Who is this guy and why is he wearing a bowtie? This used to be a frequent question when Amos Winbush, III was among his tech counterparts.
The founder and CEO of the company CyberSynchs, the first universal data synchronization company allowing users to transfer data between devices, Winbush complicates the classical Silicon Valley way of life. He's received Black Enterprise's "Innovator of the Year" award, topped the "30 Influential CEOS Under 30" list on Under30CEO.com, and the "40 Under 40" list in Network Journal, among a series of other honors. But Winbush is no coding tech geek. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find him in a Zuckerberg-style hoodie, and his sneakers usually come gilded with red bottoms.
Born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Winbush grew up in a middle class family with a doting mom and two sisters; his father, a musician, was often on the road with the legendary Commodores. Winbush seemed to be following his dad's footsteps when he inked a record deal in 2007 banging out the hit Europop single, “Babylon of the Orient."
But after his first-generation iPhone crashed losing loads of critical information, Winbush abruptly decided to go tech. He couldn't imagine not being about to retrieve all that was lost and realized that it made little sense his iPhone and all his other devices were incompatible; get it? Cyber-synchs. "I went to sleep and literally had a dream about the company. I woke up the next morning, called my business manager, and asked, 'how do I start a tech company?'" The rest was history. Initially he financed the innovative company himself, but eventually he became attractive to investors and today Winbush is worth a generous sum. Let's just say any day now, he may be the youngest Black billionaire. Literally. So add that to his growing family nestled in a Wall Street condo—Winbush and his lovely wife Tiffany who he met in high school are expecting their first child—Winbush’s acute eye for style, and well, it's the cherry that tops it all off.
"When I was five I was in a bowtie—that was just my mom putting those clothes on me—seersucker patterns, and argyle socks—I hated it all of it until I turned about 15 or 16, my style morphed into the foundation they built." These days as a late 20-something, Winbush navigates the streets of New York outfitted in costume Ralph Lauren suits, leopard Louboutins, the Louis Vuitton duffel he barely leaves home without. And yes, he draws inspiration for the day's look from his exhaustive collection of bowties—if that fails he hits one of his four colorful sock drawers!
If you ask Winbush if he identifies with the growing new generation of Black male dandies, he respects the movement, but would rather not name himself one. He is however, very clear on his defined style preference. “I gravitate toward a European cut. I associate my style heavily with the '20s all the way up to the '60s—three-piece, and double-breasted suits, super tight around the waist, and flares at the hip. It speaks to me.”
And as for defying traditional Silicon Valley style, Winbush understands both sides of the coin. But ultimately he decided to stay true to himself. “It was very hard for people to accept my style when I first came in the business, but that also could have been because I was usually the only Black person in the entire room.” —Geneva S. Thomas