CNN’s Soledad O’Brien investigates how African-American entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley struggle with racial bias and financial security.
While much of the country struggles to emerge from a recession, California’s Silicon Valley is booming, and technology companies like Facebook, Skype, and Apple are seeing their valuations soar. CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien reports that the ownership of this digital bloom is mostly young, white, and male. For her fourth Black in America documentary, O’Brien asks why, according to industry analyst CB Insights, less than one percent of all venture capital money went to digital startups with African-American founders in 2010 – and she profiles a unique, technology-focused “accelerator” developed to help African-American digital entrepreneurs secure funding to establish their businesses.
Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley will debut on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 8:00p.m. ET & PT and replay on Nov. 13 at 11:00p.m. ET & PT. It will also replay on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET & PT on CNN/U.S.
The NewMe accelerator program, founded by friends Angela Benton and Wayne Sutton, is a collaborative of African-American start-up founders with Internet-based businesses – the first such business accelerator of its kind. NewMe’s ultimate mission is to diversify the technology industry by accelerating the participants’ business ventures. Participants seek venture capital investment and are mentored by prominent people from within the industry.
O’Brien follows the progress of the eight former strangers after they were selected to live together for nine weeks in a modest, three-bedroom house in Mountain View, CA, from June to August of 2011. The entrepreneurs were provided with free office space and attended regular networking events hosted by NewMe’s sponsors. The participants come from varied backgrounds and experiences.
It’s kinda like “The Real World”, “The Ultimate Hustler”, and “African-America’s Next Top Techie” all in one show. Should be interesting…