Silicon Valley’s New Conversation on Diversity

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Silicon Valley’s startup field is dominated by young, mostly white men from a handful of elite universities. NewMe, an accelerator program for minority-led ventures, aims to shake up the scene.

Three months after CNN’s Black in America 4 aired, chronicling the stories of NewMe’s first class, several of the documentary’s participants reconvened at last week’s South by Southwest (SXSW) gathering in Austin. In panel discussions and informal chats, they tackled the question: Has anything changed?

 “I think the most important thing [the documentary] did is that it started a conversation that did not exist. That’s huge,” said Hank Williams, who used his time at NewMe to work on Kloudco, a cloud-based data management service.

“I don’t know how much we impacted Silicon Valley, but it’s starting a larger discussion around the nation,” said Gokit founder Hajj Flemings. “There are a lot of people looking to make career shifts.”

After Flemings finished the two-month accelerator program, he moved back to Detroit to continue working on Gokit, which helps people create professional online profiles. His venture soft-launched at SXSW and opened sign-ups for its public beta.

Read the rest of this article at CNN Money
(Photo: John Nowak- CNN)
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