Last week, I released a statement voicing the DMZ’s support for the Black community and our commitment to strengthening Black entrepreneurship in the tech ecosystem.
To enact real change for an equitable future, it is our responsibility as leaders in this space to do more than just express our support. We must action it.
Here are the first steps we’re taking to uphold our promise to our action:
- Recruit more Black founders: We pledge to recruit 30 new Black founders by May 2021 through our Black Innovation Fellowship (BIF) Program (up from 10 BIF founders last year).
- Expand programming and resources: Since launching the BIF program in May of 2019, we have identified opportunities for widening our programs to support aspiring Black entrepreneurs that have not yet established market traction. Yesterday, we launched a free two-week bootcamp open to pre-incubator stage Black founders around the world to get their tech-business ideas validated. Full details and the application for this bootcamp can be found at dmz.to/BIF.
- Giving back to the community: Each year, DMZ staff are encouraged to spend up to 40 hours volunteering in the local community in lieu of regular work hours. Starting today, we are asking staff to take paid time off to volunteer with the Black community on initiatives that will drive impact on things such as racial justice, equity, supporting Black owned businesses and many more.
A prosperous economy is one that fosters diverse perspectives and actively removes barriers for those hindered by systemic discrimination.
Black founders, we pledge to help level the playing field and clear the pathways to your entrepreneurial success.
Executive Director, DMZ
CEO, DMZ Ventures