African American and Latino Centers of Technology and Innovation

Tour curated by: Valarie Williams

Oakland is a burgeoning hub of tech and innovation. While it is smaller in scale than San Francisco or Silicon Valley, it is doing something neither of these centers do - offer and support diversity. The start-ups, boot camps, businesses, and hackathons are active spaces with African American and/or Latinos at the helm. These organizations are among giants such as Pandora, Ask, and Uber, holding their own in a landscape dominated by white and Asian men.

Locations for Tour

Hack the Hood, a non-profit organization, provides low-income youth of color with technical, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills. Founded in Oakland in 2013, the award-winning organization serves to equip students between the ages of 14-21 with…

In 2011 Electrical Engineer Kimberly Bryant founded Black Girls Code in San Francisco, California. Based in Oakland, California, Bryant's vision is to provide spaces for African American, Latina, and Native American girls between the ages of…

Founded in 2012 by five African American males, the Hidden Genius Project trains young African American males to enter their local tech economy. Based in Oakland, The Hidden Genius Project, offers mentorship, entrepreneurship and leadership skills to…

Founded by two African-American men, Mindblown Labs creates experiential learning tools for kids. Through the interactive gaming experiences Mindblown Labs produces, young people are taught how to navigate financial decisions that ultimately impact…

Founded by Oakland native Diishan Imira, tech outfit Mayvenn is an innovative platform enables hair care professionals the ability to sell hair extension and other hair care products directly to the customers and clientele they service. The Black…

Detroit-native and serial entrepreneur James Norman created the Oakland-based company Pilot.ly – an entertainment research platform that helps Hollywood television and film productions determine which projects receive the green light. Formerly…

Started by Kalimah Priforce, Qeyno Labs offers hackathons to high potential youth of color in the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization primarily serves African American youth in Oakland. Its founder identified the need to offer STEAM (Science,…

As a teacher of 4th grade, Sleek Geek founder Reina Sofia believes her occupation is a vehicle for social justice. Social justice is at the root of her company Sleek Geek – a software design and development firm that creates cross-platform…

In response to a lack of online shopping opportunities, NetClearly founder Alec Ghafouri and his wife started 2Locos an English and Spanish search engine with the Latino user at its focus. The search engine offers curated, bilingual content featuring…

Impact HUB Oakland is a multi-cultural co-working space and business incubator located in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood. It is in close proximity to Downtown Oakland, the Northgate business district, Lake Merritt, and Jack London Square. Its…