SpokeHub is a fast-growing platform that gives users a chance to engage in meaningful conversations about the subjects they care most about. It sees social media differently, with hopes to bring real conversation back.
The Durham, North Carolina based company does not have the “Silicon Valley story” of most successful technology or social media apps that precede it. Backed by the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange Program, SpokeHub is making large waves in the social media space and hopes to inspire the next generation of Black entrepreneurs. SpokeHub allows more effective and engaging communication among hubsters around the globe while providing opportunities for businesses and celebrities to have direct access to their customers and fan bases. Rapid analytics are offered to paying users for targeted marketing.
More than a chat room 2.0, the founders wanted to give users – called “hubsters” – something more than the usual social media sites. By downloading SpokeHub through the Apple App Store or Google Play, hubsters can zero in on those topics that interest them most.
Launched June 2017, the Black-owned tech company is rapidly becoming a go-to platform for users to express views safely with like-minded individuals. Together the five founders (Richard Berryman III, Robert Hartsfield Jr., John York, John McAdory, and Terry Johnson) has over 50 years of combined experience in sales, technology, business development and marketing. Even in 2018 a progressive Black-owned tech company is rare; African-Americans make up a tiny fraction of the overwhelmingly white and Asian male tech workforce.
SpokeHub team with Brand Ambassador and TV Star George Lopez. Pictured from Left to Right: George Lopez, John York, Robert Hartsfield, Taylor Glymph, Richard Berryman III (in the back), Kerianne Enderline & Yolanda Rodgers Howsie (sitting down).
The racial background of SpokeHub’s founders isn’t the only unique aspect about the company. While some of the founders happen to be of millennial age, only one – Richard Berryman III – also happens to be a father of two. It’s quite uncommon in the tech industry for fatherhood to precede entrepreneurship; 33-year-old Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg didn’t become a parent until years after the success of his company.
Berryman III also serves as the vice president of business development, but like most fathers, Berryman III agrees that parenting is extremely important to his identity. The 32-year-old describes the experience of fathering a tech company poised for rapid growth … while fathering members of generation Z and Alpha.
Christine Carter: What is a critical component to successfully handling your personal and professional responsibilities?
Richard Berryman III: Being an entrepreneur and navigating the day to day definitely requires balance. With that comes early days and late nights and trying to fit in normal day to day activities requires keeping a tight calendar and prioritizing based on needs throughout the day.
Carter: What advice can you offer millennial fathers who may have their own companies, or those who are considering becoming an entrepreneur?
Berryman III: The key is realizing that being an entrepreneur is not a typical 5 day, 40 hours per week commitment. It’s a 7 day, early mornings and late nights scenario. Being able to work with a clear mind and staying fresh is critical, so in my off time I like to work with community related activities while still being there for kids events and spending that necessary quality time. Be prepared to work late into the nights in order to capitalize on you family time during the day.
Carter: The popular image of a father’s contributing to his household, is actually the absence of the father in the household. He’s often working outside of the home, not as concerned with work-life balance as the mother. What are your thoughts on this?
Berryman III: While tradition says that I am the provider financially, I see my role as father and husband as someone who makes sure my wife and girls feel safe and loved. They know that there is nothing is outside their reach. I support their dreams and aspirations and make sure they are always confident in who they are and ALL the wonderful skills they possess. As a co-founder of SpokeHub, I make sure my household embodies those entrepreneurial beliefs. ALL ideas are welcome.