February 29, 2024

Honoring Legacy, Shaping Tomorrow: Black Tech Leaders Discuss Challenges and Opportunities in Tulsa

Honoring Legacy, Shaping Tomorrow: Black Tech Leaders Discuss Challenges and Opportunities in Tulsa

Last week, we hosted a dynamic discussion highlighting black voices shaping Tulsa's tech scene. The panel featured Mikeal Vaughn, Founder & CEO of Urban Coders Guild, Dominick J. Ard'is, Founder & CEO of ACT House, and Jamar Torres, Program Manager at Atento Capital.

These diverse leaders explored the unique experiences and opportunities faced by minority professionals in the industry. Their insights painted a vibrant picture of the possibilities for growth and success, leaving us all inspired to contribute to a more inclusive tech future. You can watch a replay of the panel on our YouTube channel.

Untapped Potential

Dominick J. Ard'is dropped a sobering statistic during the panel, that only 2% of US venture capital reached Black and Latino founders last year. This massive funding gap means brilliant ideas and talent often go untapped, silencing diverse voices and slowing innovation.

It's not just about fairness; it's about missed opportunities. These under-funded founders have the potential to revolutionize the industry, but are held back by resources, empowerment, and opportunities. By advocating for change, supporting diverse ventures, and fostering meaningful mentorship, we can unlock their potential and create a thriving, inclusive tech scene in Tulsa and beyond.

Education and Empowerment Are Key

Building a diverse tech future starts young, and the panelists highlighted the crucial role of education and empowerment. Mikeal Vaughn emphasized breaking down barriers and showcasing possibilities early on. By introducing youth to the world of coding and technology, we ignite a spark in their imaginations and show them they can achieve great things.

Jamar Torres echoed the importance of nurturing self-belief and persistence. He reminded us that many obstacles are internal, and empowering individuals to overcome self-doubt is key. Building confidence and instilling a "never give up" attitude are essential to cultivating future tech leaders.

We, as a community, can play a vital role by encouraging exploration and celebrating diverse voices in tech. Every journey begins with a single step. Let's empower the next generation to take that step.

Explore Community Partners

Check out the work of organizations dedicated to building a more inclusive and thriving tech scene in Tulsa. Discover how they're empowering diverse talent and find ways to join the movement.

Atento Capital

Atento Capital champions innovation and positive change through investing in tech-enabled businesses. Join their monthly First Friday Mixer for networking and insights into the Tulsa tech scene. 

ACT House

ACT House is a startup accelerator offering resources, coaching, and funding for entrepreneurs. Applications for their Cohort 6 accelerator program, focused on scaling innovative businesses, are open until March 11th

Urban Coders Guild

Urban Coders Guild equips disadvantaged youth with coding skills and fosters supportive learning. Dive deeper into their mission and connect with them to help empower the next generation of tech leaders.

Shape the Future at Atlas

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Atlas School is dedicated to empowering students of all backgrounds to excel in the tech industry. Schedule a meeting with our admissions team or email admissions@atlasschool.com with any questions.

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