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Kapor Center Awards $1 Million to Fund Diversity in Tech

joey womack-goodie nation-Tech Done Right (TDR) Challenge-Kapor Center- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Kapor Center has announced the winners of its inaugural $1 Million Tech Done Right (TDR) Challenge grant competition. The California-based organization has handpicked ten social impact organizations from across the U.S. who are building a more diverse and inclusive tech economy. Each winning organization receives a $100,000 grant to galvanize their efforts.

“We were thrilled with the number of strong applicants from all over the country for this timely challenge,” said Cedric Brown, Chief Foundation Officer at the Kapor Center. “We’re confident that these grants can propel the important work of these ten organizations to the next level. Together we’re moving toward a tech sector that provides robust opportunities for previously untapped and overlooked talent.”

The Tech Done Right Challenge launched in March 2019 to enhance cross-sector collaborations in cities across the U.S. to build diverse and inclusive tech ecosystems. A key focus 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.

“Atlanta already has the necessary assets to help some of its best startups reach their potential, and I’m excited to create ecosystem efficiency by integrating additional pipeline partners into this initiative as we march toward creating sustainable diverse-led and social impact startups.”

The Challenge asked organizations to answer: What is your innovative solution to build a diverse and thriving inclusive tech ecosystem in your community?

A total of 120 applications from 48 U.S. cities were submitted. They focused on a range of issues, including interventions at the post-secondary, tech workforce, and entrepreneurship & venture capital segments.

The ten 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.

“We must be intentional about making sure our highest-potential startups succeed,” said Joey Womack, founder and CEO of Goodie Nation, one of the grantee winners. Under the umbrella of Goodie Nation, in partnership with techPLUG and Collab, Womack is gearing up for the launch of The Intentionally Good Project, a collective impact initiative that unifies corporate, social good ecosystems, and diverse-led and impact startups in Atlanta.

“Atlanta already has the necessary assets to help some of its best startups reach their potential, and I’m excited to create ecosystem efficiency by integrating additional pipeline partners into this initiative as we march toward creating sustainable diverse-led and social impact startups.”

Below is a list of the ten winners.

Main Image and Video: Joey Womack, Founder and CEO of Goodie Nation, one of the recipients of the Tech Done Right (TDR) Challenge grant contest

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Kunbi Tinuoye
Kunbi Tinuoye
Kunbi Tinuoye is the founder and CEO of UrbanGeekz. Previously, she worked as a News Correspondent for NBC’s theGrio. Prior, she was a senior broadcast journalist for the BBC in London. Tinuoye currently sits on the SXSW Pitch Advisory Board and CES Conference Advisory Board. She is a key player in the Atlanta tech startup ecosystem and serves as a mentor for Comcast NBCUniversal’s The Farm Accelerator. Tinuoye has received several awards and accolades, including being honored with a Resolution from the Georgia Legislative.
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