Spotlight On The Tech Entrepreneur Who Founded The New AfriDate App

Written by Williesha Morris

Dating someone of one’s own nationality is often important for people in the African diaspora. Finding a partner who understands your ancestral background just got easier thanks to AfriDate, the fifth app by tech entrepreneurs Amanda Spann and Christopher Davis.

The app has attracted 6,000 users in just the last couple of weeks since its debut, Spann told Moguldom.com.

What makes AfriDate different from other black dating apps is that it allows Africans in the diaspora to search for eligible black singles anywhere in the world by nationality, Spann said.

Spann and Davis run Happii, a startup studio that partners with aspiring tech founders to oversee the design, development, and management of new app businesses. Until now, Happii was best known for its debut app, Alchomy, a social drinking mobile app for cocktail enthusiasts.

A publicist-turned-entrepreneur, Spann is dedicated to helping reduce inequality and increase the number of black people in tech, according to UrbanGeeks.

Spann’s journey for the past seven years as a digital nomad took her from Jacksonville, Florida, up and down the East Coast and finally to Chicago.

She remembers being one of the few African Americans in the world of technology public relations before she transitioned from behind the scenes to company founder.

She co-founded TipHub Africa, a mentorship-driven accelerator and business consultancy that targeted African startups and leaders in the diaspora.

Spann’s credits include Black Girls Hack, aka Blerdology, and she wants to transform the idea of what an entrepreneur looks like.

“When you say to a young black girl or boy, ‘What does an entrepreneur look like?’ they don’t always see someone who looks like them. We have to realize that entrepreneurs can look like anything.”

Spann, named one of Business Insider’s “30 Most Important Women Under 30 in Tech,” talked with Moguldom about her accomplishments and future plans.

Moguldom: Have you always wanted to be in the technology space?

Amanda Spann: When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be in fashion and entertainment. I always had an interest in technology, but I felt like I couldn’t do it if I wasn’t coding. A lot of times, you fall into the stereotypes that a coder looks a certain way, behaves a certain way, functions in a certain role or that a technologist looks like this. You don’t realize there are so many roles outside of the person who builds the product.

Moguldom: Do you feel like there were more obstacles that you faced because of being a black woman or a novice in the industry?

Amanda Spann: Not necessarily. I think it’s hard for everyone to create something from scratch. I do think some people have an easier time raising money and getting attention for products, concepts and ideas. I don’t feel like I’ve faced an immense amount of obstacles. These are just things that come along with running a business. Period.

I don’t feel like anyone has tried to hold me back or sabotage me in any way. I’ve overwhelmingly seen a great degree of support. A big part of that comes from being resilient, showing up, being forthcoming and trying to consistently produce the best work possible.

It’s that stick-to-itiveness, resilience, fortitude and innovation. That’s something that you can’t teach.

Moguldom: What do you feel was your biggest success so far?

Amanda Spann: I can’t say that one thing is my biggest success yet. I don’t know that I’ve had my big idea yet. That’s the funny part about it. I think there are a lot of people like me. There isn’t a finish line, per se.

You get ideas. You run across them and feel compelled at the heart to create them or execute on them. It is my nature, and it feels very organic to me to create things from scratch.

I find the process stressful but also very therapeutic for me. I love it.

 

 

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About Williesha Morris
With a journalism degree under her belt, Williesha Morris embraces emerging technology and focuses on freelance writing and blogging for both offline and online publications. Her blog, My Freelance Life, was awarded as one of the top blogs for writers by The Write Life.com. She's written for the Huffington Post, XO Jane, Brazen Careerist, Al.com and Birmingham Magazine.

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