I am part of the first generation of Black tech CEOs and entrepreneurs.
I know that sounds like a pretty startling statement—that in 2020 we are just now having our very first crop of Black tech entrepreneurs. Allow me to explain.
Historians put the birth of venture capital right after World War II. It would be another 20 years before the country was legally desegregated in 1965, and venture capital as we know it today only really started to really boom around the 1980s and 1990s. Then and now, the average age of a tech founder was around forty-two years old. My father, born in 1953, was the prime age to raise VC money during the booming 1990s. But any African American in my father’s generation would have faced a level of discrimination from their birth to college-age (if they had the opportunity) that would have made doing so unlikely.