Vivek Wadhwa | Silicon Valley women are on the rise, but have far to go
“Vivek, do you notice something strange”, asked my wife, Tavinder, during a start-up awards event hosted by TechCrunch in San Francisco two years ago. The only thing that surprised me, I told her, was that technology celebrities were dressed in ragged jeans and t-shirts.
“No, Vivek, tell me,” she said, clearly wishing to be taken seriously, “Where are the women?”
Essentially, the social Web has become its own biggest advocate and, unsurprisingly, the entrepreneurs and their associates are its first adopters and the most adept at using it. The end result is a largely insular world of technology entrepreneurs using social media to reinforce each others’ beliefs in a virtual echo chamber that produces clone after clone of like “blank”-for-“blank”-style companies instead of breaking new ground.
Business incubators and accelerators are necessary components of a vital entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives job creation and wealth in this country. That ecosystem requires capital to fuel job growth. Black American and urban centers have historically been disconnected from that ecosystem. And, with millions of Black Americans sitting on the sidelines, we don’t need to look much further than ourselves for leadership in changing the equation and brightening the economic future for those who seek to compete in the new innovation economy.
Marty Nemko, holds a Ph.D. specializing in the evaluation of innovation from the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently taught in its graduate school. This is the first in a series on thinking outside of the box when it comes to the nation’s leading challenges.
People on both sides of the aisle agree that the best way to create new, permanent jobs is to create more (and ethical) entrepreneurs. Here’s one way to create them: Replace one high school course with a course in entrepreneurship.