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November 13th, 2011
11:46 AM ET

NewMe Accelerator founders: Who they are and what they're starting

Editor's note:  The NewMe Accelerator brought together eight black entrepreneurs for a two-month immersion in tech startup culture - a culture dominated by young males, mostly white and Asian. These two entrepreneurs founded the accelerator. Watch how it turns out when Soledad O'Brien reports the documentary, "Black in America: The New Promised Land – Silicon Valley," at 8 p.m., 11 p.m., and 2 a.m. ET on February 11 and February 12. Learn more about the other NewMe participants and their companies.

Angela Benton is CEO of Cued, founded in March 2011.

Cued is an app that gives recommendations based on where users are, what they like and their past experiences. For example, if a user tells Cued he or she liked a specific bar, karaoke and draft beer, the system will make recommendations for other places to enjoy.

The company is currently on hold as Angela is putting her energy into the NewMe accelerator.

Wayne Sutton co-founded Vouch in July 2011.

Vouch is a unified platform that allows people to share recommendations of others in their networks.

Sutton is currently learning new programming languages to build, design and launch a beta version of Vouch by the end of first quarter 2012, along with preparing to work with the NewMe Accelerator 2012 class. He is working on his first book, which is about closing the digital divide.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Orlando Roebuck

    The truly disheartening thing is the NewMe Accelerator was founded by minorities outside of Silicon Valley, not the minorities who were already there.

    November 15, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Wei

    One reason why there are not much African Americans in the Silicon Valley is the lack of foundation or impression that they would need to generate African American Techies. Asian History shows that in order for Asians to gain equal rights as other counter parts, they have to show they're worth investing. First generation Asian Americans have a huge pressure from immigrant parents which is why there are quiet so many Asian Techies today. The change has to start in education especially in Science and Math. Obama is very straight forward on his push for education in Math and Science. Just maybe that's what African American needs to focus on or add to their other interests.

    November 14, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Patrick

    I don't agree with the objective of blacks being in Silicon Valley is to make money. I believe you should try create a winning product for people to use that is going to make their lives easier or better. If blacks just line up to get money, they are going to end up screwing it up for future blacks like myself because the new stereo type will be "oh, blacks to don't want to create good products they just want money."

    I work in the DC Metro area in IT and would say that blacks are not just that successful here as their white counterparts because they don't want to go to school, get certifications, and or are too contempt with things.

    November 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kenny from North Texas

    As an Black IT Project Manager for over 13 years, I have never seen this much raw African American talent anywhere. I agree that more African American entrepreneurs need to collaborate ideas and talents to find solutions for our worlds common problems. Here's the good thing about technology everyone, it can be developed and deployed anywhere... and you do not need much permission to do so. There's no need to go to Silicon Valley, have Silicon Valley come to you! Its all about who has the best great idea for the biggest of issues. But first your efforts must be focused toward general solution-driven products / services for a wide range of customers. Thats one of the issues that I saw on "Black In America- Silicon Valley". The contestants ideas were too narrowly focused and their products did not help solve or ease any general problem.

    The thing to remember about Silicon Valley is that all of those engineers, developers, project managers, and business analysts is that they are amongst the elite at top talent recruiting for their companies. Such as graduates of Stanford, UC Berkeley, San Jose State Univ., Harvard, MIT, Cal-Tech,UCLA, and Penn State. The culture is so much different there, that one must have a concise ideas about their business and be ready at all times to collaborate with someone new to make it work.

    November 14, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jermaine Young

      Couldn't have stated it better. I plan to forward your response to many people to gain knowledge.

      November 15, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. PEB

    Love the hard questions presented in this segment about why there aren't more African Americans in Silicon Valley, why more African American entrepreneurs don't combine their efforts and talents for maximum impact, I also appreciate the scene that revealed a need for African Americans to realize a need to make things happen rather than waiting for someone (the President or anyone else) to make it happen for them.

    November 14, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |