Tyrance Billingsley II, a Black entrepreneur, has always wanted to help and support Black businesses. He is inspired by the tenacity of Black Wall Street entrepreneurs to not only connect Black founders to opportunities, but also to support them.
According to Fox 23 News, this prompted Billingsley to establish Black Tech Street, which connects aspiring tech entrepreneurs with resources and the right people to help them succeed.
Knowing the right people and having an audience with them, he says, is one of the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur. And for those who have the funds to start a business but lack exposure, Black Tech Street can help.
“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.’”
Shaun Simon, the founder of STACE, a financial technology company, was one of Black Tech Street’s early successes. “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, and so on,” Simon explained to Fox 23 News.
According to Simon, he is motivated by a desire to not only assist in the development of businesses, but also to be a part of a system that assists in the employment of others and to serve as a model for Black entrepreneurs. He founded STACE after discovering that his aunt, who owns a restaurant in Tulsa, is having difficulty 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 assisted Simon in expanding his customer base in Tulsa. Billingsley was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He recently received a call from the previous pastor of the Vernon A.M.E. Church in Greenwood after a ledger containing the names of his ancestors’ cousins who donated to the rebuilding of the A.M.E Church was discovered in an old basement.