Tristan Walker is not only the CEO and founder of Walker & Co. Brands, which has raised $33 million in investments, he is also a technology tour de force, who has blazed trails for scores of professionals of color to position themselves among the Silicon Valley elite. His company creates innovative grooming products for men, including Bevel—the first and only shaving system designed for coarse or curly hair. Men’s magazine GQ touted Bevel as “not your father’s safety razor,” naming it one of the best shaving products of 2016.
The application of Silicon Valley’s lean and agile startup model to the manufacturing of grooming products has proven to be a winning combination. This is what makes Walker a tech rebel.
Walker’s business acumen was honed from working with Silicon Valley investment firms and startups, including Twitter and Foursquare. At these companies, he learned about raising capital as well as spotting and recruiting talent.
“There is no way that I could have built the company without that [Silicon Valley] network,” said Walker, in a one-on-one interview for Our World with BLACK ENTERPRISE, prior to BLACK ENTERPRISE’s TechConneXt Summit. “Building the company requires us to raise capital, [and] that capital requires having the network to acquire that capital. My ability to recruit engineers and other talent—where you have that network effect in Silicon Valley with all the engineers, product folks, and so on—was instrumental, and I don’t think I could’ve done it as effectively anywhere else.”