Microsoft for Startups Announced as Title Sponsor for Project NorthStar, a tech conference for the Black and Latinx community

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 05, 2018

CONTACT: Haniyyah Sharpe-Brown,, 267-324-8839

Microsoft for Startups Announced as Title Sponsor for Project NorthStar, a tech conference for the Black and Latinx community

Conference attendees are among the first of many to benefit from the company’s commitment
to propel growth of founders and investors

PHILADELPHIA -- Black & Brown Founders today announced Microsoft for Startups as the Title Sponsor for Project NorthStar, a 3-day tech conference presented in partnership with the City of Philadelphia. The conference will take place October 3-5, 2018 and provide connections, education and opportunities to 500+ current or aspiring entrepreneurs and knowledge workers from the Black and Latinx community who want to build a tech company or launch a career in tech.

Microsoft for Startups is a new program that delivers access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits that helps startups grow their customer and revenue base. The program’s title sponsorship of Project NorthStar is part of a $500 million commitment to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to its technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems.

Startups working with Black & Brown Founders may also be eligible to receive Microsoft for Startups benefits. The program provides startups with up to $120,000 in free Azure credits, enterprise grade technical support and development tools as well as dedicated resources to prepare startup marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their cloud solutions to enterprise organizations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organization and partner ecosystem.

“We are really excited to support innovative Black and Latinx startups alongside Black & Brown Founders” said Jeana Jorgenson, General Manager, Commerce and Ecosystems Team at Microsoft. “Their unique approach to supporting these communities through tailored workshops, customized community development, and regional conferences is critical to fueling the next wave of successful founders and we’re honored to be part of that.”

Finding ways to support entrepreneurs of color has been the mission of Black & Brown Founders (BBF) since its creation in 2017 by Aniyia Williams, a Philadelphia native. By collaborating with partners who are engaging with the core needs of the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs, the BBF team, its advisors, community partners, and the City of Philadelphia are committed to creating a structure with NorthStar that can connect people to useful information, much-needed resources, and each other.

“As an entrepreneur, it’s been great to see Microsoft step up with products that support startups in the last few years. When coupled with the various initiatives that Microsoft for Startups is supporting, it’s clear that there is an intentional effort to touch founders of ALL backgrounds who are building solutions for an ever-changing world,” said Aniyia Williams, Executive Director of Black & Brown Founders. “This is evident in our partnership thus far, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.”

The content of the NorthStar conference will focus on tech entrepreneurship, working in tech, and navigating the industry from a Black and/or Latinx perspective, though anyone eager to learn is welcome to attend and take part. Microsoft for Startups’ sponsorship will power conference happenings including a keynote address, talks, mentor office hours, activations and more.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Project NorthStar at

Syreeta Martin