The Gula Tech Foundation Announces Winners of $1 Million Grant Program

COLUMBIA, MD—Gula Tech Foundation, a nonprofit focused on awarding $1,000,000 in competitive grants to cybersecurity nonprofits several times each year, announced the winners of its initial competitive grant program. This competitive grant focuses on funding nonprofits with the mission to increase African American engagement in cybersecurity.

“We reviewed over a hundred submissions from impressive nonprofits impacting the cybersecurity industry. So many of the nonprofits that submitted are making a noticeable change in the industry and driving our industry forward,” said Ron & Cyndi Gula, Co-founders of The Gula Tech Foundation. “It was difficult to choose, but the three winners truly exemplify the mission, persistence and vision needed to succeed in this environment.”

2021 Winners:

First Place: $500,000

  • Black Cybersecurity Association: BCA creates a multigenerational pipeline of qualified professionals to enter the workplace and has more than 2,000 cybersecurity mentors enabling a variety of programs.

Second Place: $300,000

  • NPower Inc: NPower’s advanced Cybersecurity program is currently offered two times per year starting March or July for 100 students. The program is 14 weeks of full-time virtual classroom training followed by 12 weeks of on-the-job training and professional development through a paid internship in the cybersecurity departments of NPower’s corporate partners.

Third Place: $200,000

  • Girl Security: Girl Security provides multi-disciplinary, equity-informed programming through its “SEA Model,” where girls and young women are Secured, Empowered, and Advanced.

“We are thrilled to be announced as the first place winner of this initial competitive grant program. With a keen focus on creating qualified Black professionals to enter the cybersecurity workforce, this grant will enable us to accelerate this effort to reach 10,000 professionals by 2030,” said Darold Kelly Jr., President & CEO of Black Cybersecurity Association.

The Gula Tech Foundation’s March 2021 grant will support nonprofits that demonstrably raise public awareness about cybersecurity. Public awareness about cybersecurity is part of the Gula’s initiative to expand cybersecurity into the “Data Care” industry.  Applications for a competitive grant open March 22, 2021 and the winners will be announced May 20, 2021 as part of the 2021 RSA Conference.

“RSA Conference is very proud to partner with The Gula Foundation in their efforts to increase understanding of personal responsibility to care for data and, in doing so, positively impact inclusivity and diversity of those who seek out a career in our industry through their ‘Data Care’ grant,” said Britta Glade, Senior Director of Content & Curation for RSA Conference. “The ‘team sport’ vision that a Data Care term implicitly carries with it can help broaden the lens of who feels like our field is a possible career option. The Gula Foundation’s ‘Data Care’ Grant is a great way to move this important effort forward.”

To learn more about the next competitive grant competition, visit: https://www.gula.tech/foundation/.

About Gula Tech Adventures
Founded by cybersecurity entrepreneurs Ron and Cyndi Gula, Gula Tech Adventures invests in companies and nonprofits that help close the gap in needed technology and workforce to defend the country in cyberspace. They work directly with cybersecurity startups, investment funds and nonprofit organizations. Since 2017, the Gula’s have made more than 40 investments in cybersecurity startups like AutomoxCybraryHuntress and Scythe, cybersecurity funds including Inner Loop CapitalDataTribe and Forgepoint Capital, and also supported cybersecurity nonprofits like Defending Digital Campaigns and voting.works.

— Source and images: Gula Tech Foundation

Baltimore Tech Professionals to host annual Multicultural Minority Innovation Weekend

#HackingInnovation

BALTIMORE, MDMinority Innovation Weekend 2019 (MIW19) provides minorities launching new businesses an opportunity to connect with each other and gain exposure to investors. This weekend’s summit at the University of Baltimore’s Thumel Business Center is dedicated to aiding minority innovators launch tech-focused startups, exploring trending technologies, and showcasing tech startups that have a minority founder or co-founder.

This two-day conference is co-hosted by NSBEBMAC, the Baltimore Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers Professionals, and SHPE, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Baltimore and Johns Hopkins Chapters.  The goal of this year’s event, named Minority Innovation Weekend (MIW), is to provide knowledge to enable individuals to turn their technology-based ideas or concepts into viable tech-startups and new corporations.

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“The early stages of entrepreneurship can be a particularly isolating time due the do-it-all nature and time constraints of starting a business,” said Sir Walter Richardson, the MIW 2019 coordinator. “Even when given the chance to engage the broader technical or entrepreneurial world, the demographics are such that minorities can still feel isolated.”

The MIW19 Host BDPA Chapter is BDPA Baltimore.  MIW19’s Media Sponsor is bdpatoday.  Register today for Minority Innovation Weekend 2019 at https://miw.eventbrite.com.

— Source, video, and photo credits: NSBE-BMAC

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In Atlanta—BlackTech and entrepreneurs across the U.S. lead part of new migration South

STEM Diversity Career Expo

ATLANTA—Today, African-Americans are reversing their great migrations, abandoning false promises from U.S. technology hubs in the West, Northwest, and Northeast to reclaim cities in the South. In an article released this week from USA Today, Brookings Institution demographer William Frey, author of “Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America,” says Atlanta leads all other metropolitan areas in black migration, increasing more than five-fold from 1970 to 2017.

bdpa16_students-agendaLeading these migrations are younger, highly educated talent who demand quality of life without exorbitant price tags and excessive taxation. Demographer Joel Kotkin, executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, underscores the fact that Atlanta’s big draw for African-Americans is the large number of entrepreneurs. Direct access to tech start-ups, students, interns, and protégés from the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC) and leading technology schools make Atlanta extremely attractive. Moreover, as a strategic triad of academia and public-private partnerships, local HBCUs, Georgia State, and Georgia Tech actively are engaging governments, industry partners, and community technology organizations such as BDPA and LISTA to expand smart cities research while organically growing local talent.

National BDPA will convene its 41st annual technology conference in Atlanta, Georgia from August 1-3, 2019. Headquarters for BDPACON19, this year’s conference, will be the Hyatt Regency Atlanta with technology workshops and presentations at local mission partner facilities and participating colleges and universities.

2016 National HSCC Champions | BDPA AtlantaTop Coders and National HSCC Champions
Annual BDPA conferences feature technology career expos, National collegiate and high school IT Showcases, Mobile App Showcase, National High School Coding Competitions (HSCC) featuring top-coders from local BDPA Chapter cities and Jr. Devs from every BDPA region, and annual Youth Technology Camps (YTC). This year’s Host Chapter, BDPA Atlanta, will try to recapture their National HSCC championship (shown above) with another title in 2019. BDPA St. Louis is 2018’s defending HSCC World Champion.

— Industry sources: Urban Geekz and USA Today

Tags/Key words:
5G, Atlanta, BDPA, BDPACON19, entrepreneur, FINtech, HBCU, HSCC, IoT, LISTA, smart cities, start-ups

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#BDPACON19 | August 1-3, 2019 | Atlanta, GA

EY selects LISNR as 2017 Connected World Communications Winner

RodneyWilliams-LISNR headshotCINCINNATI, OH–Rodney Williams leads one of the most disruptive companies in our emerging Internet of Things (IoT) space and mobile connectivity. His firm, LISNR,  provides a data transmission protocol that utilizes ultrasonic, inaudible technology that sends secure data over audio. Today, EY announces LISNR as Connected World Communications Winners for their 2017 Ohio Valley EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) recently launched the “CAC Digital Docent” App, an acoustic guide designed by WNDERS that uses LISNR technology to enhance the visitor experience. The app allows visitors to explore more deeply the Tomás Saraceno installation on view in the lobby, and features exclusive content, messages and experiences including a personal greeting from the artist himself. The activation is powered by ultrasonic audio company LISNR and will be the first use of LISNR technology in any museum in the world.

Instead of using outdated technology like headsets with recorded audio or Bluetooth beacons that require hardware, installation and maintenance costs, WNDERS, a mobile app platform for venues looking to enhance their visitor experience, opted to leverage LISNR SmartTone technology. SmartTones trigger the app upon entry. They direct visitors to additional exciting content tied to the exhibit, leading them on a journey through the artwork using video, images, and sound. The tones help visitors connect with Tomas Saraceno across social platforms, view related works. Visitors also have the ability to create a profile and digital collection of images and content.

LISNR’s high-frequency, inaudible SmartTone technology connects mobile applications and devices. When played over speakers, mobile apps with LISNR recognize the tone via the microphone. This additionally also detects micro-location within the venue. The tone then directs the app to an action and in this case it is extra content. Existing audio speakers are leveraged to craft a unique, evolving experience as one moves through the space. According to CAC Director Raphaela Platow, the greatest benefit of LISNR technology is that it not only enables better data transmission, but does it in a cost effective way with minimal hardware, installation and maintenance. This makes it easier for non-profit arts organizations with smaller budgets to get into the innovation and technology game to enhance the visitor experience. “We are continuously looking for innovative and cost-effective ways to connect with our audiences and give them deep and exciting insight into the works on view and the artists who created them. LISNR technology will activate our new app throughout the exhibition space and not only provide people with diverse information but also help us understand better how visitors use and move about our spaces.”

According to LISNR Co-Founder Chris Ostoich, “LISNR has powered experiences and connectivity for some of the world’s most admired brands and venues – including Wembley Stadium, The Staples Center, The Grammys, The Cleveland Cavaliers and more. We are excited to partner with the Contemporary Arts Center, Tomas Saraceno and WNDERS on the first augmented audio museum experience in the world using LISNR technology.”

The CAC Digital Docent App will have a huge impact on how CAC visitors interact with our exhibitions, acting as an interactive, virtual gallery guide. “ArtsWave aimed to bring the spark of innovation into the arts this spring with its first arts hackathon, ArtsWave Tech, and we’re thrilled to see the ideas coming to life,” ArtsWave President and CEO Alecia Kintner said. “The CAC Digital Docent app is an example of the amazing things that can happen when the arts and tech communities of Greater Cincinnati come together.”

This intersection of art and technology represents a significant partnership with a prominent and innovative member of the Cincinnati for-profit business community and an innovator in the Arts sector LISNR is a technology company headquartered in the city’s Central Business District. This is a company on the rise, having raised Series B financing led by Intel Capital, recently named 2017 Ohio Valley EY Entrepreneur of the Year, named one of CNBC’s Disruptor 50, a Gold Lion at Cannes Lions, and customers include The Cleveland Cavaliers, AEG, Budweiser, The Grammys, Visa and more.

As the CEO of LISNR, Mr. Williams has grown the company from a single idea to a promising global standard with more than 40 industry awards. As an entrepreneur, he’s received many accolades from a variety of publications. Williams also is a staple in his community mentoring and advocating for the voiceless. He recently was appointed to the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees.

Sources: LISNR and BizJournals.com
Photo credits: LISNR and EY

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Baltimore Pitch Competition team captures $10K regional prize

WASHINGTONTestify Software Solutions won $10,000 as a finalist in another round of pitch competitions designed to encourage youth entrepreneurship across emerging software-defined ecosystems.

Organized by Mark Greenberg and Marcus Noel, The World Series of Entrepreneurship (#WSE2017) Regional Pitch Competition series is aimed at giving students an extracurricular outlet to develop their ideas, challenge their comfort zones, and learn along a fun, empowering journey. Their mission is to encourage high school students to take a leap with them—inviting them to participate in the ultimate hands-on after-school activity where students get to come up with their own businesses or product ideas, make it come to life with guidance from industry mentors, and then show off their venture in a pitch competition with their peers.

Femi Adebogun, Zack Tasker, Druvesh Patel,  and Paras Shah are Testify‘s Franklin High School co-founders. Testify is an education technology (EdTEch) startup built around their MindMap app.  For Adebogun (top/cover photo), the WSE2017 regional high school pitch competition was not his team’s first rodeo. According to Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) Spotlight, last December they participated in the Venture D.C. Pitch Competition here in Washington, beating six local startups with their app idea, pitch, and execution. Furthermore, they have been asked to talk about Testify at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada on several occasions. Nonetheless, regardless of what they have achieved thus far, Testify‘s co-founders still hope to achieve and earn more.

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BDPA’s high school coding competition (HSCC) students from Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) also participated in WSE2017 events. Team leader Ms. Indigo Emanuel (photo) introduced her team and launched their pitch.

Philadelphia, PA and the District of Columbia served as WSE2017 host cities. Washington’s Inclusive Innovation Incubator [In3] hosted one of the regional pitch competitions at Howard University.

→ Sources and photos:
The World Series of Entrepreneurship™
BDPA Washington, D.C.
Inclusive Innovation Incubator [In3]

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BDPA Members Talk Tech & Disruption in Philly for Tech Week

PHILADELPHIA, PA—How does one change the way we think about business? How does one keep up with constantly changing markets in software-defined ecosystems? How can one utilize new technologies to launch, grow, and sustain a new company?

2017 “DISRUPTION & DIVERSITY IN TECHNOLOGY”

In today’s world these are the questions that people be asking in business and technology and these questions were the bases of this week’s Accelerate PHL Fireside Chat dialogue with Earl A. Pace, Jr., Co-founder of BDPA and Owner of Pace Data Systems and Rodney Williams, CEO and Co-Founder of LISNR, one of the most disruptive new technology companies in the world of mobile connectivity.

Fireside Chat speakers: “Disrupting the Status Quo
EarlPace-HeadshotRodneyWilliams-LISNR headshot
Earl a Pace, Jr.  and  Rodney Williams

Accelerate PHL partners with community, educational, and professional institutions and organizations to discover essential components to stimulate connection and provide resources.  In this article, they remind readers change is always happening. Widespread, nonstop innovation is impacting every aspect of our life. One sees the Internet of Everything (IoE) transforming every industry around where people are trying to determine their roles, what they can do, how they can participate, and an urgent need to learn and maximize their positions inside tremendous change. The Acceleration Summit was designed to give immediate tools, skills, connections and knowledge to be better-positioned to win and to empower people through entrepreneurship.

Establishing stronger tools, attracting talent and building a more-defined pathway for entrepreneurs and new ventures is mission-critical for Philadelphia. Presently, Philadelphia is ranked 34th in Start-Up Activity, 17th in Main Street Entrepreneurship, and 21st in Growth Entrepreneurship according to the Kauffman Foundation. In other words, compared to other NFL/MLB cities, Philadelphia is near-bottom with statistics that matter most in our Innovation Economy.

To compete in the Innovation Economy, we must immediately work-together to make Philadelphia stronger for entrepreneurs and start-up companies in all industries.

Stated in the Kauffman reports, “entrepreneurs flourish in a connected, dense, and diverse ecosystem where they can move quickly to take advantage of opportunities.”

The Acceleration Summit showcased the disruption that is occurring in the local economy in artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR),  and robotics.

— Source: Accelerate PHL
accelerationsummit.com
Disruption & Diversity In Technology
May 2, 2017 @ WeWork / Philadelphia
Cover photo:
bdpatoday

Exclusive: National Basketball Players Association Announces First-Ever Tech Summit

NBA players’ union plays matchmaker with its athletes and Silicon Valley for more than beefing up portfolios

by KC Ifeanyi

NEW YORK, NY – The National Basketball Players Association announced today it will hold the inaugural NBPA Technology Summit from July 19-21 in San Francisco.

The NBPA Technology Summit will provide current and former NBA players with the following:

  • Educational content and presentations from executives of major media and technology companies;
  • Site visits to several media and technology companies in Silicon Valley;
  • Networking opportunities with senior executives and influencers;
  • Workshops designed to identify opportunities for players to pursue both during and after their NBA careers.

Among the participating companies are Andreessen Horowitz, Jawbone and SV Angel.

This three-day event in San Francisco that aims to integrate NBA players with tech and media companies for post-career opportunities beyond just backing them—a shift in thinking that’s found Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (top photo) as a model student.

Code Once. Sell Many.

The NBPA Technology Summit will incorporate site visits to media and tech companies, as well as lectures, presentations, and workshops from executives and influencers. Jawbone, Pinterest, Andreessen Horowitz, and SV Angel are just a few companies on deck to help NBA players find their place in Silicon Valley—and one place the NBPA feels is particularly apt for athletes is wearable technology.  Read more

Sources:  NBPA and  FastCompany.com

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Under Armour launched UA Record during CES 2015, a health and fitness network for new wearable apps dedicated to helping users lead healthier lives.  Photo courtesy, Under Armour.
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