The BLNDED Media team knows a thing or two about the need for more content creators of color, so we loved having the opportunity to speak to another like-minded entrepreneur who is changing the color of broadcast media. Take a moment to learn more about Victoria Coker, her growing startup, and her annual festival that is taking over NYC beginning April 12, 2019.
BLNDED Media: Let’s talk about your company, what you do, and why you chose to get started.
Victoria Coker: In 2015, I cut off my cable and realized it was difficult to find quality content online. I wanted to create a place to easily find digital content created by media makers of color. That is what originally inspired me to create CLRED Media. I started the company by launching ColoredContent as a video and media news platform that highlights Black media makers. Since launching the platform, I learned that part of the issue is many media makers do not have access to the education or the network to progress in mainstream media. So I launched Black Web Fest in 2017. The festival is an international event series that celebrates Black creatives and digital content. The events allow attendees to network, learn new skills, and share their content while amplifying the voices of media makers of color.
BLNDED: What has been your biggest hurdle as an entrepreneur? What lessons have you learned?
Coker: The biggest hurdle of being an entrepreneur is the lack of funding. I have learned that if people see you are serious and then you ask for help, 75% of the time they are willing to assist.
BLNDED: What resources have helped you the most as an entrepreneur?
Coker: The best resources thus far is our community of creatives and other entrepreneurs.
BLNDED: What does diversity and/or diversity in tech mean to you?
Coker: Diversity in tech means allowing everyone to have a seat at the table. So many people discriminate not just race, but class or gender. We should all have the same access and rights.
BLNDED: How has mentorship impacted you as an entrepreneur and your business?
I do not have much success with an official mentor yet, but working at different jobs I have learned a lot along the way. Old bosses and managers have acted as mentors and provided information that I still use today. I am now accessing more people who may not be permanent mentors but have a skill I need on this leg of my journey. I have a lot of peers who are mentors to me now.
BLNDED: What advice do you have for first-time entrepreneurs?
Coker: Do your research. If you know your business in and out you are much more prepared for success.