Five Innovative Black Women In Tech To Watch Out For
By: Faith Riggs
Women of color are no stranger to setting trends and becoming leaders in this entrepreneurial movement we are experiencing as of recent. We have always been innovators and change-makers, but for so long, WOC were not visible in spaces of tech and innovative startups. More and more, WOC are taking on the tech industry and starting successful innovative ventures and startups. There are no limits to what we can create, and these five women illustrate how to invent your own path to success.
Nia Wellman is a recent grad of Hampton University where she studied strategic communications. During her time as a student, Wellman built a natural hair empire through her YouTube channel with over 100,000 subscribers. As a young and motivated entrepreneur, she took her knowledge and became the CEO of Hair Days. This app innovates the typical natural hair routine and allows users with curly or kinky hair to track hair length, style steps, favorite products, and connect with other naturals. In an interview with Rolling Out, she says she is not the founder, but took on the app after knowing one of the co-founders. She says the driving force behind Hair Days is to create a safe space for naturals where they can journal and document their hair journeys.
Amanda Spann is living proof that a former PR girl can turn into a successful tech entrepreneur as she paves the way for women of color in tech. She co-founded the Culture Crush App, an app that allows you to search for eligible Black singles anywhere in the world and the unique TipOff word guessing game of blacklisted words . Spann has been named one of the top 5 future leaders in technology by Black Enterprise Magazine and one of Business Insider’s 30 Most Important Women in Tech Under 30. Currently, she works as a consultant where she helps build brands and app startups.
Business: Culture Crush App
Nicole Gibbons is a Detroit-native best known for her work as an interior designer, TV Personality, blogger and lifestyle expert. When she’s not blogging or in the media, she’s a CEO and reinventing the way people shop for paint with her company, Clare. As an innovative thinker, Gibbons noticed the rising success of direct-to-consumer brands like Warby Parker and Casper, and decided to develop her own take on the idea. She realized a need for change with troublesome paint shopping and wanted to create a better and more inspiring way to shop. She noticed how difficult, intimidating, and confusing the process of choosing between thousands of paint shades and finishes can be and decided to simplify it with expertly curated palettes of 55 unique and modern colors in the best finishes. The process includes taking a quick eight question quiz for a personalized paint recommendation. She took her first investor meeting in September 2017, and by October she raised $2 million. Clare officially launched in July 2018, and has grown rapidly in its short existence.
Like many Black women, Carla Christine noticed the lack of diversity within the yoga space. She felt discouraged that diversity of black yogis was always the topic of conversation, but not reflected in hiring practices, marketing and workshops. Instead of continually feeling disgruntled, she decided to focus on creating a space specifically for people of color. This eventually led her to found Yoga Green Book, a online yoga streaming service for people of color. Her mission is to utilize yoga as a holistic tool for healing and optimal health. She realized racism, trauma, mental illness, and disease impact our community far too often, and tools like yoga are needed now more than ever.
Business: Yoga Green Book
Bari A. Williams
By day, Bari works as vice president for legal, business and policy affair for All Turtles and when she’s out of office, she works as a startup advisor for the tech industry. She’s nothing short of a boss having held positions as a tech attorney for Facebook and as operations executive for Stubhub. Through these positions, she garnered a position as one of the leading voices advocating for diversity in tech. She has written several op-eds offering advice to tech leaders on diversifying their workforce that have been featured in the New York Times, Wired and Fortune. Her leadership experience at major Silicon Valley tech companies proves she knows how to take her client’s startup idea to the next level.
Business: Bari A. Williams