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 2021-2022 GENIUS FOUNDERS

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.

Connect with Jayden on Linkedin HERE.

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.

Connect with Ndene on Linkedin HERE.

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 NFT’s, 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.

Connect with Kevin on Linkedin HERE.

Ian Bundy-Weiss, OAK5 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 Hype Chat, which is a platform where users can share and exchange clothing. 

Connect with Ian on Linkedin HERE.

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 Shares 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.

Connect with Desmond on Linkedin HERE.

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.

On April 22, 2021, The Hidden Genius Project hosted its first-ever Genius Founders Showcase event, highlighting the young entrepreneurs in their inaugural Alumni Venture Seed Fund Program. Click HERE to watch the five young founders share their inspirational business pitches and experiences in this program.

2020-2021 STARTUP PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

BUSINESS IDEATION & VALIDATION PHASE

ALL THINGS LEGAL PHASE

TECHNOLOGY PHASE

MARKETING PHASE

INVESTOR READINESS PHASE

OUR PARTNERS