“Fed up with ugly plastic headphones that tangled up in her purse and ruined her cute outfits, Aniyia Williams created a solution: ear buds that look like a fashionable necklace. This past fall, her company, Tinsel, debuted its first product, the Dipper, a stylish necklace that has the full functionality of regular headphones. But starting a wearable tech company as a black female founder was not easy.
“I’m here in San Francisco, it’s this cradle of innovation,” Williams explains, “but it’s really hard to convince a lot of the investors out there that there is value in hardware product, that there is value in products focused for women, and that there is value in a tech company that’s in a fashion space.”
After walking away “empty-handed” from countless investor pitches, and meeting other entrepreneurs in the same boat, Williams decided to do something about it. She started the “Black and Brown Founders Project,” a two-day event that debuted in San Francisco this week that provides Black and Latino/a founders with the tools and networks they need to launch their company without having to rely on venture capital…”