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10 Black Tech Titans 2024

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BAM's Black Tech Titans list was developed to debunk the myth that there is a shortage of Black Founders in the pipeline. In honor of Black History Month we want to celebrate ten Black titans who exemplify ongoing excellence and impact. These titans create models and frameworks for others to use in the face of disfranchisement.

The venture capital landscape has long been challenging for Black founders, with systemic barriers significantly hindering access to funding. This issue is compounded by the declining commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives by numerous companies. These leaders not only symbolize individual perseverance and success but also act as table builders for future Black entrepreneurs. 

This list reminds us that representation matters and that we must share resources as a form of resistance and celebration that elicits change.

1. Arian Simone


Arian Simone is an entrepreneur, author, and venture capitalist. She is the co-founder and General Partner of Fearless Fund, a venture capital firm that invests in businesses led by women of color. Simone's journey from being homeless to becoming a successful entrepreneur and investor has inspired many. Entrepreneur Magazine has recognized her as one of the “100 Women of Impact.” Fearless Fund is currently in the center of a Civil Rights battle after being sued for discrimination by conservative organizations who increasingly target grant programs focused on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), as well as the companies that offer them, such as Fearless Fund.  The legal challenge against the Fearless Fund represents a critical threat to the progress of economic equality and the American Dream for Black founders.

2. Bea Dixon - The Honey Pot Company


Bea Dixon is the CEO and co-founder of The Honey Pot Company, a plant-based feminine care brand that offers a variety of products from menstrual care to feminine hygiene. The brand is known for being one of the first complete feminine care systems that is 100% natural. Dixon founded The Honey Pot Company after suffering from bacterial vaginosis for months and finding a solution through a natural remedy given to her in a dream. In the previous month, The Honey Pot, a personal care brand, disclosed that it had transferred the majority stake of its business to Compass Diversified Holdings, an investment company, for a total of $380 million.

3. Tope Awotona - Calendly


Tope Awotona is the founder and CEO of Calendly, the scheduling platform for teams and individuals accelerating business forward. With Tope’s strategic direction, the platform has grown and evolved to over ten million monthly users. Prior to Calendly, Tope spent the majority of his career in enterprise software sales, working for companies such as IBM. He is the recipient of the 2021 Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO Award and 2019 Comparably Best CEOs award.

4. Arlan Hamilton


Arlan Hamilton is the founder and managing partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in undervalued founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ. Hamilton built Backstage Capital from the ground up while homeless and has raised nearly $30 million and invested in 200 startups led by underestimated founders. Together with her mother, Mrs. Earline Butler-Sims, she has established scholarship programs for Black students at Oxford University, HBCU Dillard University, and Harvard Law. In 2024 she released her second book, "Your First Million: Why You Don't Have to Be Born into a Legacy of Wealth to Leave One Behind."

5. Steven Barlett


Steven Bartlett was the co-founder and co-CEO of Social Chain. Steven Bartlett is an Entrepreneur, speaker, investor, author and the host of UK's No.1 podcast ‘The Diary of a CEO’, an unfiltered journey into the remarkable stories and untold dimensions of the world’s most influential people, experts and thinkers. Steven Bartlett launched Flight Story Fund, a $100M Fund. He is well known for being youngest investor in BBC One's show, Dragon's Den.

6. Austin Clements


Austin Clements is the managing partner at Slauson & CO, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Los Angeles. Backed by influential tech giants such as Google, Meta, and PayPal, Slauson & Co. is dedicated to investing with intention and rooted in inclusion. Austin is a prominent advocate for diversity in the Los Angeles tech ecosystem, serving as the founding Chairman for PledgeLA, the nation's largest city-wide initiative promoting diversity in the local tech community. Formerly a principal at TenOneTen Ventures, Clements played a pivotal role in investing in over 50 companies across two funds, with a primary focus on B2B and SaaS sectors.  Austin holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business, a BA from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, and is a Kauffman Fellow. His board affiliations include Chair of PledgeLA, HBCU.vc, and the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.

7. Ime Archibong


Ime Archibong is the Vice President of Product Partnerships at Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook), where he leads the team responsible for engaging with diverse communities and fostering partnerships that enable new products and services. Archibong has been instrumental in driving initiatives aimed at connecting the unconnected and bringing more diversity into the technology sector. With a background in engineering and business.

8. Stacy Brown-Philpot - TaskRabbit


Stacy Brown-Philpot is the Founder and Managing Partner at Cherryrock Capital, a venture firm that primarily backs early-stage software enterprises spearheaded by Black and Latine founders. With more than two decades of expertise in the tech sector, Stacy's roles have spanned from being an executive and investor to serving on various boards. Her notable tenure includes her time as a Google executive and as the CEO of TaskRabbit, during which she drove the company towards international growth and orchestrated its successful acquisition by IKEA. Additionally, Stacy contributes her leadership and insight as a board member to several prestigious organizations, including HP, Nordstrom, StockX, Noom, and Joy.

9. Timnit Gebru - DAIR Institute and Black in AI

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Timnit Gebru is a computer scientist and co-founder of the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research (DAIR) Institute and Black in AI, a community of Black researchers in the field of artificial intelligence. Gebru is known for her work in ethical AI, algorithmic bias, and the social implications of AI technologies. She previously worked at Google as a co-lead of the Ethical Artificial Intelligence Team until her departure in 2020, which sparked discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion within the tech industry. In 2023, she was named to Time magazine's, "The 100 Most Influential People in AI 2023" list.

10. Adadesi Osunsade


Adadesi Osunsade is the founder and CEO of Hustle Crew, a career advancement community for the underrepresented in tech. With a background in tech sales and operations at companies like Amazon and Groupon, Osunsade leverages her experience to provide training, mentorship, and resources to help individuals from diverse backgrounds break into and succeed in the tech industry. She is also the author of "Dream Big. Hustle Hard" and co-host of Techish, a podcast about the intersection of tech, pop culture, and life.


Looking for more Black Tech Titans? Explore last year's list: 101 Black Tech Titans 2023.


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