On being a black founder in Silicon Valley: 'Let's not pretend race isn't an issue'

There’s an elephant in the room when it comes to race in Silicon Valley.

Locent CEO and founder Matt Joseph recently took to Twitter to describe what it was like for him, as a black entrepreneur, to try to raise money.

Venture capitalists are under pressure not to appear racist, so they claim to only invest on merit and the company, says Joseph.

As a result, venture capitalists are dodging the race issue entirely, to their own detriment. They don’t get a full understanding of what it’s taken entrepreneurs like Joseph to succeed in face of challenges they can’t control, he says.

“I always put my business first. But let’s stop pretending like race isn’t an issue,” Joseph says. “Subconscious bias is just as damaging as overt bias. And for tech to move forward, these issues need to come out into the open. Not just for founders, but for everyone in the ecosystem.”

“So please, don’t sweep race under the rug when you meet me. Talk to me about it. It will help you understand why I’m going to succeed.”

Here’s the full tweetstorm:

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