Black History Month: Black's in Tech
African Americans were instrumental in building this country. The cotton industry put the U.S. on the global map. It was built on the ingenuity, forced labor and millions of lives of African Americans. That ingenuity leads me to week’s focus, African Americans in tech, one of my passions. I’m going to highlight four of many tech business minds who in my opinion are making an impact on our future.
First up, Atlanta based cybersecurity expert and angel investor, Dr. Paul Judge, he is the definition of a serial entrepreneur. CEO and founder of Luma, the home WiFi Company, which allows users the visibility into their home WiFi system and control over their family and home network’s safety. Paul has founded several companies including Pindrop and Purewire. He’s also reaching back and investing in young entrepreneurs, and according to a Choose Atlantaarticle he’s been known to ask, “Do you take the risk of working on your own dream, or do you take the safety of working on someone else’s?” Be sure to follow Paul on Twitter @pauljudge and www.pjudge.com.
Next, is Ralph A. Clark the President and CEO of ShotSpotter. ShotSpotter is the global leader in gunfire detection and location technology providing the most trusted, scalable and reliable gunfire alert and analysis today. This means his company is developing and I mplementing the technology being used by officers policing our neighborhoods to help isolate within a city block where a gunshot originated. This is instrumental; as according the LA Times, sensors show San Diego police that residents call in only 25% of shootings. The technology is currently being deployed in 90 cities nationwide. ShotSpotter and Verizon have partnered to continue the expansion across the country. Be sure to follow Ralph on Twitter @ralphaclark and check out www.shotspotter.com.
Stacy Brown-Philpot is the CEO of TaskRabbit, which is revolutionizing every day work with its platform of connecting skilled Taskers to do every day chores so you can be more productive. Stacy’s expertise lies in her ability to launch consumer products, build and scale large organizations and manage global teams. Under her leadership TaskRabbit has expanded its footprint to 40+ cities including London. Last fall Ikea acquired TaskRabbit and will continue to expand their footprint. Be sure to check out www.taskrabbit.com and Stacy on Twitter @sbp04 and her Forbes article How TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot Conquers Everyday Tasks.
And Corey E. Thomas is the President and CEO of Boston based Rapid7. Rapid7 is a leading cyber security, data and analytics solutions company that enables organizations to implement an active, analytics-driven approach to cyber security. Corey has extensive experience leading technology companies to the next stage of growth and innovation. In 2015, Rapid7 had a very successful IPO, with shares rising 54% on their market debut. under the leadership of Corey. Be sure to check out Corey’s New York Times article on Why Companies Succeed or Fail. The entire article is great. Be sure to pay close attention to how he hires and his career and life advice for new college grads.