Morgan DeBaun

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Morgan DeBaun
Born (1990-02-08) February 8, 1990 (age 28)
ResidenceLos Angeles, California[2]
Alma materWashington University in St. Louis[3]

Morgan DeBaun is an African American entrepreneur. She is the cofounder and CEO of Blavity, a web site created by and for black millennials.[4][2]

Early life and education[edit]

DeBaun was born in St. Louis, Missouri.[1] While living in a predominantly white suburban neighborhood, her family surrounded her with positive black role models. They sent her to a magnet school in the city so she could be around more children like herself.[5]

DeBaun showed an interest in business at an early age. She sold sugary snacks to her fellow students in their middle school that lacked vending machines, and she learned about investing from her father at age 14.[4]

DeBaun came up with the idea of Blavity while attending Washington University in St. Louis. Black students there would sit together at lunch and talk for hours. She referred to this gathering of African-American students as Black Gravity, or Blavity.[3][4][6]


DeBaun began her career working on product management and business development at Intuit.[7] She decided to leave her corporate job in part because she wanted to be more connected with "what was really going on on the ground".[7] She also felt that she and other black millennials were not represented by mainstream media.[8]

DeBaun cofounded Blavity with Aaron Samuels in 2014.[4] The site features content created by and for young black Americans, including subjects such as the Black Lives Matter movement and protests of the National Anthem.[9] Blavity receives several million unique visitors each month.[9]

In 2016, DeBaun launched a Blavity conference specifically for black women, EmpowerHer.[10][11] Her company Blavity also launched AfroTech, the largest tech conference in Silicon Valley for African American startup founders, designers, engineers and operators.[12]

In September 2017, Blavity acquired Travel Noire, which offers traveling tips and guidance for black millennials. [13]

DeBaun is one of few African-American female founders that have raised more than $1 million in venture capital. [14]

Awards and recognition[edit]

2016 – Forbes 30 Under 30 list of "young people transforming the future of media"[15]

2016 – The Root 100 list of the 100 most influential African Americans[16]

2016 – MVMT50 Top 10 Innovators of the Year[17]

2018 – Forbes' America's Top 50 Women In Tech.[18]


  1. ^ a b "About". Morgan DeBaun. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Dayna Evans (November 9, 2016). "How I Get It Done: Morgan DeBaun, Co-Founder and CEO of Content Platform Blavity". Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Julian Mitchell (November 5, 2015). "Meet Morgan DeBaun: The Blavity Founder Bridging The Gap Between Content And Tech". Forbes. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d Mandi Woodruff (February 5, 2016). "5 black business leaders who are changing the face of Silicon Valley". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  5. ^ Keryce Chelsi Henry (February 27, 2016). "Morgan DeBaun Is Putting Black Millennials' Voices Center Stage". Nylon. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  6. ^ "Black + Gravity = BLAVITY". The Seam. 2015-08-06. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  7. ^ a b Taylyn Washington-Harmon (July 18, 2016). "Morgan DeBaun on the growth of Blavity, covering #BlackLivesMatter, and the state of black-owned media". NiemanLab. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  8. ^ Kaya Thomas (September 7, 2015). "Blavity Hopes To Be The Digital Voice of Black Millennials". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Sarah Buhr (September 12, 2016). "Blavity, the BuzzFeed for black millennials, is raising $1 million and gets a redesign". TechCrunch. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  10. ^ Cynthia Franciillon (May 14, 2016). "Morgan DeBaun's Blavity, Talks "EmpowerHer," Their First Conference for Black Women: EmpowerHer". Black Girl Nerds. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  11. ^ Taryn Finley (May 23, 2016). "5 Things We Learned At 'EmpowerHer Conference' That All Black Girls Should Know". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  12. ^ Jr., Carl Brooks (February 15, 2017). "Inside Blavity, the Startup on a Quest to Be *the* News Source for Black Millennials". Wired. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  13. ^ Rose Dickey, Megan (September 18, 2017). "Blavity acquires Travel Noire, a travel and discovery platform for black millennials". Tech Crunch. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  14. ^ Lima, Debora (October 9, 2017). "Miami startup raises $1M to provide affordable legal services online". South Florida Business Journal/ Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  15. ^ Emily Inverso (January 4, 2016). "30 Under 30: Meet The Young People Transforming Media". Forbes. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  16. ^ "The Root 100 Most Influential African Americans 2016". The Root. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  17. ^ Mashaun D. Simon (March 11, 2016). "Tech Coalition Will Honor 10 Black Innovators at SXSW". NBC News. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  18. ^ "Morgan DeBaun". Forbes.

External links[edit]