WHYY: New Philly conference aims to draw communities of color to the city’s tech sector

Named for Frederick Douglass’ abolitionist newspaper, the idea came after Mayor Jim Kenney left the 2017 South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas disappointed by the lack of diversity among the participants and speakers. His office teamed up with Black and Brown Founders, a local nonprofit that supports black and Latinx entrepreneurs, especially those with modest means, to create a new conference to engage communities of color in technology.

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NBC Philadelphia: Project Northstar Conference

Black and Brown Founders executive director Aniyia Williams dropped by the studio to talk about the Project Northstar Conference that is taking place this week. The conference is working to close the wealth gap in the communities that have typically been marginalized. At the conference, you can expect entrepreneur and technology discussions.

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Technically Philly: The bar is set high for Philly’s first NorthStar Conference

In 2017, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney returned from his first visit to megaconference South by Southwest (SXSW) with one concern: The rooms he was in did not reflect his city’s demographics.

As a response, Kenney said, Philly should host its own big tech conference and call it the NorthStar Conference, in honor of Frederick Douglass’s anti-slavery publication. On Tuesday, the City announced the event was indeed coming together, with the help of a nonprofit called Black & Brown Founders.

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The City and Black & Brown Founders Announce Project NorthStar

PHILADELPHIA — The City of Philadelphia and Black & Brown Founders, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, announced they are partnering to bring Project NorthStar to life this fall. The 3-day tech conference and pre-conference “NorthStar Mayor’s Summit” will take place October 2-5, 2018, providing connections, education, and opportunities to 500+ current or aspiring entrepreneurs and knowledge workers from the Black and Latinx community that want to participate in the innovation economy.

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Black Enterprise: Tech x OAK Summit Launches for Founders of Color

Oakland Startup Network of the Kapor Center in partnership with Black & Brown Founders is launching the Tech x Oakland (Tech x OAK) Summit, a two-day gathering for founders of color created by founders of color, which will take place April 20, 2018 (9:30 a.m.–7 p.m.) at Kapor Center and April 21, 2018 (9:30 a.m.–9 p.m.) at Port Workspaces in Oakland, California. The event will consist of workshops, lightning talks, panels, mentor sessions, and networking.

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The Grio: SXSW: 5 priceless business tips from Black women start-up founders

However, there is a real problem when it comes to safe spaces to discuss these issues are discussed in a productive manner. Luckily, there are strong collectives and voices that have emerged from across the country. Enter Hustle House. The event, held at this year’s SXSW Interactive conference, was packed with content that called out for tangible solutions to common start-up founder problems.

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Technically Philly: 21 experts are talking entrepreneurship at Black & Brown Founders

In a push to level the playing field, Tinsel founder Aniyia Williams launched an effort called Black & Brown Founders, which held its first conference in May of this year in San Francisco.

“People who are trying to build a businesses are being told a story of how to get venture capital money, but the reality is a different one for women and people of color,” said Williams, a Penn State grad. “The checks just aren’t being cut.”

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Forbes: Rewriting the Playbook for Black and Brown Founders

Fed up with ugly plastic headphones that tangled up in her purse and ruined her cute outfits, Aniyia Williams created a solution: ear buds that look like a fashionable necklace. This past fall, her company, Tinsel, debuted its first product, the Dipper, a stylish necklace that has the full functionality of regular headphones. But starting a wearable tech company as a black female founder was not easy.

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