Founder, GlobalGrind.com, New York City, Age: 39
Once the chief technology officer at BET.com and partly responsible for the site’s huge growth between 2000 and 2006, Navarrow Wright is the founder and former CEO of GlobalGrind.com, the social media site with a hip-hop focus he launched with hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. The partnership with Simmons started in 2007, when the pair approached Accel Partners — the deep pockets behind Facebook — for funding to create GlobalGrind. “I left GlobalGrind in March 2009 because they deviated away from the original vision,” says Wright. “The departure was amicable.”
Wright launched Maximum Leverage Solutions L.L.C., a social media and technology-consulting firm. “This digital space is always changing. There are more opportunities for success today than ever,” he says.
The middle child of three children, Wright has learned to be adaptable. He attended Solebury School in Pennsylvania and played on the basketball team. “The experience opened my eyes to a world full of opportunity,” says Wright, who now sits on the school’s board of trustees. He graduated from Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., with a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems. “I was the first in my family to graduate from college and had the honor of being the first Black commencement speaker at Rider,” he says.
He lectures frequently about technology and media to adults and urban youth and is determined to increase the number of minorities in both industries. “Opportunities exist and I owe it to people to help them to the best of my abilities.”
Quote: “Walk by faith, not by sight.”
Xbox or PlayStation: Xbox
Facebook or LinkedIn: LinkedIn
Favorite sports team: Los Angeles Lakers
What artist would you go on tour with: Fred Hammond
First job: Cleaning housing projects in the summer
Favorite comedian: Chris Rock
SUV or Hybrid: SUV