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Smart Reporting on the Black Innovation Economy.


ThePLUG

Black Lawmakers are in the Fight to Regulate Tech (Part II)

Black Lawmakers are in the Fight to Regulate Tech (Part II)

J.J. McCorvey November 4, 2019

Biometric technology certainly makes a splash in the headlines, but the “fuel” that powers most of its applications—algorithms and artificial intelligence—is also increasingly falling into the crosshairs of Black lawmakers and law enforcers.

Black Lawmakers are in the Fight to Regulate Tech (Part I)

Black Lawmakers are in the Fight to Regulate Tech (Part I)

J.J. McCorvey October 28, 2019

Some Black lawmakers seem to be stepping in as proxy for those without a seat at the corporate table, as well as for those who are most vulnerable to the repercussions of Big Tech’s appetite for market dominance.

NewME Bootcamp Lands $1.2 Million to Train 100 Black Founders in 2020

NewME Bootcamp Lands $1.2 Million to Train 100 Black Founders in 2020

Sherrell Dorsey October 21, 2019

Nearly three years later, after an uphill climb to configuring a program that would effectively build up venture-backable companies and teams from underrepresented groups, the Hillman Accelerator, and its subsequent NewME Bootcamp, picked up a confirmed $1.2 million for its 2020 programming—a near triple increase in funding since Hillman first opened its doors for business. 

Are Black Mayors Adequately Future-Proofing Cities for Black Residents? 

Are Black Mayors Adequately Future-Proofing Cities for Black Residents? 

Sherrell Dorsey October 8, 2019

Today, Black mayors are tasked with two important roles: develop a vision for their cities which may include the adoption of “smart city” initiatives and large-scale tech-sector job growth; and attempt to help Black communities bounce back from decades-long discriminatory policies and disinvestment to ensure their participation in the global economy.

Substantive or Spectacle? Black Entrepreneurs and Investors Weigh in on the Value of Pitch Competitions for Black Founders

Substantive or Spectacle? Black Entrepreneurs and Investors Weigh in on the Value of Pitch Competitions for Black Founders

Sherrell Dorsey September 29, 2019

Though pitch competitions offer access for all types of companies and founders, they are nowhere near an adequate response to what is a national crisis of inequality in funding for Black entrepreneurs.

The Private Group Pushing Black Tech Talent into AI Jobs

The Private Group Pushing Black Tech Talent into AI Jobs

Sherrell Dorsey September 16, 2019

In the crevices of the digital world, the Black in AI community has emerged as a response to the shortage of Black people being represented within the space of AI. In addition to its existence within private digital rooms, the community boasts one of few AI conferences where Black talent is centered at the forefront of research and innovation. 

Black Investors Look to Leverage Opportunity Zones for Sustainability and Development in Communities of Color

Black Investors Look to Leverage Opportunity Zones for Sustainability and Development in Communities of Color

Chasity Cooper September 9, 2019

For Derrick Morgan, becoming an impact investor has proven to be about much more than the return on his investment, but rather a chance to build long-lasting sustainability in communities that need it the most. 

Designing Water: Black Tech Startups Rethink Public Utilities and Social Justice

Designing Water: Black Tech Startups Rethink Public Utilities and Social Justice

Sherrell Dorsey August 26, 2019

Flint might seem like an outlier, but the water that comes to most of our homes in the U.S. is at risk. These Black tech startups are working to change that.

Here's Where and How Black Investors Are Placing Their Bets

Here's Where and How Black Investors Are Placing Their Bets

J.J. McCorvey August 19, 2019

J.J. McCorvey, explores how a few Black investors are thinking about the discovery and support of various niche industries and communities. 

As Black Investment Firms Gain Ground, Gender and Geographic Diversity Still Lacking

As Black Investment Firms Gain Ground, Gender and Geographic Diversity Still Lacking

Sherrell Dorsey August 12, 2019

In 2017, we began documenting the rise of Black-owned firms. Two years later, we’ve added a total of nine new investment firms established by single Black founders or a Black co-founder between 2018 and 2019, taking our scope of evaluated firms from 33 to 46.

Black Researchers Lead the Call to Teach Ethics and Equity to the Tech Industry

Black Researchers Lead the Call to Teach Ethics and Equity to the Tech Industry

Sherrell Dorsey August 5, 2019

Two African-American professors at Columbia University are spearheading efforts to introduce social work students to the field of technology. The unlikely merger of the two fields aims to help humanize technology by preparing social workers for an ever-evolving technologized world.

Building an Inclusive Tech Future: Are Black Tech Ecosystems Sustainable?

Building an Inclusive Tech Future: Are Black Tech Ecosystems Sustainable?

Sherrell Dorsey July 29, 2019

Without a long-term viable plan for sustainability, ecosystem leaders may rely too heavily on scarce dollars and risk unavoidable constraints when funding priorities shift.

3 Black Startups on Why They Failed

3 Black Startups on Why They Failed

Chasity Cooper July 15, 2019

Statistically, most startups don’t last five years before closing up shop. But for Black founders who already find it difficult to raise the capital they need for growth, fighting for survival sometimes no longer makes sense.

For First-Time Black Startup Investors, PopCom’s Crowdequity Campaign Offers Bridge

For First-Time Black Startup Investors, PopCom’s Crowdequity Campaign Offers Bridge

Sherrell Dorsey July 6, 2019

Dickson began a multi-city tour, hosting investor meetups and shaking hands with many of the individuals who took the leap to invest in PopCom.

Independent Black Beauty Brands Gain Clout, Sales Fueled by Instagram Influencer Culture

Independent Black Beauty Brands Gain Clout, Sales Fueled by Instagram Influencer Culture

Saidat Giwa-Osagie June 25, 2019

As more Black beauty brands leverage the direct-to-consumer ecosystem, Instagram is the virtual shop window powering connectivity, personalization, and relatability to women of color who see themselves in the values of the brand’s culture.

#BlackTechTwitter Emerges as Prolific Online Community Connecting Black Technologists to Jobs, Education, and Community

#BlackTechTwitter Emerges as Prolific Online Community Connecting Black Technologists to Jobs, Education, and Community

ThePLUG Staff June 4, 2019

Pariss Athena was earning just under $50,000 a year working as a wax specialist…