Tag: black

Portland Venture Capital fund Black Founders Matter gets write up in The New York Times

While I’m extremely lucky to get the opportunity to see all kinds of amazing founders and companies here in Portland, it’s always nice when they’re recognized on a larger stage. Like today, when Marceau Michel and his venture capital fund, Black Founders Matter, were featured in The New York Times.

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Suddenly one Portlander — and one former Portlander — have a potential $50k startup investment burning a hole in their pockets

Now, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of Indie.vc. The way they’re rethinking traditional venture capital is right in line with the way companies are built around here. And their focus on generating revenue and founders retaining control has an appeal as well. So just imagine how much more of a fan I became when I heard that someone from Portland and someone who used to live in Portland were selected to help invest some Indie.vc capital.

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Black Founders Matter cuts first check for A Kids Book About

Speaking of new venture capital funds in Portland… Granted everything is pretty grim right now. And energy is hard to come by. Let alone optimism. So when there is a glimmer of something hopeful in the Portland startup community, that seems like something to celebrate. Like Portland’s Black Founders Matter fund making its first investment. In a Black founded Portland startup. And then that news making it into TechCrunch.

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What is the Black tech experience post COVID-19, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor?

For many folks, there’s more than the pandemic of COVID-19 affecting their lives. There are the equally damaging pandemics of systemic racism. And police violence. And exclusionary tactics and unconscious bias of the so-called “meritocracy” of startups and technology companies. So with all of these contributing factors colliding, what does the immediate future look like for Blacks in tech?

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REMINDER: Need something more to “Do”?

A few weeks ago, Stephen Green launched a new grassroots movement designed to leverage the momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement and empower individuals to help change the trajectory of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Portland business community, startups among them. It called upon folks to “Do. Do more. Do better.” And it’s grown to several hundred folks in Portland who are committed to doing the work.

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A framework for racial equity in startup ecosystems

As we continue to assess the potential recovery from this global pandemic, we’re also in the midst of beginning to address the systemic racism that plagues institutions, processes, and ecosystems in the startup world. To that end, Dell Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and Rodney Sampson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for The Opportunity Hub, have recently published a framework that combines those two efforts entitled “Building racial equity in tech ecosystems to spur local recovery.”

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Where are the Black tech executive men? PDX Blacks in Technology shares some examples

“If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” It’s a phrase I regularly encounter in the conversations about diversifying the startup and tech community. Meaning? Meaning that if you’re considering a career in tech and don’t see anyone who looks like you or shares your lived experience in executive roles, it’s more difficult to believe that you can actually succeed and excel in the industry. With that in mind, one may wonder where the senior Black men tech leaders are. And PDX Blacks in Technology has an answer.

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The Oregon Cares Fund: Tell Oregon politicians to invest CARES Act dollars in Black-owned startups and businesses

Going through one pandemic is more than enough for anyone. Imagine going through two. At the same time. That’s the case with Black-owned businesses and Black community support organizations as they battle both the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing effects of 400+ years of systemic racism. Now, there’s a chance to funnel federal CARES Act dollars into supporting these organizations with The Oregon Cares Fund.

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Racism in tech: Sharing a few articles that may help inform your perspective

As folks think through how to disentangle and deconstruct systemic racism in many of our institutions, it comes as little surprise that the tech industry falls under similar scrutiny. Long a falsely held “meritocracy,” our largely white industry has any number deeply troubling racist dynamics to it, from its current demographics to its culture to its technology. And it’s going to take long term work — and constant dedication to that work — to address these issues and implement necessary changes.

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PDXWIT and Alchemy Code Lab offer scholarship for Black and/or Indigenous women

Work to help diversify the tech industry needs to happen at all levels of the industry. From entry level to executive suite. So it’s always nice to see more programs that help folks get a foothold in the industry. Like Alchemy Code Lab partnering with PDXWIT (Portland Women in Tech) on a scholarship for Black and/or Indigenous women to participate in their professional software development program.

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