Technology is fueling the future. The wildest ideas in our imaginations have been realized through technology and continue to shape our world. Black people have set the bar in each new emerging forefront, yet Black innovators have been majorly overlooked by big tech. I spoke with Sandbox Commerce founder Sterling Smith about how his company plans to plug Black people into the technology industry.
Sandbox Commerce takes the increasing accuracy of the saying “There’s an app for that” and makes it a reality. Except it’s not only a reality for mega corporations, but for small business owners. Sandbox grants them the accessibility of building their own app to make their dreams come true.
Sandbox Commerce sprung from Sterling Smith’s previous company Launch Partner. Launch Partner is a web development agency geared towards non-technical people that allows access to technology without the eyebrow raising price tag. Three years after Launch Partner started Sterling felt he could do more to make his technology more accessible. As a Black business owner himself he knows how challenging entering the tech world can be. Sterling noted how it was harder to get funding and be chosen as a leader in tech as a Black person. Black tech leaders exist but need to have access to the opportunities. Sterling saw Sandbox Commerce as a needed advantage in order for Black entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.
The Sandbox Commerce advantage allows users to easily and swiftly build their own app with their Commerce. The business owner has more control over their testing frameworks while simultaneously interfacing with user friendly building blocks for their application. In the Sandbox Commerce demonstration, you understand how you can build an app in 10 minutes to fit the unique needs of each business owner.
The ease of access is what makes it so appealing, but also so much more necessary. Business owners from non-traditional backgrounds that have been overlooked by mainstream tech have an opportunity. HBCU graduates, industry workers, and everyone in between, have the ability to build their own apps without the previous pre-requisite of Silicon Valley backing. Sandbox Commerce doesn’t carry the same sticker price either. Sandbox Commerce is more affordable and accessible than its competitors, which can retail for an upwards price of $150,000. Sterling wants Sandbox Commerce to bridge the entrepreneurial wealth gap and level the playing field for Black entrepreneurs.
The urge to create this level playing obviously drives Sterling. He finds the most pleasure in mentoring more Black tech leaders. While he reminisces on his start behind a computer screen and coding all day, he enjoys the time he gets to spend speaking on panels and uplifting the future of tech. When I asked him about the future of Black tech, he said he is guided by the words, “As you climb - lift.” He wants to see more Black entrepreneurs succeed in the industry alongside him and pave a way to normalizing Black leaders in tech. Sandbox Commerce is building a rich environment of founders that will propel Black people into the tech future and beyond.
Follow Sandbox Commerce on social media at @SandboxCommerce and Launch partner at LaunchPartnerCo_ to stay up to date. For more information visit sterling.oo and follow him on social media @SterlingSmith.
About the Author : Carré Sadler reigns from North Little Rock, Arkansas and considers herself a Duchess of the Dirty South. She’s a writer devoted to furthering Black culture and increasing representation while listening to the best black women in rap. Follow @BlackOwnedTingz on Instagram to stay up to date with her latest Black Owned reviews!