The fact that there’s a diversity gap in the technology sector likely surprises no one, which is why CODE2040 has focused its mission on closing that gap.
African American and Latino students earn almost 20 percent of computer science degrees, but they account for only nine percent of the technology industry. Among tech company founders, African Americans and Latinos make up less than one percent.
CODE2040, a nonprofit organization, aims to create a stronger, more inclusive innovation economy by closing the technology sector’s diversity gap by 2040. The organization helps companies make diversity part of their everyday operations by connecting them to a pool of qualified applicants.
Through its recent partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs, CODE2040 will expand its program to technology companies in seven cities this year, including Grand Circus in Detroit. The entrepreneur in Detroit is Tara Reed of Kollecto. The service helps people learn about finding and collecting affordable art for their homes.
“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.
CODE2040 has selected seven entrepreneurs from its pool of applicants to pair with a tech company in each of the seven cities. During the year-long program, each entrepreneur receives 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
- Mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs and investors in the CODE2040 and Google for Entrepreneurs networks
With these resources, residents will build a company of their own and collaborate to improve diversity and inclusivity in their city.
“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.”
Companies and potential applicants interested in participating in CODE2040 can learn more at code2040.org.