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About

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WHY NORTHSTAR?

America is changing.

We are experiencing a dramatic demographic shift in America alongside a growing wealth gap.

Wealth is growing rapidly for a select few while others struggle to earn a living wage. This is particularly evident in communities of color. It is a moral and economic imperative that we change this.

Technology and the innovation economy offer the greatest opportunity to create and grow wealth today, especially in diverse communities, but there are many barriers to entry. We believe that the key to a thriving economic future for America is enabling tech innovation in ways that everyone can participate. 

In our partner city, Philadelphia, 55.5% residents are Black and/or Latinx. This population also makes up 72.6% of the city’s poor. At the same time, the city has the fastest growing tech sector in proportion to total job growth after the San Francisco Bay Area. The city is poised to become a beacon for tech done right, with inclusivity front and center.

Working together with the City of Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney, and other aligned organizations, Black & Brown Founders sees an opportunity to establish a framework that can help Black and/or Latinx people create a path to economic security.  

Project NorthStar is here to help more Black and/or Latinx people take part in the innovation economy and make money. It's not meant to be a final solution, but a step toward creating a prototype for success.

 

 
 
 

QUOTE FROM PREVIOUS BBF EVENT ATTENDEE

"This event combined dynamic speakers, spectacular venues, and a diverse set of attendees to shape one of the best summits I have attended.”

 
 
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WHAT IS THE INNOVATION ECONOMY? AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

The way society operates is changing, too.

The "innovation economy" pushes the idea that in order to expand wealth and resources into the future, our society cannot solely focus on making valuable things to buy and sell, but we must also improve the human experience. 

The growth of global wealth and business is increasingly dependent on enhancing people's productivity and quality of life. Technology, knowledge and entrepreneurship are essential tools to deliver the products of the innovation economy, and we are already seeing it shift the focus of societies around the world.  

Every industry is, or will be, changed in some way by the innovation economy, and we are in the early stages of those changes. That means that there is an opportunity for folks to create profitable solutions to the challenges of our new world.  

You can make a choice today about what role you will play in our technology-driven future. At most, will you be a leader of change? At the least, will you be able to keep up?

 

 

Our Team

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Project NorthStar is an initiative being planned and organized by Black & Brown Founders, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides community, education and access to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs, allowing them to build successful tech businesses with modest resources. 

We are grateful to make NorthStar possible in partnership with the City of Philadelphia, our sponsors, advisors and partners.

 
 
 
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Aniyia L. Williams

Executive Director

@operaqueenie

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Kevin Williams

Director of Development

 

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SYREETA MARTIN

Marketing & PR

@sincerelyreeta

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DELDELP MEDINA

Director of Research & Strategy

@deldelp

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LiANE DUTTON

Director of Events

@lefthandedvirgo

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HANIYYAH SHARPE-BROWN

Marketing & PR

@onpoint24_7

THOM WEBSTER

Director of Programs

 

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FRANCESCA ESCOTO

Coach-in-Residence

@waofrancesca

 

Advisory Committee

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Jamie Bracey

Director, Temple University Center for Inclusive Competitiveness

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Brigitte Daniel

Executive VP,  Wilco Electronic Systems Inc.
 

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Jon Gosier

Founder & General Partner, Southbox Ventures
 

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Kahiga Tiagha

Founder & Lead Partner, The ITEM Ventures

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Christobal Carambo

Teacher, STEM - Benjamin Franklin Academics Plus

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Colleen Evans

Innovation Studio Operations Manager, Vanguard
 

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Sylvester Mobley

CEO, Coded By Kids
 

 

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Tracey Welson-Rossman

CMO, Chariot Solutions | Founder, TechGirlz

 

Keenan Corrigan

Philadelphia Director, Venture For America

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Francisco garcia

Director of  BD: Innovation & Technology, Philadelphia Department of Commerce

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Kiera smalls

Executive Director, Philly Startup Leaders
 

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Tiffanie Stanard

Founder, Stimulus