( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Blacks In Technology (BIT) Conference Raising Awareness of The Importance of Increased Black Representation in The Tech Industry
ENSPIRE Contributor: LaShonda Thompson
Blacks In Technology (BIT) will be hosting BITCON 2021, a virtual conference, from October 13-15. BITCON will feature various technology disciplines from cryptocurrency to cybersecurity, targeting IT practitioners, technology leaders, startup founders, and anyone interested in pursuing and advancing a tech career.
Blacks in Technology realize there is a huge divide between African-Americans and the rest of the technology business. In 2020, around 3% of employees at the top 75 technology businesses identified as Black and Black founders got approximately 3% of all venture financing in the United States. The Conference will provide practical tools, resources, creative courses, and inspiring talks to assist attendees in “stomping the divide,” personally and collectively. BITCON will also offer hackathons, a $10,000 startup pitch competition, a diversity employment fair, and over $15,000 in gifts for hundreds of guests.
Sponsors for the Blacks In Technology Foundation include dozens of supporting technology organizations and companies like Google, Disney, Square, and Palo Alto Networks. BITCON will reflect current technology trends and provide members of the Black community with catalysts to propel their careers. The star-studded speaker lineup includes ABC’s Emmy Award-winning TV show Shark Tank’s, Daymond John; investor, founder, and managing partner of Backstage Capital, Arlan Hamilton; world-renowned crisis management expert and inspiration for the hit TV show Scandal, Judy Smith; executive advisor and motivational speaker, Dr. Simon T. Bailey, and over 50 of the most influential Black thought leaders in tech. This continues BIT’s tradition of notable participants of past conferences, from the late rapper and entrepreneur Nipsey Hussle to presidential candidate and US Senator Amy Klobuchar. The Foundation is proud to be one of many organizations encouraging raised awareness of the importance of increased Black representation in tech. In addition, BITCON provides resources that remove barriers to entry for those looking to enter technology. In 2021 the foundation will provide over $1M in scholarships and grants for technical certifications and training resources to members representing 48 chapters led 100% by volunteers.
“What’s always excited me most about BITCON is that we pride ourselves on being a true tech conference,” says Founder of Blacks In Technology, Greg Greenlee. “We are not a diversity conference, so don’t attend this event expecting us to preach to the choir on issues we face as a marginalized group in this industry.”
Blacks In Technology hosts the definitive conference to inspire, educate, and showcase Black tech excellence… because 3% is not enough. For more information about Blacks In Technology, the Blacks In Technology Foundation, and BITCON, visit www.bitcon2021.com.