KATHRYN FINNEY /// TECHNICALLY
If you visit Kathryn Finney’s personal site, you’ll see her described as an innovator and a traveler. Dig deeper into her bio and you’ll find tech entrepreneur, social media visionary, investor, writer, and television correspondent. We’re going to go ahead and take the liberty of adding boss to this running list. After an Ivy League education in epidemiology, Finney created the fashion and lifestyle blog “The Budget Fashionista” before most knew what blogs were. Paving the path she cleared, she became one of the first black women to successfully sell a tech company when she let go of her popular blog. Through her current enterprise digitalundivided (DID) which has assisted in raising approximately $15 million in investments for Black and Latina entrepreneurs, she has remained at the helm of most of the major tech startups that exist today, guiding women of color along that same road in tech and entrepreneurship. She pushes this mission further as general partner in the Harriet Fund, a venture fund that invests in startups led by women of color, and co-founder of the angel investment syndicate called Harriet Angels. Busy is an understatement. Here, Finney takes a moment to give us her undivided attention.
ON HER DECISION TO END HER BLOG:
Fashion/style blogging was changing and I had no desire to take photos of myself on a daily basis. I dress for myself, not for others. I was offered a solid price from a larger media company and so I sold my company and went to work with BlogHer as Editor-At-Large.
ON THE TRAILBLAZING EFFECT HER FATHER'S CAREER HAD ON HER OWN:
I’ve witnessed the power of technology to literally change the course of a person’s life. My dad was a displaced brewery worker who became a software engineer at Microsoft in a span of 15 years. That is the same opportunity digitalundivided wants to give others.
ON HER WORK WITH NON-PROFITS IN WEST AND SOUTH AFRICA WIDENING HER SCOPE ON RACE AND BUSINESS:
It’s life changing as an African-American to live in a community where everyone from the person on the street to the richest man is Black. It gives you the freedom to not think about race and you learn that, for the most part, the concept of race is a very American thing.
ON THE COUNTRY THAT'S MAKING THE MOST STRIDES:
It’s amazing how South Korea built their “creative economy” from scratch in a span of less than five years, fueling the nation’s job creation, economic growth, and global competitiveness. It shows what a country can achieve if its industry is wholly supported by its government.
ON WHAT PUSHES HER TO INITIATE CHANGE IN THE TECH WORLD:
Tech is creating the present and the future. If Black and Brown folks are not a part of the creation of tech, we will not be a part of the resulting future.
KATHRYN FILLS US IN