November 14th, 2011
10:20 AM ET

Does race matter in Silicon Valley?

Stephan Adams is the managing partner of ValenciaVentures, a venture capital firm focused on funding women- and minority-led tech startups. When pitching a business to venture capitalists, he said, he thinks about passion, confidence and money. What he doesn't think about? Race.

“Race does matter, but I think what is different about race here is that you can overcome race if you can show the VCs that you can make them money," he said. "If you can show a VC you can make money, race and gender go out the window.”

What do you think? Tell us in the comments: Do race, ethnicity and gender matter in Silicon Valley?

Soledad O'Brien reports "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 on CNN.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Earl

    I have worked for 38 years and the flybilly's, comments are a clear perspective on how he views African American as lazy. "We all " do not walk around with our underware down, pants down and our hands on our crotch. Some of these black people are women. Soledad O'Brien interview with this young man did not give me the impression that he presented himself in this manner.

    November 15, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. flybilly

    The only time race is brought up is when the person cant do the job or are not qualified, then they bring up race as an excuse. If the black people want respect, then put your underware back on and pull up your pants,and quit walking around with a hand on your crotch. respect is earned not a right, you want something, work for it and earn it and quit complaining. Unemployment knows no color.

    November 14, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kia

    I agree with you 100% Benita. I have been an electrical engineer for over 10 years and I have seen the black engineer set up and framed and removed from his/her over 100 times.

    Yes Race Matters!! I've over heard white manager saying "We don't care where he went to school, we're not hiring him"!

    I witnessed first hand white engineering managers at governmnment agencies in DC, who rountinely fired black engineers for no reason at all other than they simply hated black people.

    There are sooo many black engineers who aree unemployed because white people hate to see educated black people. Some White Managers feel like black engineers are taking engineering jobs away from white males.

    I have witnessed some of the brightest engineers get framed up by some no good racist piece of trash of a engineering manager. A lot of the white guys in my department were not engineers by training. They were physicist and they resented the hell out of the black person for earning a Bachelor or Masters or PhD in engineering.

    I have witnessed these acts of racial hate with my own two eyes over the last ten years. It's sad but we still live a very racist place called the United States!

    Keep speaking the truth Benita because I have experienced what you have experienced many times!!

    November 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rick

    I worked in retail car sales in san jose and sunnyvale for a few years. In about three years that I worked in that area-I had maybe 3 to 5 black customers who worked in IT industry in that area and droves and droves of whites, chinese and indians.

    November 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |