ATLANTA, Dec. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Award-winning digital media brand UrbanGeekz has today published its first-ever 2023 UrbanGeekz 50 List.
Drawing from their editorial work the inaugural list showcases the most innovative, imaginative, and inspirational Black leaders in venture, technology, and entrepreneurship. Standout changemakers such as Kelly Burton, Marlon Nichols, Tope Awotona, and Izzy Obeng are just some of the honorees featured.
The list’s 10 distinct verticals highlight mainly, although not exclusively tech-enabled ventures. The categories are Venture; Software; FinTech; AI and Machine Learning, Digital Media; Food, Climate & Health; Business-to-Consumer; Community Builders & Ecosystem Warriors, Africa, and Europe.
“It’s an honor and privilege to curate this list celebrating Black excellence across the innovation economy,” said Kunbi Tinuoye, founder and CEO of UrbanGeekz. “Our goal is to profile and celebrate visionaries making an impact, breaking boundaries, and inspiring others to do better.”
Published by UrbanGeekz and presented by MHR International the class of 2023 was selected and curated by the news site’s editorial team. However, to broaden the selection process UrbanGeekz reached out to well-respected ecosystem leaders such as Ollen Douglass, Andrea Hoffman, and Mike Ross for recommendations.
“In our 2023 listicle, we feature eight outstanding individuals leading unicorn companies,” adds Tinuoye. “Black-led unicorns are rare. We showcase these leaders to inspire and influence the next generation of ambitious innovators.”
“By far our largest category is Community Builders & Ecosystem Warriors. We recognize that these operators often lay the foundation for success. They work tirelessly behind the scenes providing much-needed support for Black founders to thrive,” she adds.
“We also highlight visionaries from Africa and Europe. We are well aware that these regions, especially countries like Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa, are fast-growing tech hubs. As our global footprint continues to grow these markets will continue to be key regions for our brand.”
“What’s important to note is this is not a definitive list. Rather we’d describe it as a snapshot of talent. So, for instance, we have already published well-received listicles on venture capital but almost all the people highlighted in those articles don’t feature on UrbanGeekz 50. We simply do not have the capacity in a list of 50. We also believe it’s important to highlight other unsung heroes. The listicle will be updated annually.”
“Finally, we also need to give a special shoutout to Albert Lewis and Erica Billups Johnson from Archetype, a leading global communications agency that partners with creators and industry leaders to build compelling brands.
Billups Johnson is also the co-creator and co-lead of Archetype Ascend, a division within Archetype focused on providing branding, strategic communications, and support for Black and Brown founders, executives, and VCs. We are so grateful to have collaborated with these experts on the visuals and branding for this project.”
“We were thrilled to have partnered with UrbanGeekz on this project,” said Billups Johnson, Senior Vice President at Archetype. “Our goal at Archetype Ascend is to increase the visibility of exceptional BIPOC founders, leaders, and investors. This initiative was a perfect fit for us, and we look forward to collaborating with UrbanGeekz and other BIPOC leaders on other media-related campaigns.”
Presenting sponsor MHR International is an Atlanta-based management consulting firm specializing in Program & Construction Management, Strategic Business Consulting, and Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives.