Providing funding, career links aim of tech conference

When Aniyia Williams started her San Francisco-based fashion tech hardware company, Tinsel, she realized that there were investment disparities for minority and women-led businesses.

“We had to make this thing happen with pennies, compared to what some other founders who are also in our space who were doing something similar would get,” said Williams, whose company makes necklaces that also function as earbuds.

“I started to understand the reasons why, a couple years into building the business. What I noticed was that disproportionately women and especially people of color and Black women were not getting the dollars. Investors were just not writing those checks,” she said.

A 2015 study by First Round Capital found that only 0.2 percent of all investment funding went to companies run by women of color.

So Williams, a Philadelphia native, launched Black & Brown Founders in 2017. The organization works to provide education and support to Black and Latinx tech entrepreneurs.

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Syreeta Martin