Announcing our first class of CODE2040 Entrepreneurs in Residence!

We could not be more excited to introduce you to our three 2015 CODE2040 Entrepreneurs in Residence: Riana Lynn, Joel Rojo, and Talib Graves-Manns.

These folks will be the first EIRs in our new CODE2040 Residency program that we're piloting in Austin, Chicago, and Durham this year. The CODE2040 Residency, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, is designed to empower Black and Latino/a entrepreneurs to take their companies to the next level while taking their communities to the next level as well.

We're thrilled to partner with Google for Entrepreneurs as part of their NextWave campaign as well as with the three fantastic tech hubs who will be hosting our EIRs: Capital Factory in Austin, 1871 in Chicago, and American Underground in Durham. Each of these hubs is committed to creating and growing strong, diverse, and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems in their cities, and we're thrilled to be working with Google to help them.

We'll be sharing lots more about the CODE2040 Residency in the coming weeks, including sharing information on our applicant pool, some of our top finalists, and what our plans are for the curriculum. We'll also let you hear directly from our EIRs on why this opportunity was perfect for them. But in the meantime, take a moment to get to know just a little about our three EIRs - we think they're fantastic and know you will too!

Riana Lynn - chicago (1871)

Riana is a young leader in food and health entrepreneurship with a passion for technology, access, and bringing people together. From her grandmother’s garden to the White House South Lawn she was inspired to create FoodTrace, a next level sourcing platform that connects consumers, restaurants, distributors and farms.

Riana has been featured in Inc, Wired, Entrepreneur Magazine, and other local and national publications. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology and African American Studies and a minor in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she taught herself how to code and was a top-ranked performer in Discus and Javelin before pursuing a Masters at Northwestern University. While getting her hands dirty in the White House Kitchen Garden, her work included major policy initiatives such as Small Business and Jobs, STEM, and Public Health. A native of the Chicago area, Riana is a young politico, a restaurant enthusiast, a world traveler, and an innovative fruit connoisseur.

Talib Graves-Manns - durham (American Underground)

With over 10 years experience in sales, marketing, and digital technology, Talib has a track record of success from Madison Ave to New Orleans. He believes in a customer centric model in all his endeavors where the voice of the customer is the driving force behind the development of experiences, products, and solutions.

Talib’s passion for diversity and education technology have culminated in his co-founding RainbowMe, an online platform for original content designed to educate and entertain children of color across the world. The RainbowMe team believes that through a culturally relevant exchange of ideas, customs, and lifestyles, children will be better equipped members of an increasingly diverse world.

Joel Rojo - austin (Capital Factory)

Joel is a product designer, developer, and entrepreneur with a wide array of experiences in the tech industry. He is passionate about technology's ability to connect people and provide value at massive scale. A graduate of Harvard, where he studied Sociology and Computer Science, Joel's experiences range from starting an online real estate agency at the age of 18, to working at Google's Creative Lab and New Business Development group, to building product at Indeed, the top job search engine in the world, where he was a product hacker on their Labs team. Currently he is the co-founder of TicketKarma, an online ticket marketplace that aims to bring simplicity, trust, and community to the secondary ticket market.