In November 2020, The Hidden Genius Project launched its inaugural Alumni Venture Seed Fund — a dynamic program designed to support the advancement of our young, student-alumni entrepreneurs through the five phases of startup development, while intentionally supporting a deeper understanding of the space and application.

Throughout the course of five months, five Genius Founders will actively participate in this rigorous program to receive coaching, training, and early-stage funding to empower them with the resources, networks, and capital needed to support their entrepreneurial ambitions. Program participants will partake in a series of workshops and exercises focused on these core phases; Business Ideation and Validation, Legal, Technology, Marketing, and Venture Capital.

MEET OUR 2022-2023 GENIUS FOUNDERS

Gari’un Godfrey, RICH2 Hidden Genius Alum 

Since joining The Hidden Genius Project’s Richmond 2 Cohort in 2018, Gari’un Godfrey has shown a desire to help his community. During his second summer, he created an app called ALERT to help promote local Bay Area businesses to citizens and tourists in the Bay Area. Gari’un believes that if we spend more of our time and money focusing on local businesses, the overall community will continue to grow and improve.

Today Gari’un is an 18-year-old freshman and SEED Scholar at the University of California: Berkeley who’s majoring in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. His goal is to obtain his master’s degree and become a software engineer for a FAANG company while also giving back to the Bay Area by teaching students of color computer coding. 

Connect with Gari’un on Linkedin HERE.

Jeremy Samuel, OAK5 Hidden Genius Alum 

Jeremy Samuel is a third-year Computer Science major at Loyola University Maryland. After graduating, Jeremy wants to pursue a career in app/web development, with hopes to even start his own company. During his time in our Intensive Immersion Program, Jeremy sparked a new passion for using technology to solve often overlooked challenges. With his interest in music and computer programming, he combined the two to create DJU. This application is an online service that connects the party to a DJ by requesting songs without stopping the party.

Connect with Jeremy on Linkedin HERE.

Julian Wilson, OAK6 Hidden Genius Alum 

 Julian Wilson is an 18-year-old Oakland native and alum of Oakland Cohort 6. During his senior year in high school, Julian was one of two Geniuses at The Hidden Genius Project who won the esteemed Posse Foundation scholarship. He is currently studying at Lehigh University as a student-athlete majoring in Computer Science and Business.

He learned of his passion for coding during his time in The Hidden Genius Project, and it has inspired Julian to create a venture rooted in teaching young people data analytics. Julian aspires to leverage his project idea to create a program that teaches data analytics to youth, combining the technology and sports field along with showing kids there are other ways to work in sports without having to physically play the game.

Connect with Julian on Linkedin HERE.

Brandon Pierre Bazile, RICH2 Hidden Genius Alum 

Brandon Pierre Bazile is a Youth Educator and an esteemed alumnus of The Hidden Genius Project’s Richmond Cohort 2. Brandon earned the “Best App” award at our 8th Annual End of Summer Celebration in 2019, and just 2 months after graduating from the program he went on to win the first Youth Pitch Competition at AfroTech–one of the largest multicultural tech conferences in the country.

Brandon aspires to build schools, lobby for the rights of the Black community, and increase Black representation on Wall Street. He is excited to continue building on his business ideas and further develop his skills as an entrepreneur and leader to funnel wealth back into communities of need. Now, as a rising junior studying computer science at Loyola Marymount University, Brandon is primed to become a key asset and leader in our 3rd Alumni Venture Seed Fund cohort.

Connect with Brandon on Linkedin HERE.

Langston Earl Scott, OAK4 Hidden Genius Alum 

Langston Earl Scott, alum of Oakland Cohort 4 of OAK4, aims to help individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder develop motor, sensory and auditory skills through different learning skills ACC and LAMP. With a blueprint ready, Langston looks to set his ideas in motion through the Alumni Venture Seed Fund and create the platform and service functions of his business. He also looks forward to conducting intensive research and different applied practices while elevating his leadership skills to build a team and reach out to potential advocates, partners, and funders for his business, MOTIV3.

Connect with Langston on Linkedin HERE.

2021-2022 GENIUS FOUNDER COHORT

Jayden Cummings

RICH2 Hidden Genius Alum

At an early age, Oakland native Jayden Cummings always dreamed of starting his own venture which could improve his life and others. During his time in our Intensive Immersion Program, Jayden created iBlinkco, a social media management platform that helps small businesses grow their presence on social media. In 2019, Jayden won the prestigious Congressional App Challenge award in Representative Barbara Lee’s district (District 13) for his iBlinkco app.

Now 18 year-old Jayden is a freshman at San Francisco State University majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration and plans on using his degree to improve his entrepreneurial and technical skills to support his ambitious aspirations.

Ndene Diallo

OAK5 Hidden Genius Alum

Ndene Diallo, a 20-year-old educator, front-end developer, and entrepreneur from Oakland, CA, discovered his love for technology while being the go-to technical expert and problem-solver in his family. This passion inspired Ndene to pursue a career in technology and he is currently attending Diablo Valley College as a Computer Science major with plans to transfer to a 4-year university.

Growing up, Ndene watched his mom use her signature Senegalese braiding skills as a stylist to help provide for the family. He noticed how his mom spent considerable time growing her clientele through various outreach methods, which to Ndene, seemed inefficient. This drove Ndene to develop Twisty, a platform designed to connect stylists with customers who are seeking specific hair styles.

Kevin Butler

OAK4 Hidden Genius Alum

Kevin Butler is CEO of TechZen Collective, a Black-owned art NFT marketplace where artists can transform their work into high-value NFTs, display their collection in a portfolio, and sell their work to their fans. Kevin is from Oakland, CA, and currently attends Laney College with plans to transfer to a 4-year university to get his Bachelors in Computer Science.

After completing our Intensive Immersion Program in 2016, Kevin continues to support The Hidden Genius Project by teaching basic computer science skills to current Geniuses as a Genius Fellow Educator. Kevin is deeply passionate about giving back to his community and aspires to create innovative ways to support the next generation of young people.

Ian Bundy-Weiss

RICH1 Hidden Genius Alum

Ian Bundy-Weiss is a 19-year-old junior majoring in Computer Science at California State University Long Beach. Upon graduation, Ian will pursue a Software Engineering job in web development and dreams of someday owning his own technology company.

During his time in our Intensive Immersion Program, Ian was motivated by his passion for technology and entrepreneurship and created My Drip, which is a platform where users can share and exchange clothing.

Desmond Paré

OAK3 Hidden Genius Alum

Born and raised in East Oakland, CA, Desmond Paré is a third-year student at Fisk University pursuing a degree in Computer Science. After graduating, Desmond intends to work as a Software Engineer while pursuing his Masters Degree in Computer Science. Programming is Desmond’s passion and he intends to continue educating young people of color about the benefits of learning how to code.

Inspired to help young people create wealth, Desmond has started to develop a web application called WeShare that tracks the stock market. The application will allow users to monitor and add specific stocks to a watchlist where basic information such as the current share price will be displayed.

INAUGURAL GENIUS FOUNDER COHORT

Honorebel Walker

OAK3 Hidden Genius Alum

As an Oakland native, Honorebel Walker cultivated his skills as a strong leader through his experience as a varsity sports captain and resident assistant at his boarding school. His goals are to have ownership of his ideas, creativity, and designs that will help improve the conditions of Black men and women all over the world.

Honorebel Walker is currently studying Design Engineering with a minor in architecture at the University of San Diego and is expected to graduate in 2023. When he graduates, Honorebel will continue to scale his company Divine, a personalized errand service, and open his own sustainable design company as a creative entrepreneur.

James Green

OAK4 Hidden Genius Alum

As an Oakland native, Honorebel Walker cultivated his skills as a strong leader through his experience as a varsity sports captain and resident assistant at his boarding school. His goals are to have ownership of his ideas, creativity, and designs that will help improve the conditions of Black men and women all over the world.

Honorebel Walker is currently studying Design Engineering with a minor in architecture at the University of San Diego and is expected to graduate in 2023. When he graduates, Honorebel will continue to scale his company Divine, a personalized errand service, and open his own sustainable design company as a creative entrepreneur.

Perry Irving

OAK3 Hidden Genius Alum

Perry Irving, a 20-year-old technologist and skateboard enthusiast from Oakland, CA is the Founder of iCreateSkateboards. He developed iCreateSkateboards to help skaters design and create their own customizable skateboard using a mobile device.

Perry is currently majoring in Computer Science at San Francisco State University and plans on using his degree to become a Software Engineer.
Honorebel Walker is currently studying Design Engineering with a minor in architecture at the University of San Diego and is expected to graduate in 2023. When he graduates, Honorebel will continue to scale his company Divine, a personalized errand service, and open his own sustainable design company as a creative entrepreneur.

Ronald Bolden III

RICH1 Hidden Genius Alum

Born and raised in Pinole, CA, Ronald Bolden III is an 18-year-old sophomore at San Diego State University. He is currently studying Business Management with a focus in entrepreneurship and minoring in political science. After undergrad, Ronald plans on becoming a lawyer, with the ultimate goal of becoming a judge one day.

During his time in the Intensive Immersion Program, Ronald blended his passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and law to create his tech project called Fix Ya Ticket, which aims to help people who receive traffic violations and educate them on ways to fight common infractions.

Malik Poole

OAK3 Hidden Genius Alum

Malik Poole is a sophomore at Morehouse College majoring in Software Engineering. During his time in our Intensive Immersion Program, Malik created an app called H.I.R.E (Helping Inmates Reach Employment) to help formerly incarcerated people find job opportunities and fight recidivism.

Now as a Youth Educator and avid social justice activist, Malik has inspired numerous young people to leverage technology to empower their communities through speaking engagements at Brothers Code, Fall Regional Conference for Region VI of NSBE, Know Your Rights Camp in Miami, the Remembrance Day Rally against Police Brutality and Community Violence, the Black Student’s Awards Night at Deer Valley High School, and several protests.