The 25 Most Influential African-Americans In Technology


The 25 Most Influential African-Americans In Technology

Charles Hudson


Charles Hudson, partner at SoftTech VC

Diversity in Silicon Valley has become a hot topic lately.

In a one-and-a-half year long investigation, CNNMoney probed 20 of the most influential technology companies in the U.S.

What they found: racial minorities and women are generally underrepresented in management roles. And those roles are typically dominated by white and Asian men.

So yes, there are fewer blacks in tech compared to white and Asian men, but it doesn’t mean they’re not there.

Click here to jump straight to the list of prominent African-Americans in technology >

Wayne Sutton, a former partner at the NewMe accelerator and founder of PitchTo, tells Business Insider that there are tons of African-Americans throughout the country doing amazing things in the field of technology, but a lot of people just haven’t heard about them.

As part of the discussion regarding blacks in technology, questions regarding racism, implicit networks, and racial bias have emerged.

“The bias in Silicon Valley is about creating great companies, solving big problems, making a lot of money, and impacting the world,” Sutton says. “That’s the bias. If you’re doing that in Silicon Valley, no matter what, you have a chance.”

But Brian Watson, an analyst at Union Square Ventures, doesn’t necessarily agree with Sutton’s sentiments.

“It’s clear that there is always a bias,” Watson tells Business Insider. “And it’s annoying and it’s frustrating, but you can get around that. There’s also an argument that because there’s a bias, in a weird way, the bias can also lead to some opportunities.”

Bias or no bias, there are a number of African-Americans in tech that are doing great things.

Some are high profile executives, some own their own venture capital firms, and others are making technology more accessible to people all over the world.

The list and rankings are subjective, so please feel free to let us know in the comments if we missed anyone.

By Megan Rose Dickey | Apr. 4, 2013, 7:00 AM