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Blacktech Week in the News

Miami’s Black Tech Week Draws 1,600 EntrepreneursTaylor Lewis. Essence.com. Feb 23, 2016

…In addition to discussions and panels, including sessions that explored ways to diversify STEM fields in a push to get overlooked populations like former prisoners involved, female entrepreneurs attended a women’s innovation brunch, and Power Moves Miami, an incubator for underrepresented entrepreneurs, hosted a pitch competition. “You have to build the city that you want,” Fletcher said to the Huffington Post. “Black Tech Week is our gift to the ecosystem in Miami…There is such genius and raw talent in our community. We don’t need to leave our community to be successful.”

Could Miami Be The New Hub For Black Entrepreneurs? Donna Owens. NBCNews.com. The goal is to support entrepreneurs of color and shift mindsets from merely consuming social media and technology to developing it. The topic seems especially timely during Black History Month. “We have amazing genius and raw talent in our communities,” Hatcher told an enthusiastic crowd at the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts during a preview reception.

 

Black Entrepreneurs Take Over Miami For Black Tech WeekTyree A. Boyd-Pates. HuffingtonPost.com. Feb 23, 2016.

Carla Harris, Morgan Stanley’s Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management and Senior Client Advisor, discussed the importance of having events like PowerMoves Miami. Impressed by the caliber of entrepreneurs at this year’s conference, she stated, “PowerMoves Miami has been able to source high quality, high growth entrepreneurs and develop them.” She predicted that PowerMoves Miami will be the place for great investors and entrepreneurs of color to meet and build with one another. “This will be the place where you will be able to find entrepreneurs of color on a larger scale.”

Sheila Herrling, Case Foundation’s SVP of Social Innovation, said the same. In a conversation, Herrling mentioned that the obstacles preventing the visibility of entrepreneurs of color is due to the standard myths of entrepreneurism which, in turn, affects participation. To offset this, she shared, we must “tap into the social capital” that entrepreneurs of color possess-something she feels PowerMoves is doing in real time.

Earl Robinson, CEO of PowerMoves and the New Orleans Startup fund, stated that, “people tend to overcomplicate entrepreneurship. When a really talented entrepreneur receives the right capital it can assist his/her community. PowerMoves was put in place to “even out the unevenness of wealth distribution in some communities and make sure those communities have heroes that are well resourced.”

Black Tech Week Recap: Voices of the Inspired & EmpoweredDonna Owens. NBCNews.com. Feb 22, 2016.   …From sessions on funding start-ups, to youth functions and a women’s innovation brunch that closed the summit, participants expressed enthusiasm about the thought-provoking dialogue experienced at this cultural conference. That dovetails with the vision of event co-founders Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson who aim to move the needle forward in terms of growing Black entrepreneurship in the tech sphere.

“To see all these innovators in a room and people who look like you is inspiring,” said Barbara Jacques, CEO of Jacq’s Organics, an e-commerce site that carries cleansers, face oils, and other natural beauty products. “It’s empowering,” said the Haitian-American entrepreneur, who was a panelist at Saturday’s women’s tech celebration…

Blerds Unite: Black Tech Week Makes Big Splash In MiamiDesire Thompson. Vibe.com. Feb 18, 2016. “We have amazing genius and raw talent in our communities,” Hatcher said about the event. Clarence Wooten, the founder of VentureFund.io, also shared the importance of spreading innovation awareness. “Black Tech Week is a very important event for a number of different reasons, Wooten said.  “There is a perception that blacks aren’t creators of tech. The diversity discussion in Silicon Valley illustrates that perception. The 12-year old boy and girl programmers in our community must have positive examples of success to be inspired by, and the greater tech community can take notice”

Powermoves Launches, Black Tech Week Opens Amid Sobering StatisticsNancy Dahlberg. MiamiHerald.com. February 17, 2016.   PowerMoves, a new entrepreneurship program aimed at building a pipeline of entrepreneurs of color, launched in Miami this week. Black Tech Week, a celebration of entrepreneurs of color, runs through Saturday. Both events aim to increase the pipeline of entrepreneurs of color and connect them with resources.

This week, in partnership with Black Tech Week, PowerMoves held a three-day bootcamp for about 15 entrepreneurs that will culminate in a demo day open to the public Wednesday morning at the Fontainebleau. On Tuesday PowerMoves held two pitch competitions for eight selected entrepreneurs around the country, including two teams from South Florida: Court Buddy, a Miami-based matching service for a la carte legal services, and Kweak, a video messaging platform company based in Miami and Berlin. Taking home $25,000 each were Better Weekdays, a mobile job-matching platform, and Virgil, a mobile-first career navigation platform.

“I was blown away by the ideas and the execution of the ideas so far. The ideas presented not only solved big social problems but would have great multiplier effects,” said Carla Harris, a judge in the pitch contest and vice chairman of wealth management for Morgan Stanley, presenting sponsor of the event. She sees a long future for PowerMoves in Miami building a pipeline of entrepreneurs of color: “It is my thought that this will become the place for sophisticated investors who are looking for next generation technology and are specifically looking for entrepreneurs of color – they will have to come to PowerMoves to find them.”

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