As a Black entrepreneur, Tyrance Billingsley II has always been desirous of helping and supporting Black businesses. He is motivated by the tenacity of entrepreneurs of Black Wall Street to not only help connect Black founders to opportunities but to also support them.
This led Billingsley to found Black Tech Street, which introduces fledgling tech entrepreneurs to resources and connects them with the right people to set them up for success, according to Fox 23 News.
According to him, one of the attributes of a successful entrepreneur is knowing the right people and having an audience with them. And for those with funding to start a business but have no exposure, Black Tech Street assists in that regard.
“I not only saw an incredible wealth-building opportunity for Black people, but I also saw the Black Wall Street vision pushed to a new horizon,” said Billingsley. “So, I said, ‘Had Black Wall Street been supported and not destroyed, it would be nothing other than the nation’s premiere Black tech ecosystem.’”
One of Black Tech Street’s early successes is Shaun Simon, the founder of a financial technology company called STACE. “We want to be able to facilitate digital payments specifically and make that process easier, not just [for] the consumer and how they’re doing with contacts, payments, etc. but for the business owner,” Simon told Fox 23 News.
According to Simon, he is motivated by the desire to not only help in building businesses but also to be part of a system that helps to employ others, and a model for Black entrepreneurs. He started STACE after he found out that his aunt, who owns a restaurant in Tulsa, is struggling with digital payment platforms and online ordering.
“Being a tech guy and a software guy, you know I always knew what these companies were but actually trying to get them going, setting them up, you know it was extremely difficult, even for me,” he said. “Then we started getting into the merchant side, how much [we] are spending out in terms of transactions and that’s where the real problems came about.”
Billingsley has been helping Simon to broaden his customer base in Tulsa. Interestingly, Billingsley also hails from Tulsa. He recently got a call from the previous pastor of the Vernon A.M.E. Church in Greenwood after a ledger was found in an old basement containing names of cousins of his ancestors who donated towards the rebuilding of A.M.E Church.