The support for the #TechRecap has been TREMENDOUS! Please continue to submit amazing leads on our site homepage! Here is the August edition of the #TechRecap as promised 🙂
Techies, Founders and Orgs to Follow
Tech entrepreneur and multi-hyphenate rising star who recently teamed up with Spike Lee to start a new series, titled “Archer,” The new dark comedy and sociological thriller will capture the life of a 20-something African-American coding genius and iconoclast living in Brooklyn who has developed a dating app that reads sexual chemistry.
AROUND THE CITY, AROUND THE COUNTRY
As a little kid, tech entrepreneur Sian Morson liked to sneak and stay up late. But instead of watching TV or playing video games, she was using butter knives to take apart electronics so she could figure out how to put them back together again. Read more…
Even the free Wednesday booze cart couldn’t sustain Grind, a coworking space in the Loop that closed its doors last month. Read more…
The preteen behind Me & the Bees Lemonade just got a generous financial bump from some NFL players. Read more…
Airbnb and the NAACP announced a partnership today to promote the rental service’s platform in communities of color. Read more…
Unable to find a platform where women in the tech industry can easily connect with each other to identify new projects and opportunities, Jumoke Dada was compelled to fill the gap. Read more…
Thanks to Outcome Health’s recent $500 million+ round, Chicago tech companies have now raised more than $1 billion in venture capital funding in 2017. Read more…
When Eric Osborne took the mic at a recent tech conference, it was clear that he wasn’t going to deliver your average high-energy, cheerleading tech screed. Read more…
PAY IT FORWARD – VOLUNTEER & YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES
Spotify presents “The Opening Act” HBCU Conference experience. Eager and talented students that attend Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU), with an interest in the music-tech and media industries can apply for an all expense paid trip to New York for this conference! Learn more here!
Blue Studios Parent Open House
Join the Blue Studios parent open house 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm on: Aug. 16th, 23rd, or 30th. Register here!
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) held a Tech Transit Talk in early July showcasing women in leadership in the transit industry. Attendees were able to get a first account of the impressive careers of CTA’s strategic leadership, the panelists included Chief of Staff Sylvia Garcia, Chief of Strategy and Technology Veronica Alanis and the Chief Planning Officer Carol Morey. One major take away from this panel, “all things do not occur in a straight line, our personal and professional journeys are indeed a jungle gym”.
Carole reminded us to wear many hats throughout our careers, each new venture will challenge our comfort zones. Veronica left us with some pointed and powerful words, “navigating a career as a minority is a uphill journey but for every opposer, there are many more that are willing to support you and even more that are willing to follow you”. Sylvia recounted her days as a recent graduate from DePaul University cold calling in pursuit of an opportunity with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Although she recalls a number of “curves”, Sylvia highlighted the priceless relationships she made along the way. From Presidential Management Fellow in Washington D.C. to CFO of the Department of Transportation and now Chief of Staff at CTA, all by at 31, Garcia made a path where one didn’t exist.
The League of Superwomen: A Powerful Discussion of Entrepreneurship
Memoirs of a Panel-a-holic,
Confession time! I’ve been to a ton of panels and I have to admit some of them start to sound the same. Any forum that allows for an open and honest discussion surrounding the trial ,error and triumphs of entrepreneurship gets a sure vote of “h*** yes” from me! Rendel Solomon of One Stock One Future and the League of Superwomen changed all of that for me and many others in the room. The Chicago Center for Arts & Technology was the perfect backdrop to host Chicago’s very own super women leading the way in entrepreneurship.
Watchen ” The Compass” Nyanue called out the pressures of society; “We carry expectations from our parents, society and so much more. Success is forging your path to freedom”. We were challenged to define what freedom meant to us, both on a personal and professional level. FREEDOM! Be unwilling to leave yourself at the door because your professionalism is rooted in your identity, there is NO compromise. PERIOD! Erica ” Sister Scientist” Douglass gave us all a reality check, “You can save yourself from failure but you are going to have to invest!’. Often times we commit to having everyone else’s back but we have to remember ‘I GOT ME!’”. She went on to say,”If I can do it for them, I can most certainly do it for myself”.
Chris-Tia ” The Naturalista” Donaldson literally opened our eyes to the blood, sweat, tears of entrepreneurship, ” There is nothing pretty about chasing your goals, you have to go after them like a junkyard dog!”. You have to be willing to “put skin in the game, put in your own sweat equity before you expect others to!”. Keisha “The Futurist” Howard had everyone in the room jotting down notes of encouragement when she reminded us the learning curve of entrepreneurship is steep but it’s totally normal!
There was one final question from the audience seeking advice on the quest for mentorship, our panelists provided the perfect answer: “Don’t focus so much on seeking mentorship, focus more on being a person that someone wants to mentor”. I can confirm without a doubt that everyone in the audience had similar thoughts at that exact moment, “Wow, wise words from truly spectacular superwomen!” Check out the event photos here!
ImBlackinTech™ Monthly Mixer
ABI.Chicago & The Founder Institute Founder Night Out – Entrepreneur Networking, Drinks & Fun
SCHOOL DAZE – LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Jamila Parham, “The Tech Unicorn”
Jamila Parham traded her dolls for game controllers and she instantly fell in love with technology. She went on to study Computer Graphics and Technology at DePaul University. Affectionately known as The Tech Unicorn, Jamila is an IT Leader, speaker, and a champion for diversity and inclusion. She advocates on behalf of under-represented communities in order to address the lack of diversity in STEM. Jamila is excited to join the ImBlackInTech team as the voice behind the #TechRecap.