Diversity & Inclusion
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Meet the founder behind Diversitech, a national conference in Philadelphia where ‘community, tech and culture collide’

Tribaja’s Shannon Morales joins the Founding Philly podcast to talk about her journey and mission to create a more inclusive tech and startup scene.

Shannon Morales, founder of Tribaja and curator of Diversitech (Courtesy)
This is a guest post by Founding Philly host Zach Brand. A version of it originally appeared in the podcast's newsletter. It appears here as part of a media partnership between Technical.ly and Founding Philly.

Philadelphia is home to one of the largest inclusion-focused tech conferences on the East Coast. That’s thanks to local entrepreneur Shannon Morales. 

Called Diversitech, the conference is expected to draw 1,000 professionals to Center City on May 7-10, to network, learn from each other, and build lasting relationships. 

That the event grew so quickly took Morales, founder of connection and hiring platform Tribaja, almost entirely by surprise. 

“We never in a million years thought we were going to be national this fast,” Morales said on an episode of Founding Philly. “The thought was we were going to stay in Philly, grow in Philly and be one of the largest talent networks in Philadelphia.”

Then the pandemic happened. The team took the diversity in tech conference virtual — and it attracted attendees from all over the nation. “We were like, OK,” Morales recalled, “We just got to take it and run with it.”

Morales is no stranger to expanding quickly. She launched what was then called Echo Me Forward in 2017, and went through Philly Startup Leaders’ idea-stage accelerator in 2020. With early investment from Juno Capital and Visible Hands, she successfully scaled the company — rebranded Tribaja — by focusing on community-driven growth and strategic partnerships across geography.

The platform offers community connection, something Morales, as an Afro Latina founder, recognized was badly needed in the field. She’s also been involved with starting offline communities, most recently helping launch Philly’s new Latinas in Tech chapter

Tribaja is more than just a networking community. It also connects professionals with inclusive brands, offering opportunities in high-demand career pathways, and now boasts thousands of users in cities across the US.

Many of those users will be attending Diversitech, where tickets are still available. Students can attend for as little as $25, while professional admission starts at $99 and up.

Tune in to episode 39 of Founding Philly to learn more about how Morales has been building a community-led business, the insights that shaped the Tribaja marketplace, and how Diversitech is living up to its tagline of being a place where “community, tech and culture collide.”

 

Companies: Tribaja

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