New Graphic Novel ‘Silicon Heroes’ Created To Inspire The Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs


When we think of cultural icons we conjure up images of pop stars, celebrities, athletes and even reality stars. Rarely do we envision STEM industry creators and founders, although perhaps we should start doing that more. If it weren’t for brilliant minds like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ricahrd Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elizabeth Holmes just to name a few, we would not have the type of innovation and opportunity that many of us take advantage of on a daily basis. The world would certainly not be the same as it is today without heroic and genius entrepreneurs with ideas that help move the world forward, and sure people like the aforementioned certainly get paid a hefty sum for their work, but how are they perceived on a cultural front?

That is a challenge a new graphic novel is taking on, by aiming to show the younger generation how inspiring and heroic entrepreneurs can be, as opposed to just celebrities and athletes. ‘Silicon Heroes’ comes from the mind of Joseph Floyd, a Silicon Valley investor from Emergence Capital.

He wanted to create something that his kids, as well as many others in the world, could look at as a way to encourage them to become the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators.

“I don’t want my future kids to grow up thinking movie stars are role models. I work with the amazing people who are trying to change the world, and I thought why aren’t kids looking up to them?” he said in an interview with TechCrunch.

He created an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the series, based on 5 diverse young tech workers who who embark on a quest to discover their inner superpowers and the keys to entrepreneurial success. Together they face their fears, overcome seemingly impossible challenges, and and defy conventional expectations of society.


Oh yeah, there’s that word “diversity” that we love! It is one of the things that ‘Silicon Heroes’ wants to promote.

“One major theme highlights the challenges faced by women and minorities in the workplace. The graphic novel medium enforces the inner strength of these characters by visually showing their triumph over challenges,” says part of the description about the project.

If you’ve been paying attention to a lot of tech news, you may be familiar with the story of former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao, who lost a high-profile discrimination case against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers earlier this year. Her case was somewhat of a tipping point for sexism in the tech world, where more and more women felt encouraged to speak up about their own experiences with discrimination. Dating app Tinder co-founder Whitney Wolfe settled a large sexual harassment case in 2014, where she claimed the other founder harassed and verbally abused her for the majority of the time she worked there.

And of course you may remember the viral campaign started by a female engineer who was annoyed that after being included in her company’s public marketing materials was told she “didn’t look like a realistic engineer” because hey, young women of color aren’t typically what you think of when talking about tech positions, right?


These are just a few high profile incidents, but there are many many more which unfortunately don’t get the media attention necessary. It’s one of the reasons we think Joseph Floyd including diversity into the Silicon Heroes novel is important.

“If you’re a Latino girl or an Indian guy, and you read about a character whose name is similar to yours, you might be able to relate a little. But if you see someone who actually looks like you, it does so much more. The fact that there are pictures and that your imagination fills in the blanks between the pictures is really powerful,” he said.

After he pays his illustrator and editor, the funds raised for the novel will go toward encouraging the next generation of female tech luminaries by donating the money to as well as Joseph also said in the same interview that if he reached $300,000 in sales, he will work with Girls Who Code to develop an app version of the book. Love that!

You can already take a look at the artwork for Silicon Heroes on the official website, as well as see fan art created around the series.  If you believe entrepreneurs are the heroes of the future, be sure to donate to the Indiegogo campaign while it is running in order for your kids to grow up learning about people who will inspire them to change the world.

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