Parents, are you raising aspiring rappers and reality stars or techies and venture capitalists?

tiphub Diaspora Demo Day 2014-10
Hello Tractor CEO Jehiel Oliver

Tiphub hosted its inaugural Diaspora Demo day in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Nov.22, 2014, at the World Bank. Social entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from as far as Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya and as near as Brooklyn, New York, showcased their business prowess during a pitch competition for angel investors.

While their enterprises, startups and nonprofits ranged from agribusiness and mobile payments to retail and tourism, a constant theme resonated throughout their presentations: Africans on the continent and in the diaspora will not miss this digital revolution.

tiphub Diaspora Demo Day 2014-35
Tiphub’s co-founder Chinedu Enekwe (center) engaged in conversation with Diaspora Demo Day attendees

During his presentation, Navarrow Wright, co-founder of Global Grind, made some major points on marketing opportunities in African technologies that can’t be overlooked.

  1. Change the perception. It’s important.
  2. Make sure outreach is relevant.
  3. Empower creativity.
  4. Close the digital divide by connecting ideas and concepts with tools that meet the need.
  5. Remove environmental constraints
  6. Create visual representations of success. He pointed out during his keynote how a major tech magazine highlighted five youth who are making big strides in technology for the fun of it and monetizing it. Making as much as $50,000, all were Caucasian.

The latter especially resonated with this writer. In the U.S., for the most part, the representations of success in the Black community are entertainers, like rappers and reality stars, and athletes. In the tech world, the superstars are not Black, but they’re on course to be the next global millionaires, dare I say billionaires.

tiphub Diaspora Demo Day 2014-34
Gamerholic’s CEO Anari Sengbe and rolling out’s Yvette Caslin

Gamerholic’s CEO Anari Sengbe elated, “Teach your kids how to code.” He pointed out there is so much demand, but very little supply of capable coders. “Get them involved early.”

Tiphub co-founders Chinedu Enekwe and Amanda Spann, pointed out they are organizing more events around the country as early as Black History Month, like Mentor Mixers, and they will be coordinating events centered around Day of Civic Hacking as well as hosting an accelerator in the summer of 2015.

Follow the conversation from this event at #DiasporaDemo.

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