ThePLUG Staff

Mapping The Black Innovation Alliance: Keeping Track of The Companies and Innovators Making Up The BIA and Where They Are

Anyone who is immersed in the tech world knows the disparities that Black founders and innovators face. A lack of funding, support, and diversity within the organizations they work stalls progress and keeps opportunities from people of color at just about every level. We know the numbers by now: Just 1 percent of VC funding …

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

Pariss Athena was earning just under $50,000 a year working as a wax specialist in Boston after dreams of making it as a young actress in Los Angeles went south. Today, she’s making over $80,000 as a front-end developer at a Boston-based digital agency and leading the quickly growing #BlackTechTwitter online community. Athena jumpstarted her …

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New Intellectual Property Granted at HBCUs Experienced an Uptick Since 2010

In our last data story, we explored the United States Patent & Trademark Office’s (USPTO) database of patents granted at historically Black colleges and universities. Because the USPTO dataset only includes data between 1978 and 2012, our team conducted a deep dive into the database to determine how HBCUs have fared in intellectual property development …

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HBCUs Trail Behind in Intellectual Property Creation

Historically Black colleges and universities, the first of which was founded in 1837, were created as a haven for Black Americans whose access to higher education was regularly barred due to segregation and discriminatory practices. In recent years, however, these once thriving institutions have seen some setbacks. From the 1930s to today, the number of …

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Meet the Woman Leading CTA’s $10 Million Commitment to Women and Entrepreneurs of Color

For Tiffany Moore, diversity and inclusion (D&I) is more than just a catchphrase—it’s a serious commitment to change. Since being appointed to Senior Vice President for Political and Industry Affairs for the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) last April, Moore leads the organization’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill around tech policy and oversees its various diversity …

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Atlanta’s ‘Godfather of Tech’ Has Big Ambitions for the Black Mecca

Most non-ATLiens who know the name Paul Judge learned it from his current cameos on Bravo’s hit reality series, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.” (TLDR: NeNe recently infuriated his fiancée, Tanya Sam, by suggesting that Judge wasn’t her ultimate true love.) Locally, however, the entrepreneur-investor’s presence looms large—so much so that he’s often referred to …

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HBCU@SXSW Presented Its Largest Cohort to Date—Here’s What We’ve Learned

For students of color, South by Southwest (SXSW) serves as a premier destination to absorb impactful trends in tech and startup culture with the opportunity to snag a coveted job at some of the world’s leading tech companies.  The annual festival is a celebration of nearly 75,000 tech and entertainment enthusiasts featuring HBCU@SXSW,  an official …

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Paige & Paxton founders

How Paige & Paxton Uses Identity to Fuel STEM Learning in Elementary Schools

What began as two puzzle characters created more than 30 years ago by journalist Rachel Williams to make math and science more interesting for her young daughters evolved into a nationally recognized STEM curriculum for elementary students.  In 2012, Kelley and Jessica, along with their mom, decided to bring their childhood characters, Paige & Paxton, back …

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joshua ognnote chune wework creator awards

Black Innovation Thrives in the UK Despite Low Minority Representation in Tech

The United Kingdom tech sector shares common characteristics with its U.S. counterpart: the industry is a shining beacon of cutting-edge innovation, home to several startup ‘unicorns’, and operates with a noticeable lack of minority representation in technical and leadership roles. Similar to Silicon Valley, the overused “pipeline problem” narrative in Britain suggests there are not …

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ThePLUG 2018 Rewind: 105 Top Stories in Black Tech

In 2018, our team delivered 234 newsletters with over 1,500 stories highlighting Black and brown narratives in tech and beyond. We witnessed a record number of incubators, venture capital funds, and accelerators, uniquely designed to support Black founders by addressing longstanding racial disparities. From a new wave of tech conferences to the dozens of coworking spaces …

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