I read an interesting article in TechCrunch last week about the Detroit Startup Renaissance and being a Detroiter it was exciting seeing my city mentioned. After reading the article I left feeling more challenged then excited. I was left with an empty feeling and this thought. Will Black Entrepreneurs be apart of the Detroit Startup Renaissance?
My question is not focused at any person or organization because this is a systemic issue that exists in the startup community nationwide. This blog post is not written to the key stakeholders (VCs, Angel Investors, etc.) but to the black entrepreneurship community, the same community that I am apart of! The reality is, if we don’t insert ourselves in the startup movement we will be left behind and it will be almost impossible to catch up. The numbers don’t lie, only 1% of VC (Venture Capital) backed startups are founded by black founders.
To provide some context of how important the startup space is to the economy let’s start with the earning potential of the average person. With a High School diploma a person can expect to earn $1.2M in their lifetime according to the national government. There are 20-somethings that are launching startups and raising a $1M dollars. Hey, don’t wait for the call because it isn’t coming! There are opportunities but we have to work hard for any shot at being apart of the startup movement. Let’s not be left behind!
For inspiration on the Tech Startup Movement for Black Entrepreneurs checkout CNN’s Black In America 4 on 11/13/11. Here is a link to the trailer.