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SXSW Interactive 2016

Missing Black Unicorns: Tech's Disruption Divide

When a pre-IPO tech startup is valued at over $1 billion, it's called a 'unicorn.' According to KPMG & CB Insights, there are ~100 of these unicorns roaming around in the wild; none of which have a black founder. African-Americans are disproportionately high consumers of the mobile web, but low producers of innovative web or mobile technologies. What was once the early 90's 'digital divide,' used to describe disparities in internet access, has evolved into the 'disruption divide': a significant gap in high growth Black-led tech startups. Stephanie Lampkin (Stanford, MIT) & Allen Lamb (Cornell, MIT) delve into the history & underlying causes and propose solutions driven by data and research.

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  1. Why do we have more Black inventors between 1860 and 1920 then 1955 - 2015?
  2. What programs/initiatives have been put in place to address this and why have or haven't they been effective?
  3. What solutions do we propose to drive change and why will they be effective?



Stephanie Lampkin, Founder & CEO, Blendoor

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