For the past two years I’ve been spreading the message that people of color are missing out on the technology startup revolution. In an era where companies can be founded and within a few years can surpass the market-caps of companies that have been in existence for decades, and companies that are created in a weekend can go on to raise millions in funding and create jobs and opportunities for success for others, we are notably absent. It’s a topic that almost no one wants to touch. Technology conferences brush over the concept by focusing their “lack of diversity” panels on low numbers of women leading startups rather than tackle the almost complete absence of African Americans and Hispanics as founders in the space. Or they highlight minority celebrities that have taken an interest in the space to make a passive attempt to show, “Look, they are here.”
Now let me quickly say that I agree that there need to be more women creating startups and the fact that entertainers are seeing the value of broadband internet is great, but neither address this issue. As the president is pushing his plan to usher every American into the digital age by making sure they have broadband and wireless access, we now need address the chasm that currently exists. The president’s Startup America plan has brought the start up opportunity into mainstream focus, and as we move through yet another Black history month where we reflect on where we’ve been, we need to look more prominently on how we can change the future.
Navarrow Wright has emerged as one of the distinctive and insightful voices in America and a premier expert on how the convergence of technology, the Internet, mass media and social media can change lives, businesses and society.
Today, Navarrow Wright is the CTO of Interactive One, Interactive One is a digital and print media company focusing on the African-American and urban market. As CTO Wright is responsible for the technical strategy of all the Interactive One online properties which include Hellobeautiful, The UrbanDaily, NewsOne, Elev8 and BlackPlanet. He is also responsible for the technical management of the Radio One Network’s radio sites