Black Millennials: The New Generation Shaking Up The Tech Industry

Five young tech workers posing in an office in Toronto

Hey folks!

Today’s blog is all about Black millennials – the generation shaking up the tech industry! If you’ve heard anything about millennials, it’s probably that they’re natural leaders and just amazing (haha). You can count on Black millennials to ruffle some feathers, shift cultures, change things up a bit – and we’re not mad at it!

Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living adult generation, according to population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. In a couple of years, your boss and senior managers are likely to be millennials and gen zs.

The millennial takeover has been disruptive. So, we did some digging and found a couple of millennial brothas and sistahs making big moves in tech, and we’re putting you on.

Happied – April Johnson

Imagine a world where there’s happy hour ‘round the clock and you don’t have to look too far to find the drinks or host an online event. Fret not; there’s an app for that! Happied is a Black, female-owned startup that started out connecting professionals in Washington DC with dope happy hour spots. Co-founder and CEO April Johnson, initially created the app for thousands of users to see what’s popping in restaurants and bars nearby. The pandemic forced April and her co-founder to pivot, so Happied became a B2B spot for hosting online events at scale. Today’s online platform focuses on community engagement, curating experiences, fun environments, and connecting people according to Mogul Millenial. If you’re a Black millennial in tech who’s intentional about being at the right events and being in the ‘in-crowd’ of Black tech, hop on over to Obsidi.com too for 24/7 event videos and make new connections.

Rares – Gerome Sapp 

If you’re a techie, investor and sneakerhead, then this story is for you! Gerome Sapp has risen from the ashes of 87 venture capital rejections to secure $5.2 million for his company, Rares. Rares is a tech platform for investors to buy and trade fractional shares of rare, high-end, collectible sneakers. Each shoe on the platform becomes available through the Rares IPO for users to purchase shares just like on the stock market. The Rares IPO would then close its offerings and you can hold your shares until the shoes are sold at an auction. For example, on the Rares app, users get a piece of the Air Yeezy 1s, for as little as $25 according to Finurah. You can wait for the sneakers to reach their peak and are auctioned to get your money or you can sell your shares at any point and receive your dividend payout. The app has 30,000 users and 5,000 active users who are investing in every sneaker IPO Rares drops, Sapp told Hip Hop Wired.

QuickHire – Deborah Gladney And Angela Muhwezi-Hall

Forget the “lazy, entitled and selfish” stereotypes often slapped on millennials. Did you know sisters Angela Muhwezi-Hall and Deborah Gladney are the first Black women to raise over $1 million in Wichita, Kansas to fund their company, QuickHire. After seeing a void in the service industry, the siblings founded QuickHire to serve the restaurant, retail and hospitality industries. They connect paying clients with suitable jobseekers. In a feature by Essence, it is said that the sisters – children of Ugandan immigrants – are now entrepreneurs, who grew tired of neglect, job stifling and bad pay. They took the bull by the horns, went out and did what millennials do best – make things happen. With 60 clients, Angela and Deborah are paying it forward to an industry that helped them. The company already has 12,000 job seekers who have been connected to companies such as Hilton Homewood Suites and Doo-Dah Diner through the app. 

Emerging Impact – Robert Greenfield

Robert Greenfield is on a mission to create a world where low-cost, high-quality financial services are available to anyone with a phone – Period! With a wealth of experience at Goldman Sachs, Amazon, and ConsenSys, Greenfield is now a millennial shaking things up through his co-founded startup Emerging Impact. The startup modernizes financial services in emerging markets through blockchain tech. The company is also a benefit corporation that supports NGOs and government agencies to leverage blockchain technology as a tool for humanitarian programming. As a millennial and business founder of colour, Greenfield recalls getting plenty of no’s, and closed doors, but he learned a lot. With persistence and finesse, Emerging Impact raised $1.5 million from firms like 500 Global and Coinbase Ventures. Check out some tips and tricks from them here

Breaux Capital – Derrius Quarles, Ras Asan & Brian L. Williams

Breaux Capital (pronounced “bro”) is described as a “social banking online platform” and mobile app that offers automated savings tools, accountability partners, educational resources, investments, high-security and a host of professional services to help Black millennial men build generational wealth and increase their financial wellness. Founded by Derrius Quarles, Ras Asan and Brian Williams in 2016, Breaux Capital aspires to empower Black men to save, take control of their financial futures and make themselves accountable according to Inc.com. Unlike the conventional bank, Breaux Capital makes its automated savings platform available to anyone in exchange for an annual subscription fee of between $9 and $19 without the extra frills and bank fees.

The Mentor Method – Janice Omadeke

There are women and then there are Black millennial bosses like Janice Omadeke, founder and CEO of a Texas-based tech startup called The Mentor Method. The Mentor Method is disrupting tech by using a proprietary algorithm to match corporate mentors with mentees. The technology reduces bias in the mentorship-matching process and amplifies inclusion and equity to support diverse, rising talent. The Mentor Method aims to help identify and sustain meaningful mentor-mentee relationships. Omadeke launched her company in 2017 and closed a $1.6 million seed round in April, making her one of fewer than 200 Black women in the US who have raised more than $1 million in venture capital according to The Business Journals. Clients of The Mentor Method include Deloitte and the U.S. Department of Education. If you’re a Black professional looking for other great mentorship opportunities, BPTN’s CULTIVATE is another great spot for Black millennials.

See you next time!