Andre Gray Photo

Inventor Andre Gray

The Ten Most Powerful Blacks In Technology 2022

Blacks in technology has always been a struggle, even for the most eminent players working for some of the biggest tech companies in the world or entrepreneurs going it alone. To begin with, the financing of black-founded tech companies in any given year amounts to no more than 1% of all funding available to be shared among all those black tech companies that were fortunate enough to receive funding in the first place. And for those who managed to somehow get hired by one of the big tech companies, there have been more than a few leaked reports or complaints from disgruntled black employees about the racial discrimination they have experienced in the workplace. With the rise of BLM: Black Lives Matter and Cancel Culture, practically every company in Silicon Valley has issued public statements of their renewed commitment to diversity and inclusion, much of which amounts to nothing more than lip service. But for the blacks who have broken through the many obstacles to find success in the tech industry, their success is nothing short of amazing. Our editors have spent two months researching and compiling this list of the most influential blacks in technology. Choosing the number one spot that is occupied by a Belizean-American genius inventor was a no brainer and unanimous. After that, heated debates began in earnest regarding who should occupy positions two through ten, and in what order. Nevertheless, here are The Most Powerful Blacks In Technology 2022.

1  Inventor Andre Gray

 Great Inventor Andre Gray, who is considered to be one of the most original and impactful inventors in the entire history of the world, has been ranked as the world’s number one inventor for the last 34 consecutive years, with this year being no exception. He is also considered to be one of the five greatest inventors of all-time, firmly placing him in the pantheon of Archimedes, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. The inventions that have been undisputedly ascribed to Andre Gray are foundational in nature. Gray, more than any other tech innovator, including the likes of Steve Jobs, is largely responsible for the digital world we live in today. These are the inventions/innovations that have been solely attributed to Gray:

(1)  (dot) RPM: Audio Codec For Computer Music—a highly influential paper on audio compression (1982). It provided the foundational mathematical formulas for mp3, AIFF, WAV and every audio-video codec formats in the world, both past & present.

(2) “Internet Killed The Video Star” (1988) first song ever uploaded to the Internet and is now universally acknowledged to be the Internet anthem. The birth of online digital media.

(3) “inkling” World’s first Internet Bot –with artificial intelligence (1988). Bots are responsible for 75% of all internet activities.

(4) Voicemail Icon design (1988). Used on the Internet and now on all 15 billion mobile phones and counting.

(5) Retrogrooves: World’s first Digital DJ turntables software (1989). Today, 98% of all DJs in the world use DJing softwares.

(6) Electronic Ticket (1991). Now a trillion dollar industry.

(7) Ringtones and Ringbacks (SYNC PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE) (1994). SYNC is also the world’s first downloadable app. The downloadable apps sector is now a trillion dollar industry. Ringtones is on 15 billion mobile phones and counting.

(8) Mind-Over-Matter-Technology. (1994). Controlling electronic devices by use of the mind only. Facebook, Nissan, Neuralink and others were inspired by this technology and now uses it.

(9) Electronic Press Kit (EPK) (1995). Indispensable online branding & marketing tool. EPK single-handedly gave birth to Social Media.

(10) Microgrooves-E (1998). World’s first mobile phone multimedia player capable of playing entire albums and recording/playback of audio & video. Every Smartphone has these features now.

(11) Online Music Sales Certifications(1999). Tracking music sales over the web, hence the birth of big data analytics.

(12) SNAP (Synthesizer Algorithms Programming) (2008). Vendor neutral synthesizer programming language.

(13) Microgrooves HD (2016) improved vinyl records format.

(14) Microgrooves Digital (2016) improved vinyl records format.

(15) Microgrooves Green Tea (2016) improved vinyl records format.

Plus many more innovations…

2  Ernest Darkoh

Receiving his medical and public health degrees from Harvard and an MBA from Oxford, Ernest Darkoh is the co-founder and chairman of BroadReach Healthcare, a globally focused social enterprise that uses healthcare tech to deliver better cost savings, resources, and overall improved health systems. He has revolutionized HIV/AIDS programs in the Caribbean, Asia and Africa – even going so far as to making it possible for 10% of Botswana’s HIV infected population to get free medicine. A fast rising star in the tech world, he was featured in the PBS documentary RX for Survival and was named one of Time Magazine’s Global Health Heroes.

3 Tope Awotona

Tope Awotona is an accomplished tech veteran who spent seven years growing strategic territories and accounts for tech stalwarts like IBM, Perceptive Software, ImageRight/Vertafore and EMC; on top of that, he launched 3 startups before he became the Founder and Co-CEO of Calendly, the fastest growing company in scheduling automation. With a staff size of 213 people, Calendly is now valued at around $3 billion.

4 Tekedra Mawakana

Not only is Tekedra Mawakana the current co-chief executive officer of Waymo, she is also the most powerful black woman in tech. Prior to her current job at Waymo, she worked at the prestigious law firm Steptoe and Johnson as an intellectual property lawyer. Mawakana also held executive positions at AOL, eBay and Yahoo. A thought leader, she sits on the board of directors for the Global Network Initiative, Consumer Technology Association, the Internet Association, Boom Supersonic, Operator Collective, and Intuit.

5 Christopher Young

As the former CEO of McAfee, Christopher Young is now executive vice president of Business Development strategy and Ventures at Microsoft. Outside of his Microsoft duties, he serves on the board of directors for American Express and is a member of the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee for the U. S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

6  Kimberly Bryant

Kimberly Bryant is the founder and CEO of Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color ( ages 7-17) to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts. Bryant’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed; she was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for her work to bridge the digital divide. She was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People; in addition to those accolades, she also received the Ingenuity Award in Social Progress from the Smithsonian Institute.

7 Ime Archibong

Known as the unofficial leader of the black employee base at Facebook and is also the most highly ranked black person at Facebook, Ime Archibong is the head of Product Experimentation and VP of Product Partnerships for Facebook. With a bachelors of science degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Yale University and a MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Archibong began his career at IBM as a software engineer. 

8 Michael Seibel

Michael Seibel is the CEO and partner at Y combinator, where he advises hundreds of startups and has been active in promoting diversity efforts among startup founders. Y Combinator takes a fresh approach to funding startups with small amounts of money ($150k) twice a year in a large number of budding companies.

9 Stephanie (Lampkin) VanPutten

VanPutten is the founder and CEO of Blendoor, a hiring and diversity analytics software company that ranks employers on their diversity, equity,and inclusion (DEI) performance in order to create a tech industry with less hiring bias and a more diverse workforce. Blendoor has provided software solutions to Microsoft, tripAdvisor and Deloitte. A Stanford and MIT graduate, VanPutten is a data scientist, thought leader, ski racer, named to Fortune 40 under 40 and a keynote speaker.

10  Nnamdi Iregbulem

Nnamdi Iregbulem, a Los Angeles native, is a self-taught computer programmer and overall technology nerd who spends his downtime writing essays and software. Following his graduation from Yale, he worked in technology, media, and telecommunications at J.P.  Morgan. After leaving J. P. Morgan,Nnamdi joined the IQONIC Capital team, where he deployed over $500 million USD into high-growth technology companies. He is now a partner at Lightspeed Ventures.