San Francisco — March 12, 2016 — CODE2040, a nonprofit that seeks to build a stronger, more inclusive innovation economy by closing the diversity gap in tech, expands the CODE2040 Residency program to seven cities through a three-year partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs.
While Black, Latino/a students earn nearly 20 percent of computer science degrees, they make up only 9 percent of the technology industry and less than 1 percent of technology company founders. CODE2040 aims to ensure that these groups are proportionally represented in all facets of the innovation economy by 2040. This includes helping companies make diversity part of their day-to-day operations by connecting them to a broad pool of qualified people and building inclusive, thriving tech entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems around the country.
The CODE2040 Residency, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, is designed to empower Black and Latina/o entrepreneurs with unique opportunities to grow their companies while cultivating diversity in their own communities. Funding from Google for Entrepreneurs will allow the CODE2040 Residency to expand from its three pilot tech hubs in 2015 to seven cities nationwide in 2016, which include:
- Capital Factory in Austin
- 1871 in Chicago
- Grand Circus in Detroit
- American Underground in Durham
- COCO in Minneapolis
- The Nashville Entrepreneur Center in Nashville
- Galvanize in San Francisco
Throughout the year-long program, each founder receives significant support from CODE2040, Google for Entrepreneurs and their hometown tech hubs. This support includes: a $40,000, no equity stipend; tech hub workspace for the Resident and their team; quarterly retreats with CODE2040 for business and diversity initiative support; a trip to the Googleplex in Silicon Valley and mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs and investors in the CODE2040 and Google for Entrepreneurs networks. Using these resources, Residents will build a company of their own. Additionally, they will collaborate to improve diversity and inclusivity in their city, connecting the local entrepreneurial ecosystem with communities and talent underrepresented in tech and entrepreneurship.
"Genius is equally distributed across zip codes. Opportunity is not. This perfectly encapsulates why the Residency is so important,” said Joel Rojo, 2015 Austin Entrepreneur in Residence, “Programs like this one help distribute opportunity to groups that systematically might not have it otherwise. And that's extremely important for the future of our economy."
This year, we’ve had an overwhelming response of great Black and Latino/a entrepreneurs applying to the CODE2040 Residency. From that highly qualified pool of candidates, CODE2040, Google for Entrepreneurs, and the tech hubs have selected a final group of seven innovative entrepreneurs:
- Marcos Cunha, YouRoam
- Thomas K.R. Stovall, CANDID Cup
- Tara Reed, Kollecto
- Doug Speight, Cathedral Leasing
- Alex Rodriguez, Workmand
- LeShane Greenhill, Sagents Partners, LLC
- Aniyia Williams, Tinsel
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to expand the CODE2040 Residency thanks to our partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs. Our expanded work with Google for Entrepreneurs, the Residency, and the local tech hubs in each of these seven cities will create opportunities to support local tech ecosystems in their quest create more opportunity for current and future entrepreneurs of color,” said Laura Weidman Powers, CODE2040 CEO and Co-founder.
“Supporting diverse startup ecosystems is a core pillar to our team and CODE2040 is one of the best organizations out there in this space. We worked closely with CODE2040 and the participating tech hubs to provide the best of Google’s resources to the Residents. Our team saw a lot of success with the Residency during its first year and are thrilled to bring it to more cities across the U.S.” said Mary Grove, Director of Google for Entrepreneurs
Companies and potential applicants that would like to participate in CODE2040 can learn more at code2040.org.