Black founders’ HBCU ‘Hackathon’ Tech Tour takes flight
Participating in a hackathon is a magical thing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a programmer, designer, marketer, or the person with all the ideas, everybody involved is motivated to put their heads together and create something awesome in an incredibly short amount of time. A hackathon can last anywhere from 24 hours to an entire weekend, and participants compete to create software, websites, and/or mobile apps.
More importantly, participants learn how to communicate, think analytically, and solve problems—skills they can use if or when they decide to take their idea beyond the competition.
Unfortunately, many African-American students are not familiar with hackathons, and likely have never step foot in one. It’s for that very reason Black Founders, a San Francisco-based organization dedicated to promoting diversity in the technology industry, created a one-day hackathon event entitled HBCUHacks to raise awareness about hacking on historically black colleges and universities.
The first HBCUHacks event took place in Atlanta at Hypepotamus, an entrepreneurial startup and collaboration facility, on Feb. 8-9. Black Founders reached out to all the Atlanta University Center students, which include Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University, to participate.
“In San Francisco, there are hackathons almost every weekend. From many of those events, actual startup companies are born,” said Black Founders co-founder Hadiyah Mujhid. “Now students at Ivy League colleges are doing their own hackathon competitions. One of [the] focuses of Black Founders is to include the black community in tech entrepreneurship, so it seemed like a natural fit to outreach to black students, so why not start at HBCUs.”
The tour’s goal is to introduce students to what a hackathon is, get them to come up with several innovative ideas, split up into teams, create a product and pitch the product to win cash and prizes. Additionally, students will be introduced to local entrepreneurs and network with sponsors for possible internships and job opportunities.
Close to 15 students showed up, many of whom didn’t know what to expect, but were willing to put in the work. Mike Westbrooks, a recent Morehouse grad, was somewhat familiar with a hackathon and thought he should attend.
“Everyone has an idea,” said Westbrooks. “Events like these bring all those ideas together, gives [participants] a good pool of resources to turn that dream into reality.”
HBCUHacks sponsors include DreamIt Ventures, Kapor Capital, Microsoft, and recent NewMe Accelerator grad Sharron Battle of Derbywire, among others…
+ Top Story
The woman who falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape was convicted of second-degree murder Friday in the stabbing death of her boyfriend. The jury deliberated for about six hours over two days before reaching its verdict in the trial of 34-year-old Crystal Mangum.
Discovered in a private collection in Portland, the 1893 recording of “Mama’s Black Baby Boy” by the New York-based Unique Quartet was one of only two copies known to exist and sold for $1,100. The other resides in the Library of Congress.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Monday that partisan political elections for the Alabama courts appear to be driving judges' decisions to impose death sentences, overruling juries that have voted to send defendants to prison for life.
The final edition of Smiley & West, the public radio program featuring Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, will air the weekend of December 27, 2013. The show, which became best known for its controversial condemnations of President Barack Obama’s administration, ran for three years.
George Zimmerman is once again a free man after an arrest on criminal charges - but his freedom carries conditions. The former neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin earlier this year was released from jail Tuesday pending...
Bowing to pressure, President Barack Obama intends to permit continued sale of individual insurance plans that have been canceled because they failed to meet coverage standards under the health care law, officials said Thursday.
Almost every night over the next two weeks you can expect to find something on television that revisits the life and death of John F. Kennedy. As we near the date of Friday, November 22, the 50th anniversary of his death in Dallas, there are choices for almost every kind of interest.
Emboldened by a historic landslide that made him the first Democratic mayor of New York City in a generation, Bill de Blasio seeks to push ahead with an ambitious liberal agenda aimed at easing the economic inequality he hammered in his “tale of two cities” campaign.