkin has 19 large tech firms signed up to use the app, which will also collect job data to see how those who are seeking jobs are matching up with positions they would be qualified for.

To read more, go to: http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2016/03/03/black-woman-engineer-launches-blind-job-match-app-to-take-bias-out-of-tech-hiring/#e3c5a05601c4