Be Nimble Foundation Celebrates Fourth Annual Black Innovation Week

In a vibrant celebration of Black innovation in technology and entrepreneurship, the Be Nimble Foundation is hosting its 4th Annual Black Innovation Week. Set to take place from June 24th – June 30th in Indianapolis, this week-long event series aims to center and celebrate Black culture, honor the rich stories within our history and ignite the future of the brightest entrepreneurs of today. Sponsored by prominent organizations such as OneAmerica and JP Morgan Chase, Black Innovation Week promises to be a cornerstone in the ongoing effort to support and uplift Black professionals in the tech industry.

 

It will take 228 years for Black families to close the wealth gap across America, but for Indianapolis, that number is projected to be 240 years. 

 

Through their workforce development programs up-skill unemployed, underemployed, and career transitioners, Be Nimble Foundation is working to ensure founders and innovators can secure high-paying jobs in the technology sector. Through entrepreneurship fellowships, pitch competitions, and workshops, Be Nimble supports entrepreneurs with the launch, scale, and fundraising for their start-ups.

 

Kelli Jones, Co-founder of Be Nimble and managing partner at Sixty8 Capital, encapsulated the spirit of the event by saying, “Our Black Innovation Week events are a testimony to the hard work and innovation that Black creatives, leaders, and entrepreneurs contribute to the tech space in Indianapolis and throughout the state.” 

 

Black Innovation Week seeks to celebrate the achievements of Black tech leaders and ignite and nurture a supportive community for current and aspiring Black professionals in tech—who continue to launch innovative programs and initiatives without access to support and capital along the way.

 

The number of startups founded by Black women has more than doubled since 2016, yet the percentage of Black women-led startups is far less than the percentage of Black women in the U.S.

 

“We believe in creating a safe space where Black professionals can network, celebrate Black excellence, and advocate for themselves and others, with the understanding that similar networking events don’t always offer the same level of accessibility to our communities,” said Jeff Williams, co-founder of Be Nimble. 

 

Less than 1% of venture funding is awarded to Black founders.

 

Supporting Black innovation is not just about equity; it’s about enriching the tech industry with diverse perspectives that drive creativity and progress. By providing platforms and resources for Black professionals and entrepreneurs, initiatives like Black Innovation Week help to dismantle systemic barriers and foster a more inclusive ecosystem.

 

“We’re not just celebrating success; we’re building the future,” said Jones. “The importance of these efforts extends beyond individual achievements to the broader impact on communities and industries, demonstrating the profound value of diversity in innovation.”

 

At Be Nimble, we believe that our community deserves investment, and technology and entrepreneurship are the keys to unlocking generational wealth for the Black community.

 

Black Innovation Week features a diverse array of events, including educational panels, discussions, and networking opportunities. Here are some key highlights:

 

Tue. 6/25: The Launch Pardi Kick-Off Event @ The Eiteljorg Museum (500 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204) 6p-9p

 

 

The Launch Pardi will be an immersive experience, celebrating reclaimed narratives and the next generation of our work through the lens of this year’s theme “Welcome to Rodeo Drive” 

It will feature a fireside chat moderated by Dr. Colette Pierce-Burnette featuring visual artists Ivan McClellan & Bernard Williams, and Exhale App Founder, Katara McCarty.

 

Wed. 6/26: Black Tech Networking Event with Mentors of Color (301 E Market St, Indianapolis, IN 46204) 5:30p-9p

 

 

Get ready to mix, mingle, and make magic happen at the Black In Tech Networking Mixer, brought to you by Mentors of Color and Be Nimble Foundation! Join us on June 26, 2024, from 5:30 PM to 9:00 PM at the stunning Cummins Global Distribution Headquarters in downtown Indianapolis. This is your chance to connect with fellow tech enthusiasts, innovators, and industry leaders in a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere.

 

Thu. 6/27 – Fri. 6/28: Kitchen Sink Mini Conference Day I & 2 (601 S Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202) 5p-9p

 

 

Join us on Thursday and Friday evenings for the opportunity to celebrate beauty, style, art, and culture! Discover and support brands like Capture Noire, Klotofy, AYO foods, Bloomi, and more while networking and engaging with fellow beauty enthusiasts and emerging brands in your community.

 

Sat. 6/29: Garden Pardi IV: Rodeo Drive (801 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204) 4p-9p

 

 

The 4th Annual Garden Pardi event will anchor this year’s Black Innovation Week. Contributions from this year’s event will go to direct grant prizes to 5 new Black founders who will be selected for Be Nimble’s next Add 2 Cart fellowship cohort. 

 

 

Sat. 6/29: ACT II.V: A BEYONCE TRIBUTE (GPIV AFTER PARDI) in partnership with Ferris and DJ Solo (601 S Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202) 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

 

 

Sun. 6/30: Post-Pardi Brunch On Rodeo with Mike G (1060 N Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46204) 1p-5p

 

Black Innovation Week is a powerful reminder of the contributions and potential of Black innovators across creative, tech and product-based industries. By attending these events, supporting Black-led initiatives, and advocating for inclusive practices, everyone can play a part in creating a more equitable and vibrant tech ecosystem.

 

For more information about Be Nimble Foundation and Black Innovation Week events, visit benimbleco.com.

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