Who should attend the Conference?
The experience of the NorthStar conference is curated around tech entrepreneurship, working in tech, getting a tech job, and navigating the industry from a Black and/or Latinx perspective, although anyone who is eager to learn about these topics generally is welcome to attend and take part.
If any of the following statements resonate with you, then you’re going to love NorthStar…
- I have been fundraising for my startup and unable to get the money I need.
- I could raise money for my startup but I don't want to.
- I have an existing business and want to build an online presence.
- I have a captivated audience on social media, but am unsure how to monetize the platform.
- I want to solve an industry problem using technology and my expertise, but am unsure where to start.
- I have a startup idea and am unsure how to get funding.
- I work in tech and want to join a supportive community of others like myself.
- I am trying to figure out a career path for myself in tech.
- I want to learn more about how companies work and make decisions.
- I want to talk to tech recruiters and hiring managers about how to make myself an appealing candidate.
- I am just discovering the tech industry, and want to learn what kind of jobs exist and what I may be good at.
What’s included in the ticket cost?
To find out what’s included with your ticket, see the breakdown on our Tickets page.
What are the dining options during the conference?
Water, coffee, tea, and light snacks will be provided to everyone during the event at no additional cost. We will also have food trucks throughout the conference with meals available for purchase, and a cash bar during the parties. If you’re attending NorthStar with a “Visionary” (VIP) ticket, all your meals and drinks will be covered, including open bar at the happy hour and networking party!
What about hotel accommodations?
We have discounted rooms at the Wyndham Philadelphia Historic District. Book your room here by September 10th to ensure a rate of $179/night (does not include hotel taxes and fees). Note that there are many conferences happening in Philadelphia the week of Project NorthStar; hotel rooms are going fast!
Will there be Wifi available?
Yes. Free of charge.
Who will be speaking or presenting at Project NorthStar?
Speaker announcements will be made on a rolling basis as the conference date nears. Project NorthStar will feature a mix of local leaders and nationally-recognized experts from the tech and innovation sectors.
What kind of workshops or topics will the conference offer?
We will cover a wide array of topics around building tech (or tech-enabled) businesses, and working in tech. Stay tuned for updates on our Program page.
Where can I find an updated conference schedule?
All updates will be accessible via the Program page, as well as in the Project NorthStar conference app.
Is this a public or private event?
Project NorthStar is a private event that is planned and executed by Black & Brown Founders (BBF) in partnership with the City of Philadelphia.
What is happening during the Mayor’s Summit and who from the local community will be involved?
The Mayor’s Summit was designed to ensure that (a) Project NorthStar is solutions-oriented and not just another event with talking-heads, and (b) doers have a seat at the table. The event essentially serves as an opportunity to develop a post-conference roadmap before the conference actually kicks off. Together the City of Philadelphia, key stakeholders, local leaders, and community members will convert ideas and commitments into action plans aligned with the purpose of Project NorthStar. Plans developed during the Mayor’s Summit will be compiled into a report and shared publicly.
Philadelphia is the fastest growing tech sector in proportion to total job growth, after the San Francisco Bay area. Conveniently nestled in the mid-Atlantic region, Philadelphia is within 2 ½ hours of one of the largest population of Black & Brown entrepreneurs in the United States: Washington, D.C.
How is this event different from the Black & Brown Founders event that took place last year?
Project NorthStar will build on last year’s BBF event, expanding in length, scope and the number of attendees. Of all the attendees surveyed at every BBF-organized event across the country, 100% said they would attend again. Many have also expressed that it was a life-changing experience for them. BBF is advancing this work further by including a focus on workforce development, and the team looks forward to providing quality content around how to start and grow a career in tech at Project NorthStar.
Does this duplicate work that is already being done by Philadelphia-based organizations and events?
Many of the Philly-based organizations doing adjacent work to BBF are on the Project NorthStar Advisory Committee and/or are Community Partners. Other members of the Philly tech community have been invited to contribute their voices, thoughts and ideas, and many more will be engaged as program development and other partnership opportunities materialize.
When does the conference begin and end?
The conference will be held from Wednesday, October 3rd through Friday, October 5th, 2018.
Check out the Program page for more detailed information and a schedule. Project NorthStar will also feature the Mayor’s Summit, a private, invite-only pre-conference event on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018.
How much will it cost to attend? Will there be any grants or scholarships for local residents and low-income individuals?
For information about event pricing, please see our Tickets page. Day 3 (Friday, October 5th) is free for the public to attend. Registration is still required.
Scholarships will be made available to help defray costs for some attendees. Sign up for our mailing list here to find out when scholarship applications are open. Note that applying does not guarantee that a scholarship will be granted to you.
Where is the conference being held?
We are excited to be one of the first conferences held at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Here it is on the map.
2300 S. Swanson St.
Philadelphia, PA 19148
We will have plenty of parking available!
Are there group rates available?
While group rates are currently unavailable, we encourage you to save bucks by taking advantage of early bird registration.
May I transfer or cancel my registration if I am unable to attend the conference?
Tickets for Project NorthStar are non-refundable. You may transfer your ticket to someone else until September 24th by contacting conference organizers at email@example.com. If you cannot attend and have no one to transfer your ticket to, you may request to have your contribution converted into a tax-deductible donation to Black & Brown Founders.
Where is the closest airport?
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is 9.8 miles from the venue. Just an Uber or Lyft ride away!
What should I wear during the conference?
There is no official dress code for the event, but you may be meeting with mentors or having a mock job interview. Dress to impress!
What should I bring with me?
Bring a notepad and pen, as well as your phone, if nothing else. Depending on what sessions to plan to attend, you may also want to bring a laptop. We’ll have places in "The Backyard" to network or check email when you’re in between sessions.
How do I register for specific workshops I want to attend?
The NorthStar conference app will feature all the sessions available to attend, and you can construct your own personal schedule. The app will be available prior to the conference; you will receive notification of this via the email address provided at the time of registration.
How can I get involved?
There are numerous ways to get involved! Answer the call for speakers, volunteers and mentors as they come. Consider sponsoring a ticket for someone, or join our incredible roster of sponsors. Jump into the conversation online by following @bbfounders across all social media channels, and be sure to share the content you like or love! Tell a friend to tell a friend about the conference and Black & Brown Founders. Shall we go on? Because we can. :)
Is the City putting up any money for NorthStar, and if so, where is it coming from?
The City of Philadelphia is one of the event sponsors, with funding from StartupPHL.
What about other minorities who are not Black and/or Latinx? Will this event be exclusionary to them?
Project NorthStar’s event organizers, and Black & Brown Founders proudly support the efforts of other groups. We invite anyone who is eager to learn, network and share to attend the conference.
The overarching goal of the conference is to address economic disparities by helping the most marginalized leverage technology to improve their economic futures. As result of the shared experiences of Black and Latinx communities, BBF’s mission has been to serve these two communities since its founding.
Black and Latinx people are 55.5% of Philadelphia’s population (41.1% Black and 14.4% Latinx) and represent a disproportionate amount of the city’s poor (72.6%). Our organization’s focus aligns closely with Philadelphia’s demographics, and Mayor Kenney’s vision for creating a tech conference that is representative of the City’s population and also serves an economic empowerment tool for residents.
In order to address the wealth gap that exists in Philadelphia, and across the nation, we must start with those who have been most marginalized. The median net worth for Black and Latinx households is $9,211 and $12,458 respectively, compared to $132,483 for a White household and $112,250 for an Asian household.
The Mayor’s Summit and Project NorthStar are not meant to be a final solution, rather a first step towards creating a prototype for success.
Don’t see your questions listed here? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to further assist you.