Posts Tagged ‘startup’

Do black tech entrepreneurs face institutional bias?

Friday, November 11th, 2011

(CNN) Wayne Sutton has been asking venture-capital investors and Silicon Valley executives a question that's not often broached here in the epicenter of the technology industry:

"Why aren't there more black people in tech?"

The vast majority of top executives at the leading Silicon Valley tech firms are white men. Women and Asians have made some inroads, but African-American and Latino tech leaders remain a rarity. About 1% of entrepreneurs who received venture capital in the first half of last year are black, according to a study by research firm CB Insights.

This lack of diversity in Silicon Valley made headlines last month when influential tech blogger Michael Arrington, in an interview for CNN's upcoming documentary "Black in America: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley," said, "I don't know a single black entrepreneur." Arrington later recanted the statement, saying he was caught off guard by the question, but the sensitive issue sparked a public dispute between the newly minted venture capitalist and CNN's Soledad O'Brien.

Full story…

Do black tech entrepreneurs face institutional bias?

War of words breaks out over Silicon Valley diversity debate

Saturday, October 29th, 2011

(CNN) Weeks ahead of the premiere of a CNN documentary focusing on diversity in the tech industry, the charged issue is already generating sparks. A heated debate broke out on Twitter Wednesday night after a preview screening of Black in America 4.

Blogger-turned-investor Michael Arrington ignited a controversy with his comments about the visibility of minority-led companies. In the documentary, which airs November 13, Arrington talked about his difficulties finding African-American entrepreneurs to launch their ventures at his TechCrunch Disrupt conference — and suggested he would accept almost any black entrepreneur, regardless of merit.

"There's a guy, actually, his last company just launched at our event, and he's African-American. When he asked to launch — actually, I think it was the other way around. I think I begged him," Arrington told CNN's Soledad O'Brien.

"His startup's really cool. But he could've launched a clown show on stage, and I would've put him up there, absolutely," Arrington said. "I think it's the first time we've had an African-American [be] the sole founder."

Full story…

War of words breaks out over Silicon Valley diversity debate
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