Unleashing Chicago’s Black Tech Ecosystem

Date(s) - 01/18/18
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Hosted by

Thu, January 18, 2018 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Forefront’s Social Innovation Roundtable invites you to a very timely and interesting panel discussion focused on assessing, defining and growing Chicago’s Black Tech Ecosystem. The panel will consist of Phillip Fairweather, Business Innovation and Technology Manager, Illinois SBDC at Bethel New Life; Sandee Kastrul, President, i.c. Stars; Matt Summy, Regional Vice President of External Affairs, NBC-Comcast; and moderated by Fabian Elliott, Co-Founder and CEO of Black Tech Mecca.

The Black Tech Mecca is a data driven think tank dedicated to building thriving Black Tech Ecosystems through research, education and advocacy. The panel discussion will be centered around the findings in Black Tech Mecca’s first research report, Unleashing Chicago’s Black Tech Ecosystem: Assessing, Defining, and Growing Chicago’s BTE.

This report examines Chicago’s Black tech ecosystem through the lens of the BTE Framework. It evaluates the engagement of local Black communities with the tech sector along three main pillars: academic, corporate, and entrepreneurship. The study includes recommendations for strengthening local data pipelines, removing barriers, and increasing opportunities for Black participation in the local tech sector, thus increasing the region’s overall potential for economic growth.

Attendees will hear about a proposed structure to define the Black tech ecosystem, and a framework to assess and develop Black tech communities in regions around the U.S. and more specifically Chicago. Panelists will discuss impediments to full engagement and mobility, and highlight strategies for removing barriers and creating opportunities with the hope to democratize the tech sector and ultimately to ensure Black people are full participants in the global technology sector.

Informal networking reception to immediately follow close of the meeting.

Space is limited. Pre-registration is required.

If you have any accessibility needs or require assistance with registration, please contact us at registration@myforefront.org. Please be sure to include the title and date of the program in your email.