What does it mean to be a change-maker in tech, and how often do you take a moment to recognize the change-makers in your industry? Melissa Miller, a Columbia SPS Leader, stated that “it is important to celebrate Black History Month so that we can recognize our past, evaluate our present, and plan our future.” The celebration of black excellence is not something that should be contained to a single month but rather a continued effort every month. However, we at CX100 believe that Black History Month gives us a chance to shine a light on the tremendous successes in the Black Community.
As a part of the celebration of Black History Month, we had the honor to interview Angela Benton, CEO of Streamlytics and Found of NewMe (acquired by Lighthouse).
Q: What was your favorite memory from NewME?
A: “I’ve been blessed to have many great memories throughout my career across various ventures. NewME was such a unique endeavor because I was helping people who wouldn’t typically have a chance to bring their ideas to life through mentorship, funding, and connections. Under my tenure, I helped people raise over $47MM in funding, so it’s hard to pin down a singular favorite memory but I think what I’m probably most proud about is that, since selling the company, it is still growing and thriving and helping people around the country. As an entrepreneur, to be able to birth something and have its legacy continue without you is a special gift.”
Q: Have you always been interested in pursuing a career in tech/what led you to the industry?
A: “I have always wanted to be in tech since I was about 12 or 13 years old. In fact, one of the last conversations I had with my mother was her reminding me how much I begged her to apply so that I could go to a special Science & Technology high school! I love how technology has the power to transform industry and lives and, though I’ve expanded into other areas as of late, and excited about applying so much of what I have learned in tech to other industries as well.”
Q: What has been one of the biggest challenges getting to the position you’re in today, and how did you overcome it?
A: “The biggest challenge to get to the position that I am in today has been looking at life and your goals from a longevity perspective. Our world is so fast-paced and especially if you work in the technology industry it’s extremely easy to get caught up in short-term thinking. At this point in my career, my goal is to make sure that my decision-making and efforts are focused towards long-term outcomes rather than short-term gains.”
Q: What is a piece of advice you would offer to younger people who are interested in pursuing a career in this field?
A: “My biggest piece of advice for younger generations interested in technology is to just start experimenting! There are so many free resources available online there is an abundance of experiments and creative endeavors for people to explore. Dig in and have fun while you’re doing it!”
Angela is a successful entrepreneur inside and outside the technology industry and inspires many. We are honored to showcase her in our Change Makers in Tech series celebrating Black History Month. Check out Angela and others in our Change-Makers in Tech Series on our LinkedIn and @cx100_offical Instagram page.