#TechDiversity is The “Hot Mess" Of Hot Tech: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Oakland Business/City Leaders, $10K "Pitch Sesh" At Alliance For Community Development #CapCon16

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Oakland is the hot new address in the tech universe, with business, civic, community and philanthropic leaders working to reverse growing gap in tech diversity and restructure a tech “ecosystem” to ensure local communities and residents have a share of voice in shaping and sharing in the new dynamic.

ACD's Capital Connections Conference #CapCon16 to address hot-button issues of growing gap in tech diversity, access to capital for minorities, women. Rev. Jesse Jackson, local business leaders headline February 25th event, Oakland's Kaiser Center.

As Oakland continues its meteoric rise as the hot new address in the tech universe, business, civic, community and philanthropic leaders are working to reverse a growing gap in tech diversity and restructure the tech “ecosystem” to ensure local communities and residents have a share of voice in shaping the new dynamic. With tech jobs traditionally held by a majority of Caucasian males, a wide array of business, civic and community leadership is coalescing to create opportunities for voice and meaningful participation for the area’s diverse population.

“In the path of a tech swath cutting its way through the Bay Area, Oakland is making a stand to retain both its character and identity,” said Sami Nerenberg, executive director, Oakland-based Alliance for Community Development (ACD). The organization is producing its 8th Annual Capital Connections Conference, (#CapCon16) Thursday, February 25th, presenting a stellar lineup of leadership in a number of panel discussions designed to chart a course that integrates incoming and homegrown tech entrepreneurship with a diverse population. Rev. Jesse Jackson is a featured guest speaker on "The Fourth Stage of the Civil Rights."

Oakland business leader Darrell Jones III, Business Development, Clef and community organizer; Jose Corona, Director of Equity & Strategic Partnerships, Office of Mayor Libby Schaaf, City of Oakland; and Lisa Lee, Diversity Manager, Pandora are leading a panel discussion on “Tech In Oakland,” at the event.

"We're excited for Oakland's opportunity to create an inclusive, representative, and community-driven tech scene,” said Clef’s Mr. Jones. Ms. Lee of Pandora noted, “For us, establishing roots in our local communities is a key part of our company culture and we want to be a role model for other companies looking to grow in Oakland."

The Alliance’s Capital Connections Conference takes place noon-7pm Thursday, February 25th, 2016, and includes lunch, networking, featured guest speakers –– including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition –– and a high-stakes “Pitch Sesh,” featuring Bay Area minority start-up tech entrepreneurs as they vie for a $10K cash purse provided by sponsor Facebook in a judged competition. Tickets are available for the February 25th event; early registration discount available via Capital Connections Conference.

For additional information, visit the website (http://capitalconnectionsconference.com) and/or contact the Alliance For Community Development, 510.999.6417.


February 25th marks the 8th Annual Capital Connections Conference produced and presented by the Alliance For Community Development. The event features a roster of Bay Area and Oakland-based business, civic and community leaders and a high-stakes “Pitch Sesh,” where one of five semi-finalist tech entrepreneurs from teams led by minority and/or women, will be awarded a $10,000 purse from event partners and sponsors Rainbow PUSH and Facebook. Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, is a featured guest speaker at this year’s event, which is focusing on developing an inclusive tech ecosystem, including better access to capital for underserved populations.


Alliance For Community Development, (ACD), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to capital for underrepresented entrepreneurs including – but not limited to – women, people of color, and veterans. Founded in 1999, ACD was an early mover in conceptualizing and developing the double bottom line venture (DBL) capital fund model. ACD is producer and presenter of several initiatives including the annual Capital Connections Conference for Entrepreneurs (CapCon), which brings together entrepreneurs, business, and financial experts from all ages, gender and cultural backgrounds and Propel Program for Small Business Owners, a year-long, cohort-style mentoring program.

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Julia Lehman
Black Ink
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