Mechanical Bull

Cheryl Contee

Silicon Valley can be a wild ride for an entrepreneur, especially if you’re a woman, a minority (or both!). But not being a white dude dropout from Stanford shouldn’t stand between you and startup success—there’s a path forward for everyone, including you.

In Mechanical Bull, Silicon Valley veteran Cheryl Contee takes readers through her entrepreneurial journey with humor and candor, sharing practical insights from her experience of launching three startups and receiving more than $2 million in venture capital investment, despite being a nontraditional founder. Through Cheryl’s open, honest account of the gender and race bias in a system set up to serve the aforementioned (i.e., the privileged few), you’ll learn how to steer through that system and flourish along the way.

So saddle up for a practical guide to launching a successful startup and riding trends like a boss—without ever getting thrown off your game.

Press & Praise

Van Jones, CEO of REFORM Alliance, political commentator, and host of The Van Jones Show

"When Cheryl Contee speaks, I listen--and so should you. Cheryl's frank, funny account of the ups and downs of startup life, and the speedbumps awaiting those who don't fit the traditional mold, will leave you wiser, bolder, and ready to leave your mark on the world."

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director of MomsRising

"Cheryl's collaboration and guidance helped MomsRising grow its social impact to the next level, and I can't wait for a wider audience to benefit from her experiences. This book is for everyone who wants to achieve success while making a difference."

Charlene Li, New York Times bestselling author and Founder & Senior Analyst at Altimeter, a Prophet company

"Business can be brutal and if you're not a white man, getting access to networks, mentors, investors, incubators and more can feel like a constant uphill battle. Cheryl Contee's Mechanical Bull is the ultimate outsider's guide to Silicon Valley with tips not only for nontraditional entrepreneurs but also for the investors who wish to open doors for them. It's a must read for everyone committed to building a more equal society."

Cheryl Contee

Cheryl Contee is the award-winning CEO of the digital agency Do Big Things, a diverse team that is using a new narrative and new tech to create global change in a new era. Previously, Cheryl was CEO of Fission Strategy, which brought Silicon Valley startup culture to the world’s leading causes and campaigns. She’s the cofounder of, the first tech startup with a black female founder to be acquired by a NASDAQ company; the national board chair for Netroots Nation, an affiliate of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; and a proud cofounder of #YesWeCode. Learn more at

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