(Photo by Pexels user Christina Morillo, used under a Creative Commons license)
Technical.ly’s Editorial Calendar explores a different topic each month. The August 2018 topic is Technologists of Color. These stories highlight the contributions of technologists and entrepreneurs of color across Technical.ly’s five markets.
Technologists of color are part of the backbone of Delaware’s tech economy, and a growing part of its future. This month, Technical.ly is shining a light on some of the state’s TOC, from up-and-coming young entrepreneurs to leaders in the tech community.
We asked these 11 Delaware TOC how tech has impacted their lives. Here’s what they said.
“I love being a software engineer, but because of that, I am hyper aware of the position that I have as a black woman in the tech space. I am vocal about diversity, inclusion, and the path to harmony between the two. The future of techs of color does not only rely on the underprivileged, but also with our counterparts in positions to acknowledge, speak up, and to stimulate sustainable change.”
Gideon is the managing director of computer-repair service NERDiT NOW in Wilmington.
“From a young age I started fixing computers and turned my love for that into my business NERDiT NOW. My passion in life is to give back to the community that has given so much to me by donating computers to lower-income families to help give those a boost towards accomplishing their dreams.”
Tennessee G. Gibbs II
Gibbs is a recent graduate of Zip Code Wilmington who is originally from Felton.
“After technology eliminated my Wall Street position on the New York Stock Exchange, surprisingly, technology quickly moved from my hobby to the passion that fueled my new career. I always wanted get plugged into the core of new technology. I now have a foundation in software development and my new journey is just beginning. It is amazing to be apart of the increasing diversity in technological sector. Expanding borders, helps teams to grow, and will revolutionize the future of technology.”
Rivera is a software developer for JPMorgan Chase in Wilmington.
“I got into tech after learning about a program called Zip Code, which I attended. I love technology and what can be accomplished with it. I’m inspired by the fact that it is always changing and that allows me to learn something new and improve my skills every day.”
The founder of OpportuniMe is off to study at Boston’s Northeastern University this fall.
“I’m passionate about tech because it has the power to solve problems, connect people, and increase efficiency. Through my company, OpportuniMe, my team and I are leveraging tech to make it easier for young people to access amazing experiential learning, enrichment, and employment opportunities.”
Olatunji (Miracle’s sister) is the founder of the Student Leadership Initiative Program, a board member of GripTape, an emerging photographer and a junior at the Charter School of Wilmington.
“The world of tech has always been a marvel to me as a student; through this vastly expanding platform, I have interacted with photography, advocacy, education, and leadership. The ability to teach these skills and to continue to pass them along to other generations is what will further propel the field of technological innovation.”
Olatunji (Deborah’s sister) is the founder of a new carpooling app for high-school communities called A.C.T. (Actively Commuting Together). She’s currently a junior at the Charter School of Wilmington.
“I have drawn a lot of inspiration from the Wilmington tech community. I believe that experimental learning is very important, as well as networking and tapping into available resources, in every aspect of life. I aspire to call myself a developer in the next six months to a year.”
Toscano is a Chromebook tech for Red Clay Consolidated School District.
“I got into tech through a program called ITWorks, and I got into tech knowing that the future of tech is always evolving and soon technology will be helping the community in little things.”
James Othman Massaquoi
Massaquoi is the cofounder and chief marketing officer of Intellecta, a software development firm and creators of startups like 360VR technology. Massaquoi is a junior at the University of Delaware originally from Dover.
“I am one of the few young people of color truly involved in the Delaware tech scene without any technical skills. I think people, of all colors, are scared to interact with the tech space because they think they have to be a ‘Master Hacker’ to talk software, write about their thoughts on the future of tech, or participate in a hackathon. I am proof that’s wrong and that our perspective matters as ‘non-tech people,’ the faster people that people, especially people of color, realize this the better.”
The founder of Urbinvest, LLC lives in New Castle and was an intern for Technical.ly while a student at the University of Delaware.
“I’m passionate about inclusive ecosystem building and I’m inspired by founders like Morgan Debaun creating platforms like Afrotech, connecting techies of color working to build the future together. We’re living in a pivotal time for techies of color, for example Backstage Capital announcing a $36M fund for Black women, Morgan Debaun of Blavity raising a $6.5M round with GV, and Sundial Brands announcing their $100M ‘New Voices Fund’ for women of color.”
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