MIAMI—Feb. 8, 2015—The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced $250,000 in new support to Black Tech Week, the six-day conference that showcases innovation, creativity and technology in the black community. Presented by Miami-based Code Fever, an organization that teaches minority youth how to code and build entrepreneurial skills, the event will take place in South Florida for a second year. It is being held from Feb. 14-19.
“Second Black Tech Week spotlights Miami’s position at the intersection of diversity and innovation” by Fernando Gonzalez on Knight Blog, 2/8/2016
Launched in 2015 with Knight funding, the weeklong series of events will expand this year, celebrating innovators of color, advancing their work and helping them connect to extend their networks and build impact. It will host discussions and explore ideas around how to grow black entrepreneurship, provide training and information for emerging innovators and students, and create a platform to strengthen the black community’s involvement in the tech sector.
“Resource magnetism is the focus for Black Tech Week 2016,” said Felicia Hatcher, co-founder of Code Fever. “We will build on last year’s momentum and provide a fun and engaging experience that allows everyone in the community to connect the dots as it relates to innovation and culture. Most importantly, we want people to find all the resources that they need to not just be active participants in the innovation economy but leaders.”
“Building a strong, diverse and inclusive startup community is key to Miami’s growth and securing its reputation as a global innovation hub,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami. “Black Tech Week recognizes our city’s diversity as a great asset; it aims to break down barriers while shining a light on news ways to hone and expand the great talent of black entrepreneurs.”
Participants will have a host of opportunities to connect and network with global entrepreneurs and investors, while attending sessions such as: Digital Civil Rights, Design Thinking and Employability, AfroFuturism, and Startup, Stay Up and Scale Up. The event will feature a three-day technology summit, interactive workshops, a Women’s Innovation Brunch, venture capital mentor sessions, as well as a pitch competition that will allow entrepreneurs to present their ideas in front of potential investors.
In addition, PowerMoves, a national initiative to increase the number of venture-backed, high-growth and high-tech companies will host early-stage and Series A startup boot camps. Knight Foundation recently supported the expansion of PowerMoves to Miami, and Black Tech Week is coincides with the organization’s launch.
Discussions will be led by prominent global investors, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, including representatives from: SnapChat, Twitter, Gigameet.com, Priceline, Go Scale Capital and many more.
Support for Black Tech Week forms part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Miami’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity. Over the past three years Knight has made more than 100 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.
Additional details about Black Tech Week, including other sponsors, the schedule of events, confirmed speakers and participants, and registration information can be found at blacktechweek.com.
About Code Fever
Code Fever is a community program committed to getting our communities up to code. The mission of Code Fever is to inspire more underserved minority students between the ages of 13 to 21 to code, build and create technology enterprises within their communities, close the gap in technology education, and become leaders in STEM fields by increasing the number of young startup founders. For more, visit codefevermiami.com.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.
Felecia Hatcher, Code Fever Miami, 305-482-1832, [email protected]
Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2646 [email protected]