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What It Takes to be a black tech entrepreneur: Philly Tech Week lunchtime panel

Entrepreneurship is hard, regardless of color, Defined Clarity cofounder and CMO Bruce Marable reminded those gathered at WHYY for the fourth Philly Tech Week Lunchtime Series event, “WHAT IT TAKES To Be a Black Tech Entrepreneur.” Despite the challenges the four panelists mentioned, many of the approximately 100 people in attendance raised their hands when […]

Entrepreneurship is hard, regardless of color, Defined Clarity cofounder and CMO Bruce Marable reminded those gathered at WHYY for the fourth Philly Tech Week Lunchtime Series event, “WHAT IT TAKES To Be a Black Tech Entrepreneur.”

Despite the challenges the four panelists mentioned, many of the approximately 100 people in attendance raised their hands when asked if they wanted to become an entrepreneur.

Temple University professor and Director of STEM education, outreach, and research Jamie Bracey deftly moderated the panel of Philadelphia entrepreneurs, which included Interactive One CTO Navarrow Wright, Angel Venture Forum Managing Partner and Mataron Development Managing Director Marc Mathis, Marable, and award-winning technologist Dean Harris, as they debated the challenges that face black entrepreneurs in the technology field.

Mathis stepped in to replace DreamIT Ventures Managing Director William Crowder who could not make the lunchtime panel discussion.

The panel discussion ranged from learning how to personally identify as an entrepreneur to being clear about the motivation for your business to mentorship.

Wright made an impassioned argument for why motivation matters when you are an entrepreneur.

“The reality is, as any of my colleagues can tell you, if you become an entrepreneur for the sole focus of getting money or making money, you’re going to lose,” said Wright.

You can see him make his case for below:

What IT Takes founder Anthony Martin and the Knight Foundation’s Philadelphia Director Donna Frisby Greenwood offered introductory remarks.

What IT Takes is an organization that connects young black males with high profile black male mentors and role models.

The Knight Foundation joined What IT Takes in organizing the event in conjunction with Philly Tech Week’s digital access and policy track.

To learn more about becoming an e-mentor for What IT Takes click here.

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Yael Borofsky was the lead reporter for Technically Philly from from December 2011 to June 2012 before leaving to pursue an urban studies graduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously she was an editor with the Breakthrough Journal in San Francisco. She loves hockey and coffee.

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