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In his State of the Union address on January 28, President Obama announced that he was “reaching out to some of America’s leading foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color facing especially tough odds stay on track and reach their full potential.”
EVERYONE (Whites, Asians, Latinos, old, young, men, women, and so on) is invited to register for this event and help answer the question, “Could An App Have Saved Trayvon Martin?”
A Silicon Valley that lives up to the dreams of Dr. King is our vision for the first global hackathon for Black Male Achievement and Oakland’s first Startup Weekend. Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. Headquartered in Seattle, it is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs and innovators with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and launch their ideas.
But this Startup Weekend will be different...
Similar to Startup Weekend Women events, Startup Weekend Oakland is an inclusion vertical by focusing on progressive community problem solving supported by diversity of thought and collaboration among all ethnicities and genders. We are encouraging developers, designers, and innovators from all backgrounds to tackle issues related to what today’s statistics reveal – from health, to education, to incarceration rates, young Black males have untapped potential.
The Trayvon Martin tragedy opened up a global conversation on race, class, and stereotype threat. Can innovation in technology, business and design, create opportunities for a safer society for all of us? As a community of technologists and startup founders in Oakland, we recognized an opportunity to bring this conversation home to the Bay Area in a way that united us all around solving problems that hit closer to home – with a hackathon!
If you are looking to find a technical co-founder for your venture, want to test out your app development skills, or use lean startup methods to find the best approach to solving a problem, you’ll find it here at Startup Weekend Oakland.
Diverse Teams - to support the assembly of diverse teams for this event, we are recruiting from organizations like The Hidden Genius Project to ensure that there will be plenty of young Black males excited to work alongside you during this event. There will be five tracks to choose from:
The education track focuses on issues related to the academic achievement of people of diverse ethnicities and economic backgrounds and can include topics related to college readiness, access, completion and career guidance.
The health track focuses on issues related to the public health of people of diverse ethnicities and economic backgrounds such as improving wellness, increasing diversity in the medical profession, and helping Black males navigate and gain access to quality healthcare.
Restorative justice seeks solutions related to preventing the criminalization of economically disadvantaged people, and strategies that empower ex-offenders to transition from the prison walls to successful members of the community, and providing valuable intervention resources to high school dropouts or college dropouts.
Gaming is an opportunity to re-think how devices like the Xbox and Playstation and other interactive forms of media can be used to improve the lives of people of diverse ethnicities, economic backgrounds, and especially Black males. The focus isn’t just on gaming (games can be created for all the tracks) but is specifically focused on gaming console apps.
The sustainability track challenges participants to create an app or design solution that preserves our environment and encourage personal practices such as recycling, garment collection and redistribution, food production, resource sharing, energy efficiency, and water conservation.
Startup Weekend Oakland isn’t just for techies.
Startup Weekend Oakland is for people with ideas, business people, designers, students, teachers, anyone who wants to contribute and support solving these problems.
If you are not sure that this event is right for you, shoot us an email with your questions and concerns so we can support you.
Do not be surprised that after the exciting process of launching an app or design that you’ll walk away feeling invigorated and supercharged by the relationships you have forged during this weekend.
And things don’t just stop there. There will be a special reception on Saturday night just for hackathon participants and our family of supporters and sponsors: Join us for the #YesWeCode Oakland Reception: An Evening with Van Jones & Friends - http://ywcoak.eventbrite.com at Impact Hub Oakland (2323 Broadway).
With a few more surprises in store…Startup Weekend Oakland – Black Male Achievement (BMA) is history in the making. So what are you waiting for? Register now and let’s make history – together!
Follow us on Twitter: @swoakland #swobma
- Team Startup Weekend Oakland BMA
Photo Credit: The Level Playing Field Institute
FAQS – Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I’m not black or male and really interested in these issues. Can I still attend?
A: Yes, not only can you attend, we INVITE you to attend. We want people of all different backgrounds to believe in this cause and to help it move along. Doesn’t matter what color you are, your age, etc.
Q: Are there prizes for winners? Is this still a Startup Weekend competition?
A: Yes. We are working with our sponsors to put together the prize packages for each category. There will be a first place and runner up in each track and a grand prize overall.
Q: I’d like to support this event as a sponsor. Are you still accepting sponsors?
A: Yes. We are still accepting sponsorships. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a sponsorship form.
Q: I have an idea for an app but I’m afraid someone will steal my idea. Are there non-disclosure agreements between team members?
A: Startup Weekend Oakland is a collaborative forum for sharing, learning, building, and having fun. It is our job to provide you with an incredible networking and learning opportunity. Our intention is that you meet some amazing people that you might actually start a company with, build relationships with coaches, and learn from your peers. The event is intended to be a collaborative forum for sharing, learning, building, and having fun. As such, by registering as a participant, you acknowledge that any ideas shared by you or anyone else over the course of the event are contributions to the overall experience and community. If you as a participant are worried about someone stealing your ideas, please reconsider your participation in the event itself or simply refrain from sharing specifics about your idea.
Q: How will I be treated at this event? Is there a code of conduct?
A: This hackathon is a community event intended for innovation, collaboration, and engagement in the community, to support this vision we’ve adopted a code of conduct in collaboration with Hackbright Academy. All participants are expected to be respectful, thoughtful, open and awesome. For more details read the full code of conduct here.