St. Louis native and Hazelwood East grad Brandon Williams played for the San Francisco 49ers , St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers before suffering a career-ending oblique injury while playing for the Steelers in 2009. He now travels from St. Louis to Chicago twice a week to work as a TV sports analyst on the Big Ten Network . Williams, 27, is working to launch BlackManWorking, a dating website for black men who make more than $100,000 a year.
I caught up with Williams to ask about his startup and its move to the IT incubator at the Railway Exchange building downtown called T-REx (Technology at the Railway Exchange).
How will your dating site be different than what’s already out there?
A few years ago, CNN did a series about the African-American community and how professional African-American women who work as doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs couldn’t find eligible African-American males to suit their needs. We are creating a database of eligible, financially successful African-American males. There will also be a social component that will be like an online women’s lifestyle magazine, like Ebony or Elle. We would like to hire a lifestyle or relationship coach to answer questions. We want to create a community that women frequent.
How will you identify bachelors for your database?
We are creating a verification process and will have a grassroots approach by going to different organizations for lawyers and doctors. We would want to have face-to-face contact with all of them and run background checks.
Kind of like “Millionaire Matchmaker” Patti Stanger?
Very much like that but geared toward a specific niche.