Hey! I'm Leke Sholuade, founder of Black Valley.
Like many, the death of George Floyd was a catalyst for me. A moment in history that amplified the struggle and challenges black people face.
I had to stand up and turn words into action. I saw someone that looks like me, that could be my uncle treated in an inhumane way that ultimately led to his death. I then ask myself, how are we still here in 2020? And is this the world I want to raise kids in?
I started mentoring at University, and to me, it is an incredible tool to help create change for both mentor and mentee. I also worked for a social integration charity after University. From that experience, I learnt how to create lasting change.
You want to bring together an immersive experience that challenges people's perception and arms them with what they need to become a success. My exposure working at an edtech startup that builds children's skills and confidence, confirmed my belief that technology in the right hands can be a force for good.
In June 2020, spoke to a few people in my tech network about the need for a Black Valley and we ran with it. We are now a global community of +130 mentors from multinational companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Uber, Facebook, Cisco , LEGO ventures through to SMEs creating the change we want to see.
The best thing about what we are creating is that it is lasting change, our mentors are accessible to our mentees through slack once they've joined the programme and throughout their career and start-up journey. It is a supportive diverse community like no other.
I want to leave the world better than I found it and create a world where my kids are not facing the same challenges I had to overcome as a black person.
To do this, We need to tell better stories of black people using technology.
We have a three-phased approach to make sure the future of tech is an inclusive one for black people:
Support as many black people as possible to access careers in tech so they can be part of conversations regarding product creation and interaction.
Year Two & Three
Incubate Black-led startups.
Black founders are more likely to hire diverse teams.
Source: The black report by 10 x 10 in partnership with Google for start-ups
Year Three & Five
Develop a think tank that advises on making current & future technology more inclusive for black people..