That’s the backdrop for the heated debate over the scarcity of Blacks in technology sectors, particularly in Silicon Valley — the Mecca of start-up innovations and venture capital.
“It’s true that few Black tech entrepreneurs exist,” says Chad Womack, a biotech entrepreneur, STEM education advocate and fellow co-founder of the BICI. “And there would be more if we could connect a robust pipeline of tech-entrepreneurial talent to capital and the innovation ecosystem.”
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Another pressing and oft-ignored problem is there are far fewer Blacks in the space of angel investing. Nearly 900 venture capital groups manage institutional funds in which Blacks have money invested via pensions and other funding options. These funds are used as economic fuel to generate significant job growth among fast-growing, young companies. The top 1 percent of these companies account for 40 percent of job growth in the nation every year. From founders to fund managers, there are few Blacks in that ecosystem, even as they contribute to its success.
The Angel Capital Association, which has nearly 200 member groups representing more than 10,000 individual angels nationwide, counts only one Black angel group among its members.