Jason Towns, the Managing Director of the Techstars Future of Longevity Accelerator, does not play ‘by the book.’ He is constantly looking new trends, before they are trending. Jason operates his business in a way to specifically serve Black entrepreneurs because he acknowledges that one of the greatest equalizers of wealth disparity is business ownership. Unfortunately, many Venture Capitalists do not have the same mentality: only a few percent of Venture Capitalists actively prioritize investing in Black entrepreneurs .
Jason strives to support Black entrepreneurs and young diverse founders in the tech industry by breaking barriers.
He was recently interviewed on diversity in the tech world and common misconceptions:
“A lot of people perceive ‘diversity’ work as the easy route and literally, for me, having worked with every one of the national organizations supporting diverse founders, from Code2040, Black Girls Code and YesWeCode, these are literally some of the smartest and hardest-working folks I have ever met in my life. Every one of them could be making so much more doing so much less. And they’re really committed to changing the way the industry works and operates.”
Jason also described one of the biggest roadblocks for people of color entering the tech industry:
“A big part of it is just the lack of visibility. People from those groups aren’t as visible to the demographics that need to see people working hard and winning and succeeding in that space. That leads to young people feeling like this isn’t for them to try. In our communities, we see a lot of athletics representing success, so we tend naturally toward that, into wanting to see a clear path to achieve that success.”
And finally, he gave an insight into what he looks for in a potential employee:
“It’s empathy and being able to understand people. Technical skills, I can train or find the resources. However, understanding people and having genuine empathy is not something I can train or build into you.”
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