Seven years ago, I launched my blog. Today, marks a new beginning as I focus on the development of the Cost of Freedom App, a location-based web app that will provide voters with concise information on how to apply for a voter ID.
Marketing guru Seth Goldin recently observed that if you don't adapt to the post-industrial economy, “never mind the race to the top, you'll be racing to the bottom.” Goldin added:
Instead of waiting around for someone to tell you that you matter, take your career into your own hands. In other words, don't wait for someone else to pick you and pick yourself! If you have a book, you don't need a publisher to approve you, you can publish it yourself. It's no longer about waiting for some big corporation to choose you. We've arrived at an age where you choose yourself.
Kerry Rupp, Managing Partner of DreamIt, said in a statement:
We’re excited to run our second program this year, coming hot off the heels of a very successful Demo Day in New York City in August. The caliber of this class is equally impressive. Additionally, we’re excited about the diversity of this group. In addition to the Comcast Minority Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program, this batch includes an Olympic medalist, an Iraq and Afghanistan combat veteran and a TED Senior Fellow, as well as several people from Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
While all founders have a tough row to hoe to get to the next level, black founders must face a “harsh reality.”
The harsh reality for black entrepreneurs in the web/tech space. Your chances of raising startup capital are slim to none. If you’re an entrepreneur, good luck and prove me wrong. If you’re an accelerator or incubator, open your doors and prove me wrong. If you’re a venture capitalist please prove me wrong!
The U.S Commerce Department Economics and Statistics Administration’s report, “STEM: Good Jobs Now and for the Future,” found that growth in STEM jobs has been three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs over the past 10 years. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
Some key findings:
In 2010, 7.6 million people or 5.5 percent of the labor force worked in STEM occupations.
In the coming decade, STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17 percent, compared to 9.8 percent growth for other occupations.
STEM workers earn 26 percent more than non-STEM workers.
STEM workers are less likely to experience joblessness.
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke wrote that STEM jobs will help the U.S. win the future:
Expanding the participation of students in the STEM fields – including girls, minorities and students with disabilities – is not just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.
Investments in basic research and the people who can make great discoveries with new ideas will help drive our technological innovation and global competitiveness. STEM jobs are the jobs of the future, and they are essential to growth in America.
And if you’re still not convinced that STEM matters, check out this piece in TechCrunch:
In a similar vein, many of the companies in Silicon Valley are succeeding precisely because they’re disrupting existing players in their industries. Amazon is doing really well right now (almost $10 billion in revenue in the last quarter alone). Borders…not so much. Go iTunes and Spotify. RIP Tower Records. Creative destruction is alive and well but how many people in Silicon Valley are thinking about what happens to that displaced worker at the record store or bookstore?
As I was helping myself to breakfast yesterday, a handout on AT&T’s information table caught my eye. You can imagine my delight and surprise when I saw it was a photo of Jonecia Keels and Jazmine Miller, the developers of the mobile app HBCU Buddy.
At a time when our nation is committed to reclaiming its place as the world leader in higher education, we can no longer afford to ignore the plight of our young men of color. As long as educational opportunities are limited for some, we all suffer. We rise as one nation and we fall as one nation.