Latino and black entrepreneurs in Chicago, Austin and Durham are getting an assist from Google. Through Code2040, which helps to diversify the tech pipeline, Google will provide a one-year stipend and free office space for start-ups. Entrepreneurs are also expected to “build bridges to technology for minorities in those communities,” USA Today reports. The new program sends an important message: you don’t have to be in Silicon Valley to do tech.
The SXSW announcement by Code2040’s co-founder Laura Weidman Powers comes about a year after Google began releasing employment diversity data to the public. Silicon Valley had long had a reputation for employing low numbers of Latinos and African-Americans as tech workers (at Google, 2 percent are Hispanic, 1 percent African-American). And while Asian-Americans are well-represented, they appear to hit a ceiling when it comes to executive-level leadership.
Code2040 received $775,000 from Google this February, USA Today reports, to bring more Latinos and African-Americans into the sector.