Metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago and Atlanta offer companies a diverse pool of talent, However, it can be a challenge for companies to sort through the "showcases", the large number of events that have popped up around diversifying tech, to reach the organizations that actually develop diverse tech talent. Here are five organizations building and nurturing the tech pipeline outside of Silicon Valley. At digitalundivided, a platform excelling at creating urban tech entrepreneurs with scalable, investable businesses, we've had the pleasure of working with each of these organizations and witnessed first hand their impact on building the pipeline.
Founder: Emile Cambry, Jr
How this organization is building the pipeline: Currently supporting 32 small businesses, BLUE1647 aims to foster economic development in technology and 21st century skills through people development (classes, workshops, and events around technology), workforce development (Youth and Adult Technology Programs to prepare individuals for high-demand jobs) and Business Acceleration (shared coworking-services). Students completing BLUE1647 programs receive internationally recognized certifications (A+, S+, Network+, and CompTIA Certifications) as well as the education to build tech hardware/3D-printing products, mobile and web applications. Blue1647 is expanding to St. Louis in 2015.
Organization: Startup Box South Bronx
Founders: Majora Carter and James Chase.
How this organization is building the pipeline: Startup Box South Bronx uses a Minimum Viable Training (MVT) model to train young adults from low income communities (particularly those with barriers to employment such as low-educational attainment, criminal records, and/or lack of professional networks) for traditionally outsourced quality assurance positions with tech companies.
Organization: Opportunity Hub
Founder: Rodney Sampson
How this organization builds the pipeline: Opportunity Hub offers authentically diverse and inclusive coworking spaces, incubators and events in Atlanta. Its entrepreneurial school (#OHUBTreps) exposes, educates, and engages young entrepreneurs to the innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment ecosystem as early as college. Runs Ocode, a scholarship-based code school in partnership with The Iron Yard, works to create more coders of color.
Portland / Seattle
Organization: iUrban Teen
Founder: Deena Pierott
How this organization builds the pipeline: iUrban Teen is a nationally-recognized STEM+Arts educational program for male youth of color which is now turning into a national model with chapters in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles and soon in Houston. There are five cities waiting in the wings. The year-long programming also involves local companies and executives who create mentoring and internship programs for iUrban Teen within their organizations.
Organization: AllStar Code
Founder: Christina Lewis Halpern
How this organization builds the pipeline: All Star Code closes the opportunity gap between young high school males of color and the tech industry by offering workshops during fall/winter, summer classes and year-round student engagement via online forums, participation at meetups, hackathons, and more. It follows an applied, project-based and experience-based model of learning to give students a sense of excitement and feel of what awaits them in a career in tech.