Blacktech Weekend: Showing Why Diversity in Tech Is Important

Diversity is a crucial component to a thriving entrepreneurial environment. Many times, people tend to focus solely on the product or service without taking a look at the innovators behind them. Blacktech Weekend is filling that gap by giving a platform to entrepreneurs, techies, business executives, and startup founders of color.

From February 23rd to February 25th, entrepreneurs and businesspeople of color will be able to connect with each other, share their unique experience, and give advice about how to empower themselves and accelerate their success in tech. Blacktech Weekend also gives an opportunity for those who are less attune to the importance of diversity and inclusion to listen to different perspectives and develop a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be a person of color in the world of tech.

Blacktech Weekend is a smaller event that precedes Blacktech Week, a weeklong event that will take place in September. Both events are funded by the Knight Foundation, an organization that invests in entrepreneurship, journalism, and various other ventures that focus on community.

Felecia Hatcher, co-founder of Blacktech Week, has been honored by the White House as a 2014 Champion of Change for STEM Access & Diversity and has been featured on numerous shows and media outlets. She has given talks on numerous subjects surrounding entrepreneurship and business and is the author of three books. She gave some insight into the benefits and importance of the event:

The Benefits of Blacktech Weekend

“Our goal is to increase deal flow and resource magnetism in the black community and for black entrepreneurs and startup founders where often times their friends and family can only give them a round of applause and not a round of funding, so we help them get over that major hurdle.”

Diversity and Inclusion

“This is clearly a topic that is not going anywhere because those that don’t see how impactful it is to their bottom line are not solution driven to solving the problem. This has been very much a grassroots effort and luckily an organization like the Knight Foundation have funded us and others to do this work that is so important. We have to quickly move from thinking that diversity is a charity case, and that the best person to do the job and minority groups are mutually exclusive. No it’s damn good business!”

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Written by:
Jacob is a journalism and political science student at Arizona State University. He likes to learn and write about anything that isn’t cliché. His primary interests are foreign policy, solutions to global poverty, and tech innovation. He has helped lead multiple student groups on campus that have hosted a range of speakers on international issues and has acted as moderator for a couple himself. In his free time, he likes to watch movies, read weird books, and drink offensive amounts of coffee.
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