A few years ago, while browsing on the Internet, Angela Benton saw a need online that wasn’t being met: there were no sites that gave updates on what black companies were doing in the tech world. In response, Benton founded Black Web Media in 2007 and created the site Black Web 2.0, dedicated to providing complete coverage of this topic.
Since then, Black Web 2.0 has become one of the go-to sites for blacks in the technology sector. Benton has also created other sites focusing on career development for young professionals and politics. Her company has also partnered with entities to provide tech-related content, including theGrio, HuffPost BlackVoices and BET.com.
Never one to back down from a challenge, Benton also noticed the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley and created a “start-up house” for underrepresented entrepreneurs to live in while creating tech-related businesses. Benton started the house with fellow entrepreneur Wayne Sutton.
Angela Benton is making history … as someone who has given a voice to the black tech world, a sector often neglected by Silicon Valley. The “start-up house” Benton and Sutton created has evolved into the NewMe accelerator, a selective summer-long program during which eight start-up founders live and work together. These entrepreneurs develop their ideas, work with mentors and eventually pitch their ideas to potential Angel investors. The first group of candidates to pitch to investors were featured in a CNN Black in America special last year.
What’s next for Angela?
In addition to running Black Web Media and its sites, Benton has developed an app called Cued, which creates recommendations for activities based on where you are.
A little-known fact…
Benton also has a design background; she graduated with a master of fine arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
For more information on Black Web 2.0, THE”>click here GRIO’S Q & A WITH ANGELA BENTON
Q: What are you hoping to do in the near future?
A: Right now I’m in a building phase and I’m loving it! While I try not to plan things out too much — I feel like too much planning boxes me in — I do expect to keep building on what I and my team have created thus far (from Black Web 2.0 to the NewME Accelerator to the NewME Community).
Q: What’s a fact about you that many people don’t know?
A: When I was around four or five years old I had a red Get Along Gang suitcase that I use to take with me EVERYWHERE. My parents, brothers, and sisters couldn’t convince me to go anywhere without it!
Q: What’s your favorite quote?
A: I actually love so many quotes, that I don’t have a favorite. I have more of a personal mantra: “Per angusta ad augusta” — “Through trial to triumph.”
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
A: I’m inspired by modern design, far away places, and ‘80s cartoons.
Q: Who are/were your mentors?
A: I don’t really have specific mentors however I do find mentorship in just about every relationship I encounter. Bosses, friends, clients, partners, mates, children, etc.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to achieve their dreams?
A: Put basic plans in place to achieve your dream in a “quick and dirty” fashion and then just do it. If you get far, you can always back into more organization and structure. The hard part is getting there and seeing if your dream will fly.