Who WE ARE
We’re the answer to that common phrase you hear from Black techies all too often – “I’m always the only one”. With us, that phrase is never a thought. We’re a digital nation of black coders, innovators, creators, entrepreneurs, educators, and nerds. We’re the industry’s Black tech unicorns. But above all, we are a family. Subscribe to learn more about the work we’re doing and the difference we’re making for hundreds of Black tech unicorns across the country
A MORE FORMAL
Black Tech Nation (//BTN) is a multi-faceted tech organization building a #DigitalWakanda through education, digital media, recruitment, and funding for Black technologists and entrepreneurs. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, //BTN serves as a dedicated space for Black technologists across America and beyond. Together, we are 650+ “Black Tech Unicorns” – tech professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and enthusiasts – and over 600 allies, partners, and tech equity supporters. Our main work consists of uplifting Black technologists, educating and supporting our members, creating employment and funding opportunities, providing access to the “right people” in the industry, producing digital events and workshops, and advocating for tech equity across our industry. Through our motto “Gather. Connect. Affect”, we aim to work with company partners and //BTN members to create and grow a thriving ‘Black Tech Nation’ that focuses on the advancement of the Black community throughout our global innovation economy.
GATHER + CONNECT= AFFECT
What We Do
HOW IT ALL STARTED
In 2017, //BTN Founder Kelauni Cook saw a problem in the Pittsburgh tech ecosystem. As a recent coding bootcamp graduate and newly employed software developer, she noticed that there were hardly any techies or entrepreneurs who looked like her in the local tech scene. On April 1st, 2017 Kelauni held an event called “Where Is Black Tech in Pittsburgh?” to get some answers. Over 85 attendees including representatives from Pittsburgh’s top tech companies, government officials, co-working spaces, community organizations, and Black entrepreneurs gathered together for an open and honest conversation about this issue. Soon after, Black Tech Nation was born. She was awarded over $500K+ from the Hillman, Heinz, and BNY Mellon Foundations to build a Black tech ecosystem in Pittsburgh. What stemmed from a moment of frustration turned into a national organization of ‘Black tech unicorns’ and a spotlight on Black tech in Pittsburgh.
“Black Tech Nation has far exceeded my expectations in such a short period of time, but I’m excited to see how far it will take myself and my community as we continue to build Black people into the future of tech.” – Kelauni Cook