Kapor Center Awards $1 Million to Fund Diversity in Tech
Byte Back Awarded $100,000 in National Tech Done Right Challenge
OAKLAND, Calif. and WASHINGTON – The Kapor Center announced the winners of its inaugural $1 million Tech Done Right Challenge grant competition. The challenge identified 10 social impact organizations who are building a more diverse and inclusive tech economy locally and nationally. Each winning organization will receive a $100,000 grant.
“We were thrilled with the number of strong applicants from all over the country for this timely challenge,” remarked Cedric Brown, Chief Foundation Officer at the Kapor Center. “We’re confident that these grants can propel the important work of these 10 organizations to the next level. Together we’re moving toward a tech sector that provides robust opportunities for previously untapped and overlooked talent.”
“Our economy has changed, and Byte Back is providing the training for individuals who have been left behind,” said Elizabeth Lindsey, executive director of Byte Back. “Thanks to the Tech Done Right Challenge and our partnership with the Kapor Center, we’re building a more equitable and inclusive tech sector. We’re thinking differently about diversity, and together we’re changing the face of tech.”
The Tech Done Right Challenge launched in March 2019 to galvanize cross-sector collaborations in cities across the U.S. to build diverse and inclusive tech ecosystems. A key requirement of the challenge is to find solutions that embrace innovation through prototypes, experimentation and iteration through public and private collaborations. The Tech Done Right Challenge is possible through the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The challenge asked organizations to answer: What is your innovative solution to build a diverse and thriving inclusive tech ecosystem in your community?
The following are the winning organizations and their focus cities for implementing innovative solutions to diversify the technology industry:
- Baltimore Corps | Baltimore
- Bixel Exchange | Los Angeles
- blackcomputerHER Data Science Executives | Houston
- Byte Back | Washington
- Generation Titans | Albuquerque, N.M., Austin, Texas and Pittsburgh
- Goodie Nation | Atlanta
- HBCUvc | National
- Oakland Codes | Oakland, Calif.
- Project United Knowledge | Kansas City, Mo.
- The Knowledge House | Bronx, N.Y.
A total of 120 applications from 48 U.S. cities were submitted, focused on interventions at the Post-Secondary, Tech Workforce, and Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital segments. The 10 award winners come from a range of locations across the Midwest, the South, and from both coasts. All of the winning organizations focus on increasing representation of underrepresented people of color in our tech economy via tech talent or entrepreneurship/venture capital programs.
In 2018 the Kapor Center released the Leaky Tech Pipeline, a research framework that identifies the systemic barriers which underlie the lack of diversity in tech. While the tech sector has the potential to bring jobs, innovation and wealth to communities, far too many women and people of color remain excluded from the technology economy as tech workers, founders or investors. The Tech Done Right Challenge seeks to reverse this trend by supporting trailblazers who have holistic solutions to build inclusive tech economies.
About the Kapor Center:
The Kapor Center is a recognized leader in the movement to enhance diversity and inclusion in the technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem through increasing access to tech and STEM education programs, conducting research on access and opportunity in computing, investing in community organizations and gap-closing social ventures and increasing access to capital among diverse entrepreneurs. For more information, visit www.kaporcenter.org.
About Byte Back:
Byte Back provides a pathway of inclusive tech training that leads to living-wage careers. As a leader in digital inclusion since 1997, Byte Back has helped hundreds of graduates launch living-wage careers that use technology. In 2018, 50 graduates were hired, earning $27,599 more per year than before Byte Back training.