Meet the 2021-2022 cohort of Genius Founders in our Alumni Venture Seed Fund Program — a dynamic mentorship experience designed to support the advancement of our young entrepreneurs through the five phases of startup development, while intentionally supporting a deeper understanding of the space and application.

Over the next five months, these Hidden Genius Alumni will 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. These young men will partake in a series of workshops and exercises focused on these core startup 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.

FOUNDING PROGRAM ARCHITECTS

Jackson Cummings
Investor, Salesforce Ventures

Jackson Georges Jr.
Vice President, Capital G

Zach Singleton
Sr. Product Manager, Marketplace Trust & Privacy Engineering, Uber

Joey Flores
Chief Marketing Officer, Chefling Inc. 

PROGRAM SUPPORTERS

Emmanuel Dawson
Strategy & Operations Analyst, Deloitte

Keenan D. Williams
Co-Founder, President & Head of Partnerships, Rezi

Jonathan Dickson
Site Reliability Engineer, Cisco

Simone A. White
VP of Business Development & Client Services, Blavity Inc.

Ezra Kebrab
Founder & CEO, Stealth Startup

Princess K. Allen
Consultant, Slalom

Erin Rowe
Founder & CEO, Allspring

Cooper Newby
Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, BlueCrew

Nikkisha Smith
Corporate Associate, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Mustafa Shakur
Principle, Pivot Development Group

Marc Guirand
Foudner & CEO, Derisk.vc

Ryan Diew
Senior Associate, Base Ventures

Jason Norman
Partner, Concrete Rose Capital

Allison Baum Gates
General Partner, SemperVirens Venture Capital

Theo Williams
Senior Manager, Portfolio Development 

Memo Kahan
President, PromoShop Inc.

Janine O’ Neill
Director, Talent, Sequoia Capital

Allison Caragan
Administrative Business Partner, Capital G 

Barbara G. Robinson
Director, Client Contracting

Suzeth Campos
University Recruiter, GoDaddy

Andrew Overton
Director of Engineering, Learn In

Darian Chornodolsky
VP Platform Growth, Wirewax

Lisa Love
Co-Founder & CMO, Tanoshi

Erik Moore
Managing Director, Base Ventures

Amhed Herrera
Software Engineering Lead, Dropbox

Eli Taylor
Sr. Software Engineering, Cypher LLC.

Marisa Richardson
Director, Strategy Program Integration, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Adarius Bell
Designer, Jordan Brand Global, Nike

Alphonso Sensley II
VP – iOS Software Engineer II, Bank of America

Matthew Dedon
Attorney, Start Art Legal

Ted Paff
Founder, Bootstrap Thinking

Kelly Littlepage
Founder & CEO, OneChronos

Paul Navarro
Counsel, Perkins Coie LLP

Scott Hanselman
Partner Program Manager, Microsoft

Trista Myers
Head of Events, Salesforce Ventures

Brandon J. Middleton-Pratt
Attorney, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Daniel Jhin Yoo
Founder, Goalbook

PARTNERS

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