A few years ago when I first started to explore some opportunities in technology, I honestly felt intimidated. It wasn’t just because there weren’t many others who looked like me in the tech industry, I also did not have a technical background. I was attending events across town and trying my best to understand industry jargon and feel a sense of belonging at programing which weren’t available in my community or made me feel included. Technology is supposed to be the great equalizer, with everyone having equal access to the same opportunities, funding expectations, and representation across industries. However, it is not quite that way just yet. According to an article written by Dalvin Brown of USA Today at Phys.org earlier this year, tech giants Twitter, Google, and Facebook reported that less than 5% of their employee workforce identify as black. In Silicon Valley, Blacks and Hispanics make up 3% and 6% of tech employees while women of color are represented at less than 1%.
Temanté Leary and his team are very aware of those facts and experiences, as they are poised to help bridge the gap between Black Men and Tech. I met Temanté earlier this year while working with Scale Up Miami at The Idea Center. I’ve always admired his ambition and dedication to community building through his work as an educator; So it was no surprise that we invited him to join us for our launch event last week! I was really excited when I got the news of him co-founding Black Men Talk Teck along with Boris Moyston, Abiodun Johnson, and Evan Leaphart. They are such a brilliant group of guys and they poured every ounce of their vibrant and positive energy into the company’s inaugural “Unicord Ambition” conference; Which took place this past October in Miami. It was such an honor and a great experience for me to serve as a host committee member. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of witnessing genius up close!
As the founders would describe it: Black Men Talk Tech (BMTT) is a Miami based tech collective with two main goals. They seek to engage with the entire Miami economic ecosystem, including leading tech companies, angel and venture investors, and community leaders to provide the necessary insights, funding, and partnerships that will benefit Black male tech founders. While their goal is to create an impact that is national in scope, they also aim to highlight and position Miami as a major growing tech hub to the rest of the country, so that founders, investors, and corporations will seek to launch companies and invest in the Miami ecosystem. Black Men Talk Tech Unicorn Ambition Conference is the only national tech conference which, exclusively, seeks to provide support and resources to Black men tech founders who seek to turn their growing startups into “unicorns”. I am not sure about you, but I am already looking forward to the next one!
As with any new startup, running the business does not come without its challenges. Early on, some of the challenges the team experienced included formalizing the conference as a business entity and getting all co-founders, as well as partners on the same page. This may seem like a simple task, however, it can be a bit complicated when all of the co-founders live in multiple cities and are also running their own companies. Our community can play a huge part in continuing to foster their growth, one of those ways would include our plans to attend their next conference in 2020.
You can stay update with Temanté on Linkedin, Instagram, or Twitter. Or you may also write him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know any potentially interested community partners, sponsors or investors, it’s perfectly ok to offer a warm introduction. You may catch some of the conference recap video on their YouTube channel.
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Notes from the author: Emmanuel is a creator who's passionate about social entrepreneurship and community building. He is a seasoned entrepreneur with 15+ years of business and professional experience. Over the years, he's valued the opportunity to do business and learn from various industries such as banking, sales, marketing, real estate, and management. You may connect with him by clicking here.
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