These 12 technologists of color could steer the future of Philly tech - Philly

Software Development

Aug. 30, 2018 1:26 pm

These 12 technologists of color could steer the future of Philly tech

Many already do. Here are the POC technologists and entrepreneurs you nominated to our first-ever realLIST of Color.
Philadelphia, a minority-majority city.

Philadelphia, a minority-majority city.

(Photo courtesy of Cory Popp)

Lest you think it went away on its own, tech still has a painful, widespread diversity problem.

The fastest growing sector of industry, where family-sustaining jobs are expanding and career paths are being blazed, is also a space where 76 percent of technical roles are held by men and where some 66 percent of people are white, according to the Atlassian study cited in this guest post by developer Shanise Barona.

Locally, a collective effort is underway to determine what our local stats are, and what actions might help Philly (where people of color are the majority) better reflect its own demographics.

But as the initiative gets underway, and in keeping with August’s theme in our Editorial Calendar, we want to shine a light on POCs who are already blazing their own paths: A mix of entrepreneurs and technologists that are helping the local tech ecosystem grow.

In no particular order, we present you with’s first-ever realLIST of Color, compiled through a mix of your nominations and our reporting through the years.


Khushboo Shah

Cloudamize founder Khushboo Shah built her cloud computing company in Philadelphia. In five years, she managed to give her company’s investors good news: the Center City firm was to be merged with London-based Cloudreach, a portfolio company of New York equity firm Blackstone. Shah became Head of the Cloudamize Business Unit inside Cloudreach.

Sylvester Mobley

Turning rec centers into hubs for digital skills building was Mobley’s mission upon his return from Iraq. The veteran of the Army National Guard has scaled this tech focused nonprofit by partnering with organizations like Comcast, AT&T and Uber. Earlier this year, it set up its first out of state expansion by setting up shop in Wilmington, Del.


Yasmine Mustafa

The ROAR for Good cofounder, a Kuwait-born CEO whose company makes a smart safety device called Athena, has landed national headlines numerous times through her public speaking and advocacy for diversity in tech. In 2011, she helped launch the Philly chapter of Girl Develop It.

Jon Gosier

An investor, accelerator founder and most recently filmmaker, Gosier started a South Philly startup hub called Southbox, grouping together early stage companies in a bid to streamline processes and reduce costs. He also cofounded music tech company Audigent.

Darla Wolfe

Wolfe heads the prominent Philly New Tech Meetup group, after spending some 20 years in corporate IT and manufacturing leadership. Wolfe is the founder of talent match-making company Sweat EquitE.

Wil Reynolds

Catch Reynolds, the outspoken founder of digital marketing company SEER Interactive, giving SEO and marketing talks on national stages. His company employs 150 between Northern Liberties and a recently expanded San Diego beachhead.

Nyron Burke

In 2015, Burke founded marketing compliance firm Lithero, which helps biopharma companies cut costs while staying in compliance with regulations. Prior to starting the Philly-based company, he managed a global marketing operations team and two globally deployed Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms at Accenture.

Jamila Payne

The director of marketing at Venture for America is also the founder of Daily Success Routine, an ecommerce company focused on “lifestyle design for ambitious women,” creating day planners, organization products and educational workshops for women.

Adriana Vazquez

When MIT-grad and Mexican immigrant Adriana Vazquez came to Penn for grad school, she found in Philadelphia the connections and resources to start her company. Lilu makes a pumping bra that pledges to help moms pump more milk, faster.

Edison Freire

Freire founded and directed the Urban Technology Project, an IT career pathway program that has received national recognition and funding from both private an public entities.

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