CNN's Soledad O'Brien is chronicling the NewMe Accelerator and Tiffani as part of her fourth installment in the Black in America series, which airs November 13.
Watch the BIA4 trailer on CNN.com
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Skilled developers are Silicon Valley's scarcest resource. With big companies throwing around giant salaries and startups competing fiercely for talent, the technical ability to build what they envision is often a make-or-break issue for new ventures.Silicon Valley's scarcest resource: Technical founders
Which means tech industry entrepreneurs sort out into two distinct camps: those with coding skills and those without. Being in the "have not" camp can be a dealbreaker.
"It's like opening a restaurant and not even being able to cook the food," said Michael Karnjanaprakorn, CEO and co-founder of education startup Skillshare. Karnjanaprakorn is also an adviser for investment firm Collaborative Fund. When he scouts ventures, technical know-how is the first thing he looks for.
"I will not even talk to a company if they don't have developers in-house," he said. "Most investors bet on a team -- how can you bet on a team that's outsourced?"
For new entrepreneurs looking to break in -- like those at NewMe, a pioneering incubator for minority-led startups -- a technical background can help knock down barriers.
Tiffani Bell, a NewMe participant and founder of online appointment booking site Pencil You In, relied on her coding chops to get her startup ready in time for Demo Day -- an event where Silicon Valley investors gather to field pitches from companies seeking funding...