When Austinites hear the name Joah Spearman they proudly nod to one of their own. Born and bred in Austin, Texas Joah Spearman is a leader with local roots and global impact. Tech entrepreneur, community leader, speaker, writer and overall champion of all things community, diversity, and technology Joah is someone with an array of experiences and a unique platform. He chaired the AIDS Services of Austin, serves on the board of directors of ZACH Theatre, the leading performing arts theatre in Central Texas, and is a frequent speaker at Fortune 100 companies, where he is able to impart unique perspectives on business, technology, and diversity.
I take it as a duty. I am at a unique time and place. What do I do with it?
More impressive than Joah's resume is the obstacles he overcame to be able to do the amazing things he does today. Joah was born the youngest of three boys in a single mother household and was raised in the working class towns of Texas and South Carolina. Absent a father and often struggling, the family had to rely on food stamps and free school lunches to get by. Thanks to his mother and his own determination, Joah used the difficulties in his life as fuel and developed the grit, perseverance, and more importantly the sense of community that is now central to his mission.
"I take it as a duty. I am at a unique time and place. What do I do with it?" he responds when asked about his role in the founder community. One of the only Black tech founder-CEOs in history to have raised more than $5 million in startup funding without Silicon Valley VCs; he did it by building a community of more than 100 angel investors. Joah has launched four businesses in Austin, working with globally-recognized brands such as FedEx and ESPN X Games and gaining the support and praise of renowned entrepreneurs and national media outlets along the way.
Yes I'm an entrepreneur but the thing I am most proud of and enjoy the most is building community.
Watch or listen to Joah speak more about his story on the very first episode of Going Places, an original series by Loop.