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Tech Spotlight

Tech Spotlight: Stephen Anderson

The Abernathy Tech Spotlight series highlights black professionals working in tech, from freelance developers to non-technical founders. Complete this form to submit your profile.


What is your current role and where do you work?
I’m Team Lead and Head of Partnerships for Flash Pitch, a monthly competition run through the NYU Future Labs which provides six entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch to venture capitalists for feedback and potential funding. Curation of a diverse panel of entrepreneurs and judges is a key tenet of our competition as we want to provide opportunity to marginalized groups. In addition to that, I’m a Sales Associate at Contently, where I work in enterprise SaaS Sales.

How did you get into tech?
While working on-site in my Assistant PM role at a construction firm, I narrowly escaped a cement block falling on my head. I took this as a sign and put the steps in motion to jump into something I was more passionate and curious about. I’ve had the entrepreneurial itch for most of my life and decided to pursue an opportunity to work for a growing tech company.

I took on a sales role with the goal of gaining an accurate perspective on what it takes to be in the trenches of a growing company. I’ve long had the goal of running my own business and knew this role would be a great way to get real experience.. I wanted to play to my strengths, use my presentation skills, passion, personality, and problem solving ability to get behind a product and show the world its value. I wanted to feel the pressure and the direct effect that my work would have on the bottom line of a business.

What project are you most proud to have worked on and why?
I’m most proud of closing an enterprise deal with three business lines of a fortune 1000 company. I’m proud of this because I met my contacts at an event and nurtured them for over 400 days before I got them to close. I did it by myself at a time when the business really needed it, and it felt great.

I’m also super proud of the work I do with Flash Pitch as well as the opportunities and exposure I help provide to entrepreneurs and the community of Startup folks that I’ve met over the past 3 years. It’s a small knit group of people who are about action. I learn something at every event and I find the space infinitely inspiring.

What do you see as the most interesting technology on the horizon?
Music Tech. The record industry is rife with issues and technology will play a key part in keeping it alive. Music is a huge driver of culture and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, so I see a ton of opportunity within the space.

If you weren’t working in tech, what would you be doing?
I’d be a full time Producer and DJ.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your tech career?
Keep going no matter the obstacle. Stay positive and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

What can companies do to create more inclusive environments?
True inclusion requires curation of an environment that values collisions. Collision of ideas from varying socioeconomic backgrounds. For example, office happy hours once or twice a month during work time, i.e. Thursday or Friday at 3pm everyone closes their laptops and hang out together. You can’t force people to include each other, but you can create an environment that allows for and rewards differences and interaction with varying perspectives. It all starts with the founders.


The Abernathy Tech Spotlight series highlights black professionals working in tech, from freelance developers to non-technical founders. Complete this form to submit your profile.