By: Kapor Center – Sergio Rosas and Lili Gangas
Date: Thursday, July 11, 2019
Meet the ten social impact organizations we’re making philanthropic investments to level the playing field in tech
We know first hand how challenging — yet crucial — it is to build place-based initiatives aimed at building a local inclusive tech ecosystem. This requires community investment. This is why back in March the Kapor Center announced the launch of our $1M Tech Done Right (TDR) Challenge grant competition. The Challenge identified organizations who are building a more diverse and inclusive tech economy locally and nationally.
We know that funding opportunities in tech inclusion are limited, and we intended the Tech Done Right Challenge to serve as a growth catalyst for equitable representation and is funding organizations with gap-closing solutions to the “leaks” in the Tech Pipeline.
The idea was to leverage the aspects of tech that enable innovation — passion, creativity, and new ideas — and apply these to social impact work. A crucial part of the Challenge focused on finding solutions that embrace lean startup approaches through prototypes, experimentation, and iteration through public and private sector collaborations. The Challenge asked organizations to answer:
What is your innovative solution to build a diverse and thriving inclusive tech ecosystem in your community?
All told, more than 120 applications from 48 U.S. cities were submitted, focusing on interventions at the Post-Secondary, Tech Workforce, and Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital segments. The ten award winners come from a range of locations across the Midwest, the South, and from both coasts. All of the winning organizations focus on increasing representation of underrepresented people of color in our tech economy via tech talent or entrepreneurship/venture capital programs.
After an extensive internal and external evaluation process, we are proud to share the winning organizations with you today!
Each organization will receive a $100,000 grant to implement their innovative solution. Over the next year, we will work via a cohort model with these organizations, gathering insights about inclusive tech ecosystem building. As a collective, we will share learnings so that together, we transform tech for good.
We hope to see other funders join this movement of prioritizing funding organizations from overlooked cities, teams with overlooked lived experiences, and programs with overlooked promise.
We know that systemic change is beyond just a few stakeholders. Transformation requires all of us as individuals, organizations, government, and funders to work together to build systems that work for everyone. Let’s continue the work leading with more urgency and intersectionality. The marathon continues.
And here they are, the ten Tech Done Right Challenge Winners!
You can read about the winning organizations and their respective focus cities for implementing innovative solutions to diversify the technology industry here and learn more about the organizations below:
Click HERE to view the list of winning organizations.