Black inventors and entrepreneurs are a vital part of our history, especially in the tech industry. Without them, we wouldn’t have most of the life-changing tech we use every day. In honor of Black History Month, let’s celebrate the contributions of these trailblazers and business leaders and recognize their impact. Here are eight Black-led tech companies are making a difference through science, education, robotics, and more.
Pindrop – Dr. Paul Judge, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder
Pindrop’s goal is to revolutionize call center security, focusing on anti-fraud and secure phone authentication technology for its customers. For example, if you need to do any banking over the phone, this technology helps verify your identity and the authenticity of the phone call.
Popcom – Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene, CEO & Founder
Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene’s first entrepreneurial venture started when she founded Flat Out of Heels in 2011. When she couldn’t find reliable vending machine options for her product, she decided to create her own. Popcom specializes in automated retail, providing state-of-the-art vending machine options for unique products. They also provide advanced sales analytics and data collection, something most vending machine can’t do. This helps business owners better track their customers’ preferences and market their products.
LISNR® – Eric Allen, CEO & President
Founded in 2012, LISNR® develops technology that sends data between devices using ultrasonic, inaudible sound. From credit card readers to connected car and mobile technology, LISNR® has changed the way companies and merchants deliver encoded information from one device to another.
Black Girls CODE – Kimberly Bryant, Founder & Executive Director
Black Girls CODE is a non-profit organization devoted to teaching girls of color about computer programming and digital tech. Through workshops and after school programs, Black Girls CODE introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities. They’re able to learn programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails with hands-on projects and practice tools.
Kimberly Bryant, an electrical engineer best known for working in the biotechnology industry, founded Black Girls CODE in 2011. Her organization has now garnered support from companies like Verizon, Google, Capital One and more.
World Wide Technology – David Steward, Founder & Chairman of the Board
WWT is a technology solution provider, helping organizations around the world implement the programs needed to better serve their customers. David Steward founded the company in 1990 after realizing how time-consuming and difficult it can be for companies to adopt new technology across their businesses.
WWT currently counts more than 70 Fortune 100 companies among its customers and ranks as one of the largest private companies in the United States.
Moving Analytics – Adelanwa Adesanya, President & Co-Founder
Adelanwa Adesanya, along with Harsh Vathsangam and Shuo Qiao, founded Moving Analytics in 2013. They started with the intent of conquering heart disease via digital prevention programs, like at-home cardiac rehabilitation. By working with payers, health providers, and patients to facilitate these programs, they’ve created a seamless, streamlined way to care for patients in need.
Streamlytics – Angela Benton, CEO & Founder
Streamlytics takes a unique approach to data collection on streaming platforms by focusing on the streaming account used rather than device used. Doing this helps get a full picture of what each user likes and engages with the most. The users who opt-in to share their streaming data across platforms are compensated for sharing their data.
Angela Benton, the CEO and founder of Streamlytics, also founded NewME Accelerator, the first startup accelerator for minority founders.
Awarri Limited – Silas Adekunle, Founder
At Awarri, which means ‘seek and find’ in Yoruba, their mission is to aid the development and adoption of high-tech robotics and artificial intelligence on the continent of Africa. Awarri also owns two other tech projects: ReachEdu and MekaMon. ReachEdu is an educational app based around robotics concepts. MekaMon, a four-legged robot, pairs with the ReachEdu app to teach science and technology concepts through play and problem solving.
These eight organizations are just a small sample of the thousands of Black-led organizations making big moves around the world. This Black History Month, show your support by researching, supporting, and shopping at the Black-led businesses in your area using your tablet or smartphone.
This year, Yahoo (part of Verizon Media) launched its “Make Space for Black Voices” campaign to honor Black History Month. This celebration includes videos and on-air interviews celebrating Black industry leaders as well as a special livestream event. In addition, the campaign will highlight Black-led businesses with virtual pop-ups shops, articles and videos on Black business owners, and more.