Introducing Tribaja’s inaugural Diversitech Fest
In partnership with Philly Startup Leaders, a new event focused on promoting diversity in tech is coming to Philadelphia from May 10 through 12.
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Shannon Morales is back at it again with yet another opportunity for diverse talent looking for entry into the tech industry.
From May 10 to 12, Tribaja will be hosting its first-ever Diversitech Fest, a hybrid three-day event for diverse individuals of color to gain valuable insight and resources on succeeding within the vast tech landscape.
“It’s about the intersectionalities between art, music [and] culture, and how technology plays a role in all of those spaces,” Morales, Tribaja founder and Diversitech Fest creator, told AL DÍA about the event.
“But we will also talk to those who want to potentially transition into business owners and bosses and use those skills that they’ve obtained through work experience and own their own businesses one day,” she added.
The Diversitech Fest is in partnership with Philly Startup Leaders — which helps develop and grow the startup community in Philadelphia — and is designed to show the innovation and entrepreneurship side of technology.
Isabelle Kent, executive director of Philly Startup Leaders, noted that the partnership was developed to help further the mission of creating more inclusive and equitable entrepreneurship in the region.
“In our perspective, so much of that starts with a career,” said Kent. “because if you don’t have access and visibility to what innovation is, what tech is, what’s scalable and what’s for you, ultimately that creates more barriers to economic participation, especially when we talk about people of color and other underrepresented groups.”
Throughout the duration of the three days, participants and attendees can expect to see and hear panel discussions, keynote speeches and fireside chats, participate in workshops and networking sessions, and much more.
Each day will end with a live interactive session.
“We definitely try to curate content based on what our audience wants. There’s never a time that we just blindly go into creating an event,” said Morales.
The first day will be tailored more to cultured creatives.
Some of what attendees can expect on this day include information about the city’s tech hubs where people of color can thrive, a virtual yoga session with Philly Jawns Love Yoga founder and local Puerto Rican yoga instructor Amy Perez, lessons on NFTs, and more.
The day will end with a kickback social event at Tactix that will feature food vendors, music and networking opportunities.
Morales noted that the goal is to amplify local Black and Brown businesses and its owners who are doing great work, but lack the visibility and recognition.
During the social event, many of those diverse entrepreneurs will be showcasing their brands and providing samples of their food, including Latina-owned business, Lulas Empanadas.
The second day of the Diversitech Fest will provide intel on how to turn an idea or side hustle into a full-scale successful business, growing your personal brand, a live cooking show from Sabor Latino, and attendees can also expect to hear from startup leaders who will discuss their journeys.
“You see a lot about success stories, about the glamorous side of being an entrepreneur and having your freedom and living life on your own terms, but what does it really take for people to get there?” Morales asked.
That question, among many others, will be answered throughout the duration of the event.
During the second day, Entrepreneurs Expo, Philly Startup Leaders’ annual showcase of startups and technology companies in Philadelphia — the largest in the region — will also be taking place.
“Entrepreneurs Expo is the first touch for a lot of these companies, not only graduating from our accelerator programs, but really introducing newer and early stage startups to the larger ecosystem,” said Beth Lawrence, director of programs for Philly Startup Leaders.
She added that the Entrepreneurs Expo is designed to bring more innovation to Philly’s tech landscape.
During the Expo, startups will have the opportunity to meet new customers and find talent, while attendees will have the chance to create opportunities for personal and professional growth.
The third day will be dedicated to social professionals, and will feature a virtual job fair, among other valuable opportunities.
The final day of the Diversitech Fest will end with a closing reception at Attico Rooftop, and will serve as a celebration of diverse innovators within the tech space in Philly.
Overall, Diversitech Fest in partnership with Philly Startup Leaders is a full-circle moment for Morales, who relaunched and rebranded her business as part of Philly Startup Leaders.
“When I made the decision to become a full-time entrepreneur, Philly Startup Leaders was the first accelerator program to accept me, and that really is what launched Tribaja and launched my career as an entrepreneur and as a founder,” Morales said.
It allowed her to see other professionals who looked like her and were also trying their hand in launching their own careers in tech.
“We’re super glad to be a continuing supporter of everything [Shannon] does,” noted Kent.
Among its many goals, the Diversitech Fest will aim to provide that same opportunity and exposure for others who are looking to go down the same path.
In Tribaja and Philly Startup Leaders coming together in this way, a great opportunity is present for Philadelphia to really put its stamp on the tech scene among major U.S. cities — an endeavor that is very important to Morales.
“I think if we want to continue to be seen as a market leader in the diversity in tech hub and innovation space, we really need to do a better job of making sure that everyone knows what benefits and value Philadelphia brings when it comes to these different spaces,” Morales said.
For Philly Startup Leaders, the partnership is a way for Philadelphia startups and entrepreneurs to also have a more national reach and increase their visibility.
“This [partnership] gives us the opportunity to talk about Philadelphia on a larger stage, but also learn from some of these other attendees that are coming from different ecosystems,” said Kent.
It will, in turn, attract more diverse tech talent into the growing ecosystem within the city already.