12 Philly resources for technologists and entrepreneurs of color - Technical.ly Philly

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Sep. 10, 2019 3:49 pm

12 Philly resources for technologists and entrepreneurs of color

A quick primer on local meetups, accelerators, events and more for finding community or leveling up your skills and business.
Update: HUE Tech Summit and Tech Women Network have been added as resources. The number in the headline has been updated accordingly. (9/17/19, 12:05 p.m.)

Although many of us in the Philly tech and entrepreneurship arena don’t follow the “back to school” schedule anymore, there’s something about September that still feels like a fresh start. It’s a great time to jump headfirst into a new project, double down on an old one and even enroll in a class or workshop to freshen up your skills.

During September, which is Technologists of Color Month here at Technical.ly, we’ve got our eye on some meetups, organizations and resources meant to specifically help underrepresented founders, devs and the like to up their professional game.

Take a look below. (Psst, we compiled similar lists for when you’re looking for local coding bootcamps and career-building resources for women in tech.)

The ITEM

Philly Tech Sistas

  • The deets: This org is trying to help women of color build careers in tech.
  • It hosts all kinds of events, including coding bootcamps, workshops, interactive panel discussions, quarterly networking series and mentorship programs.
  • If you’re looking to get involved, PTS is hosting a volunteer appreciation night on Sept. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at MakeOffices. The event is celebrating the folks who work with them all year, but it’s also for people who haven’t had the chance to yet.

The Venture Program

  • The deets: This program operates under the Department of Commerce’s StartupPHL initiative, allowing Philly-based tech entrepreneurs to apply for grants of up to $25,000 to fund ideas or initiatives that comply with five objectives determined by the department.
  • The program took its first cohort of 13 earlier this year.

We Evolve

  • The deets: This Slack group was formed by former Girl Develop It Philly leaders and members following their departure from the embattled nonprofit.
  • The We Evolve group has since created a space for supporting and encouraging women, trans men and non-binary adults in their tech journeys, while providing an independent hub to discuss next steps for the community.

Comcast BENgineers

  • The deets: Less than two years ago, two engineers at Comcast wanted to create a community for their Black colleagues. An internal Slack channel was born, and thus: so was the BENgineers.
  • The community is for Black engineers at Comcast to learn about professional development events, make connections past just being colleagues, and get more people of color on tech panels and speaking at conferences. What started as a group of engineers who had worked on a project together has turned into a community of more that 120 members.

The Enterprise Center

  • The deets: The Enterprise Center has various resources through its Opportunity Zone program, which hosted a summit and has multiple funds available to minority-owned businesses.
  • The center also has the Minority Business Development Agency Business Center of Pennsylvania, which focuses on getting capital to minority entrepreneurs, conducts business consulting, and helps minority-owned firms do business with federal, state and local governments as well as private corporations.

Mogulette

  • The deets: This women’s empowerment and networking organization was founded by Wilco Electronic Systems EVP Brigitte Daniel.
  • The org throws multiple events a year, including a speakers series, networking series and an annual Women in Tech Soiree during Philly Tech Week.

Backstage Capital 

  • The deets: This venture capital firm invests in underrepresented founders and hosts an accelerator program in four cities, including Philadelphia.
  • The first Philly cohort kicked off this spring, and offered mentorship and connections to investors who invested between $25,000 and $100,000 in capital into the six startups.

A Seat at the Table

  • The deets: This year’s event, hosted by Philly Startup Leaders and Mogulette, will be held on Nov. 13.
  • The dinner is a time to talk about the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in tech.

Afri-tech Philly

  • The deets: This meetup group focuses on empowering younger generations of Africans (immigrants/disapora) through technology. The group also aims to mentor and connect younger Africans, immigrants and professionals.
  • Its organizer said the group’s first event will be a tech talk, held later this year.

Tech Women Network

  • The deets: This network is an online platform for women to do everything from share their resume, connect with each other and even find freelancers or mentors for projects. Individuals or organizations can become members.
  • TWN partners with area organizations for events and talks.

HUE Tech Summit 

  • The deets: This conference, held for the first time in the spring of 2018, and earlier this year in May,  was created to educate, elevate, and empower women of color technologists and “techpreneurs.”
  • The summit is a project by the Tech Women Network, and is planning its 2020 conference to begin May 1, 2020. 

Know of other local Philly-based resources? Let us know at philly@technical.ly and we’ll update this list.

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