I recently turned a loft in downtown Atlanta into a studio set and called up a few of my colleagues and friends to make some magic happen. I reached out to some of my favorite digital entrepreneurs in the Atlanta area and scheduled a series of interviews — think Inside the Actors Studio with a diverse group of new media and tech entrepreneurs.
In the past few years, there’s been an ongoing conversation about how the mainstream media views social media and about the overall lack of diversity in social media and technology. The good news is that a lot of individuals and organization are stepping up to bridge that gap. We’ve come a long way and we still have a long way to go.
- How can we empower more people to transition from consuming digital content to creating digital content? From supporting businesses to starting businesses?
- How can we empower more people to leverage digital media to turn their passions into profits?
- How can we encourage more women and minorities to pursue technical careers?
- How can we increase access and exposure to STEM fields?
- How can we bridge the digital divide?
Our friends at Blerdology are embarking on a seven city summer series to showcase rising black innovators and to connect like minds across the nation through fun-filled networking events.
Blerd’s Night Out is designed to engage minority startup eco-systems where they live, to spark social change and to foster community fellowship. Focused on both established and emerging tech scenes, the series features community partners such as black business crowdfunding platform BlackStartup.com and The Root’s black twitter measure platform ‘The Chatterati’ and will offer appearances from many STEM leaders including:
- Kyle Christian Steele of Doccaster (Orlando)
- Jay Veal of INC Tutoring (Dallas)
- Neal Sales-Griffin of Starter League (Chicago)
- Julian Tillotson of Indirap (Chicago)
- Brian Shields of Incubate NYC (NYC)
- Donna Byrd, Publisher of The Root (NYC)
- Monique Woodard, Co-founder of Black Founders (San Francisco)
- Ayori Se of Pitch Mixer (San Francisco)
- … and many more!
If you’re interested in attending, RSVP for the Blerd’s Night Out event near you!
13 – Orlando – Blerdology.co/bno/Orlando
20 – Dallas – Blerdology.co/bno/dallas
27- Chicago – Blerdology.co/bno/chicago
2 – New York City – Blerdology.co/bno/newyork
9 – San Francisco – Blerdology.co/bno/sanfrancisco
16 – Detroit – Blerdology.co/bno/detroit
23 – Atlanta – Blerdology.co/bno/atlanta CANCELLED
For more on the Blerd’s Night Out Tour, visit http://blerdology.co/bno
UPDATE: Congrats to Joy and the Zamrize team for raising $11,630.00 to turn dreamers into creators! If you’re curious about what they’re up to next, check out the Zamrize website or follow Zamrize on Facebook and Twitter.
My friend Joy Buolamwini is turning dreamers into creators through Zamrize, an organization that empowers Zambian youth to become creators of technology.
In partnership with local organizations, Zamrize will promote social entrepreneurship and help accelerate “impact projects” that create value for the local community. Zamrize will also ensure diverse participation in the new technology economy by providing a curriculum and hands-on learning lab focused on 3 elements: Exposure, Education & Entrepreneurship.
As a Fulbright Fellow, Joy has an incredible opportunity to spend 7 months in Zambia to establish an Integrative Computational Experience (ICE) Lab that will give Zambian youth access to hands-on training in software development and electronics. She needs your help to launch this innovative program. Joy is on a mission to raise $10k to provide equipment for the lab, including: laptops, smartphone, tablets and curriculum materials.
UPDATE: Congrats to the Techturized Team! They’ve raised over $25,000 to launch Madame You, an online community where women can share their hair experiences and receive personalized recommendations for hairstyles and products. Stay connected with the Techturized founders on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Madame You.com.
The Techturized team is on a mission to revolutionize the hair care industry through science and technology. Along the way, they’ve completed the rigorous “startup engineering” program at Flashpoint, won the 2013 Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Business Launch Competition and been featured in Black Enterprise as a Tech Startup of the Week.
Techturized is a hair technology company that creates innovative solutions for women of color. The company was founded by four female engineers (and Georgia Tech grads): Candace Mitchell, Chanel Martin, Joy Buolamwini, and Jess Watson. The co-founders are young, black and fabulous and they’re combining their tech skills, business know-how and beauty savvy to launch Madame You, an online community where women can share their hair experiences and receive personalized recommendations for hairstyles and products.
Madame You has launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund its research and development. They need your help to raise $25,000 to provide “1 million black women with personalized recommendations for hairstyles and products.”