Tag: UrbanGeekz

TECH: Urbangeekz and Atlanta Tech Village Partner for Women and Minority Entrepreneur Contest

Christian Ross, VP/Managing Broker, Village Realty at Atlanta Tech Village (photo credit: Kunbi Tinuoye)

UrbanGeekz has joined forces with Atlanta Tech Village to offer women and underrepresented minorities the chance to be part of a thriving technology innovation hub in the heart of Atlanta.

We have teamed up to offer an exciting opportunity for a talented tech entrepreneur to gain around the clock access to Atlanta Tech Village’s flourishing startup community in the Buckhead district. 40aba8ae1838d185c69dee7563b62134_400x400

To help foster inclusion and engagement of underserved communities in the technology space, we are launching a competition where one lucky winner will win six months of free co-working space at Atlanta Tech Village’s state-of-the-art facility. The competition is open to women of any background and underrepresented minorities.

This is an amazing chance for one fortunate entrepreneur to kick-start their startup without having to worry about the cost of office space. It is also an invaluable opportunity to network, exchange ideas, access curated mentors, and much-needed resources.

To participate applicants should apply here and submit a video up to 60 seconds introducing themselves and their startup. Each submission will be judged based on the mission, viability, and the long-term impact of the company.

UrbanGeekz is less than a year old and in a short time we have had a lot of success, including partnerships with the likes of AT&T and 20th Century Fox,” says Kunbi Tinuoye, founder and CEO of UrbanGeekz, whose editorial team is based at Atlanta Tech Village (the Village). “But this collaboration is by far the most rewarding on both a personal and professional level. We’re thrilled to partner with Tech Village to support an ambitious entrepreneur.”

“Being an entrepreneur isn’t for the faint-hearted, “she adds. “You need a huge amount of faith, self-belief, and dogged determination. Having access to a supportive community, resources, mentorship, business coaching, and guidance on raising capital in a space like Tech Village can give entrepreneurs a tremendous boost to scale their startup.”

Atlanta Tech Village, a thriving ecosystem for tech firms, is the Southeast’s largest co-working and office environment for emerging technology companies and tech startups. There are nearly 300 companies and 900 plus members based in the Village. As one of the fastest-growing technology startup centers, the Village is dedicated to fostering innovation, encouraging collaboration, and driving economic development in Atlanta community and beyond.

“Atlanta Tech Village is proud to partner with UrbanGeekz to support entrepreneurship and empower women and minorities on their quest to change the world through technology,” says Karen Houghton, director of Atlanta Tech Village. “We are a community of innovators that becomes greater with ever increasing diversity. We understand that startups are hard, and having a community of positive, supportive people around you can be inspiring.”

“The Village offers an abundance of resources from work space to meet-ups and networking events, to mentors and advisors for advice. We look forward to growing our community and supporting entrepreneurs on their startup journey.”

Atlanta Tech Village is an incredible place for new startups to land. It’s so much more than an office space,” says Aliceson Y. King, whose company Center for Excellence in Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance (CEDSPV) is based at the Village. “It is a community that provides amazingly talented colleagues in a diverse array of areas and super knowledgeable mentors who can assist in guiding you and your business to success from the start. Being at ATV for the last year has made all the difference in moving my startup to the next level.”

Since its inception in 2013, the Village has been home to some of the most successful startups in Atlanta, such as Yik YakBitPay, and Insightpool. Three years in, it is one of the top 10 tech hubs in the U.S. The technology hub also boasts a competitive accelerator, Atlanta Ventures, where startups receive mentor support and up to $120,000 in investment capital.

Applicants must…

– Submit a video (up to 60 seconds) introducing themselves and their startup.

– Be over 18 years old.

– Be a woman (any demographic) or male/female underrepresented minority.

We will consider entrepreneurs from any field but our focus is on tech startups and technology related companies. The application deadline is March 13th at 11:59 pm EST.

Read more at: http://urbangeekz.com/2016/02/atlanta-tech-village-and-urbangeekz-partner-for-women-and-minority-entrepreneur-contest/#sthash.fg2HNIUd.dpuf

Homeless Veterans Get Second Chance To Rebuild Their Lives Through Technology

homeless veterans get second chance through technology
U.S. Veterans Buddy Holston and Darionne Lee to learn coding via Tech Talent South in Atlanta

Two U.S. veterans who have struggled with homelessness are being given a second chance to rebuild their lives thanks to a community partnership that empowers the men to master advanced coding and computer programming skills.

The grassroots initiative makes it possible for the ex-servicemen to complete an 8-week intensive, full-time, coding course at Tech Talent South’s offices in metropolitan Atlanta, where they will learn everything from HTML/CSS to Ruby on Rails.

“We have seen coding change lives, and we are excited to extend that opportunity to our veterans who truly need it,” says Richard Simms, co-founder of Tech Talent South (TTS), a coding boot camp dedicated to fostering talent in technology throughout the Southeast. “We hope to give them a valuable skill set that helps them get back on their feet.”

The initiative, a partnership between Tech Talent South, Back on My Feet, Homegrown, Veterans Empowerment Organization, Accenture, and UrbanGeekz, will serve as a lifeline for both men who have faced tough times since leaving the armed forces. The nonprofit organization Back on My Feet received a grant from Accenture to put the homeless vets through the TTS course.

Originally from Chicago, Buddy Holston, 58, joined the armed forces in 1980 and served for a decade. He says he is thrilled by the chance to gain the skills needed to start a career in technology.

“I’m really excited about this,” says Holston. “I hope to become proficient in coding and be able to make practical use of those skills. After Tech Talent South, I hope to obtain employment and also share what I learn with others, particularly those in underserved communities.”

In fact, according to US News, the Labor Department considers web development to be one of the fastest-growing careers this decade, and it predicts employment will swell by about 20 percent by 2022. Given that demand, the training gives the men an opening to get back on track and boost their job prospects.

Holston says he has always had an interest in technology. While living at the Veterans Empowerment Organization, he even began trying to build his own Google App.

“I started tinkering with my first bike. I took it apart just to put it back together. It’s the same with toy trains and tape recorders. Throughout high school and college, I liked engineering, math, and science. I always wanted to learn more.”

Atlanta native Darionne Lee, 29, received training from Job Corps before joining the armed forces in 2009. He served for 3 years. He has also worked as a Machine and Forklift Operator and dabbled in AutoCAD Programming.

“I hope to break into the tech field,” says Lee. “I have always been interested in technology.  When I was in the service, I was exposed to so many different technologies and types of programs. I definitely want to learn more.”

To read the rest of this article, go to: UrbanGeekz.com


TECH: Award-Winning Journalist Kunbi Tinuoye Launches UrbanGeekz.com, Website for Underserved Minorities in Technology, Business and Science

UrbanGeekz CEO and Founder Kunbi Tinuoye (Photo: Jerome Dorn)
UrbanGeekz CEO and Founder Kunbi Tinuoye (Photo credit: Jerome Dorn)

Kunbi Tinuoye, former broadcast journalist and correspondent for the BBC, MSNBC and TheGrio.com, and current on-air contributor to Arise News’ business show Xchange, has recently launched UrbanGeekz.com, a groundbreaking digital news platform dedicated to African-Americans and other underrepresented minorities in technology, science and business. The site offers reviews, interviews, commentary, and original video on startups, geek gadgets, social media, scientific advancements, entrepreneurship and insight into Silicon Valley and the global technology industry. The cutting-edge online publication also provides authoritative lifestyle and entertainment content.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, UrbanGeekz.com, live only since February 9th of this year, has already partnered with telecom giant AT&T and Black Enterprise Magazine to provide content to and about the underserved communities in the tech space. The website also has created a much-needed outlet for dialogue on the most pressing and relevant issues in STEM-related fields: conversations surrounding the preparedness of students to pursue STEM careers, the lack of diversity in the STEM workforce and challenges facing minorities in the tech start-up scene.

Tinuoye, whose parents immigrated to the United Kingdom from Nigeria, was born, raised and educated in London.  She graduated from Cambridge University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social and Political Sciences and later received a post-graduate diploma in print journalism. She is also an NCTJ qualified UK professional journalist.

Tinuoye began her career writing for the prestigious London newspaper, the Evening Standard.  After stints there and with the BBC, she immigrated to the United States, settling in Atlanta and working for TheGrio.com and MSNBC as a journalist and on-air contributor.

logo_v5-2Good Black News recently caught up with Tinuoye and got a chance to talk to this ambitious and intelligent entrepreneur about her journey, why she started UrbanGeekz, and her visions for African-Americans in tech in the near future:

Good Black News:  What initially attracted you to journalism?

Kunbi Tinuoye:  I’m a communicator – that’s just the core of my personality – I’m a people person.  I’ve worked across most platforms, from television to print journalism.  I enjoy every aspect of the media industry.

Which aspect of journalism do you like the most?

I started as a writer.  Knowing how to write and tell a story is really the core.  I say to aspiring journalists, “Make sure you learn how to write,” because once you can put together a well-crafted sentence and get to the crux of a story, then you’ve the ability to be a good journalist.

What made you decide to leave the United Kingdom for the United States?

Me and my husband came on holiday to Atlanta about seven years ago and we basically fell in love with the States.  One of my husband’s friends relocated here and was living a comfortable life.  Seeing how black  professionals live in America, particularly in Atlanta, where you have the ability to work your way up the corporate ladder… I think it was that, the lifestyle and I thought there would be more opportunities for me here.

Do you prefer it here in America?

I absolutely love Atlanta. I feel like I found home. It feels like where I’m meant to be.

Do you have a different perspective on black issues in America being from a different country?

I probably do have a different perspective. For me, coming as an immigrant I feel that, and maybe specifically to Atlanta, which I think is a great place for black professionals, for me there seems to be a phenomenal amount of opportunity, but that’s from my perspective. I know race is a huge issue in America, I’m very aware of that – in London there’s racism as well – maybe at a slightly different level, but of course I’m aware of injustice and all of the issues going on, but at the same time I see America as the land of opportunity – that’s my perspective.

Your experience has spanned three countries – Nigeria through your parents, England and the United States.  How do you identify?

K:  What can I say… being Nigerian is very important to me, so I would identify as a British Nigerian.  I’ve been in the States four years, and now it’s like home.

Why did you start UrbanGeekz?

I was at the Grio for close to four years and it was a phenomenal job. But I felt there was a gap in the market. There wasn’t a minority-led news platform tackling issues related to STEM and the technology industry, which as you know is an important space that’s going to become even more significant in the coming years.  The other reason that sparked me to launch UrbanGeekz was when the big tech companies, such as Facebook and Google, released their diversity stats and showed dismal numbers of African-Americans and women. I think that and the combination of just thinking we’re not covering these stories was the impetus.

Who do you consider your competition in the digital tech space?

I’ve got a huge vision for UrbanGeekz.  I want the platform to compete with the big players like TechCrunch  and the African-American and even the Latino digital news outlets as well.  They aren’t my competition now because we’ve just started, but I hope to be at the same level further down the line.

What do you see as the near future for blacks and people of color in tech and science?

There’s been so much conversation about this right now.  It’s a hot topic.  Some of the big firms, including Intel and Apple, have made major announcements within the last year, [earmarking] money for underserved minorities and women. So I feel and I hope that people of color – and I say “people of color” because UrbanGeekz is a multi-cultural website – African-Americans of course, but I do want to include Latino market at some point and even Africans and Afro-Latinos as well – my hope is that particularly with the current discussion, people of color will become more and more involved in STEM and the tech space. Technology is important and when you look at the high-demand jobs of the future, many require STEM or tech skills.  Underserved minorities and women need to have this skill set to level the playing field.

Are East Indians and Asians thought of as “people of color” in tech?

They are doing much better in tech. UrbanGeekz is for underrepresented communities in the technology industry.

Do you think there is enough awareness around disparity in the tech industry?

Before those diversity statistics were publicly released there wasn’t too much focus on the giant tech companies. But people like Reverend Jesse Jackson have been vocal and continued to put the spotlight on the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley. Now the issue is a hot topic. It’s also about what kind of skills and jobs that will be in demand in the future. STEM skills are vital for career progression and the continued growth of the U.S. economy. These companies are the new Fortune 500 companies, the new GM [General Motors] or U.S. Steel.

Further down the line, Tinuoye and UrbanGeekz will be launching the UrbanGeekz 100, an annual list of underrepresented minorities making strides in science and technology.  The handpicked list will culminate with an on-site exclusive awards gala honoring these dynamic leaders and influencers of color who have achieved success in their prospective industries.

To check out the website, go to UrbanGeekz.com. On social media, find UrbanGeekz at: Twitter: @UrbanGkz, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/urbangeekz, Instagram: @UrbanGkz, Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/urbangeekzcom/  Google Plus: http://google.com/+Urbangeekz, and YouTube: http://youtube.com/c/Urbangeekz.

Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Founder/Editor-In-Chief
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson, GBN Founder/Editor-In-Chief