Kimberly Bryant

Kimberly Bryant

Founder & CEO


Black Girls CODE

Oakland, CA USA


Entrepreneurship is a leap of faith. There’s absolutely no one that knows what they’re doing, but we figure it out. The method is a journey of failing, learning from that, and then trying something different.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Kimberly Bryant

Highlight
Now Playing
01:17
Kimberly Bryant HighlightInterview Highlight
Now Playing
05:48
InterviewThe Interview
Now Playing
00:52
Accepting Your Personal BaggageWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
00:57
Work On Yourself And GrowWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
01:51
“Safe Space” Is Important For Marginalized Communities To GrowWeb Exclusive
Now Playing
00:56
I’ve Always Thrived As An EntrepreneurInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
01:41
Why I Started Black Girls CODEInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
00:55
Creating A Support Structure For Underrepresented StudentsInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
00:48
Taking The Leap Towards Your DreamsInterview Excerpt
Now Playing
01:24
Diversity In Tech Is ImportantInterview Excerpt
See More
Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Born and raised in Memphis, TN.
Growing up, I enjoyed taking part in entrepreneurial endeavors and always knew I wanted to be my own boss one day.
Attended Vanderbilt University where I received a degree in electrical engineering and computer science.
After graduating, I focused my career in the electrical engineering industry where I worked at DuPont and Phillip Morris.
Eventually transitioned from electrical engineering to biotechnology and pharmaceuticals where I worked for companies like Merck & Co., Genentech, and Pfizer, Inc.
After working as an engineer for over 20 years, I started exploring ways I could pursue my interest in becoming an entrepreneur within the biotech industry.
I began trying to solve the problem of the lack of women and people of color in technology after seeing my daughter struggle to get involved in computer programming.
In 2011, I founded Black Girls CODE, providing technology education for African-American girls. I've won many awards and was named one of the 25 most influential African Americans in technology.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Vanderbilt University
undergrad
Bachelor
Computer Science
Vanderbilt University
Career

Career

Founder & CEO

I founded a training course that teaches basic programming concepts to girls of color.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Technology
Technology
Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship
Accomplishing Goals
Accomplishing Goals

Day to Day

Most of my day is spent taking steps to continue building and expanding our organization. That can include meetings, phone calls, research, pitching, traveling, attending conferences/events, etc.. My job is to lead our organization and provide direction for our employees so that we can achieve our mission. I am also always in the mindset of how to best advocate for our cause.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Always be authentic! Leadership skills are invaluable. You have to enjoy being your own boss and being in charge. My experience building teams, being a manager, and balancing stressful tasks has given me a unique ability to be a successful entrepreneur. Seek out experiences that will help you gain those skills. Be familiar with business basics. Don't be afraid of making mistakes. Basic technical skills are also useful.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for professionals

Above all else, you have to have the passion and hunger to get up and pursue your vision every day, even when you don't feel like it. If you don't have that, being an entrepreneur is going to be even harder, and you honestly probably won't make it very far. Dedication is the key.

Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"We need to launch this now! No more waiting."

When I was first starting Black Girls CODE, I was working on the business idea and early development stage for a really long time. I kept hearing people tell me that it was ready and I needed to just launch it already. As a first time entrepreneur, I faced a lot of uncertainty and wanted to make sure that I did it correctly. It held me back from taking the leap, but I eventually got there.

Challenges I Overcame

Racial And Gender Discrimination
Racial And Gender Discrimination

In technology, I have witnessed a lot of discrimination and there is a huge disparity in the participation of women and people of color. I never used to see people like me in this field. I started my company in order to solve this injustice.

Career Change
Career Change

I didn't set out to be an entrepreneur in computer technology or nonprofits. I thought I would do something in engineering or biotechnology because that was what I was familiar with. Making the transition was accidental, but necessary.

Imposter Syndrome
Imposter Syndrome

As a first time entrepreneur, I was plagued by doubt and uncertainty about whether I had the right skills or had a good enough idea. It held me back for a long time, but I eventually took the leap. Entrepreneurship is a leap of faith.

See More