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START ATL to Focus on Increasing Number of Urban Digital Entrepreneurs









FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact:

Terrilyn Simmons
(404) 270-5822
tsimmons8@spelman.edu

Inaugural event to take place Saturday, April 13, at Spelman College

ATLANTA (April 8, 2013) -- START ATL, an interactive symposium that teaches urban entrepreneurs how to start and grow digital businesses, will be held Saturday, April 13, at Spelman College's  Science Center NASA Auditorium from 9 a.m.- 6pm.

Featured at the event will be an "Idea Pitch Session" in which all attendees will be given the opportunity to sell their ideas to a panel of judges during a 30 second elevator pitch. The winners will receive up to $5,000 in prizes.

A discounted rate of $49 is available for all Daybook readers. To register for START ATL visit http://startatl.eventbrite.com/or call (347) 460-5115 for more information. Please enter the code DAYBOOK to receive a 50 percent discount on event registration.

START is part of a nationwide series created by digitalundivided (DID), a social enterprise that builds forward thinking initiatives that ultimately change the digital space by increasing the number of Black and Latino women digital entrepreneurs. The START Atlanta symposium was developed to teach urban entrepreneurs the tools to create and grow successful digital companies.

Business experts such as Navarrow Wright, CTO, Interactive One and Kendra Bracken Ferguson, Founder, Digital Brand Architects and leading investors Lauren Maillian Bias, Managing Director, Gen Y Capital and Eghosa Omoigui, Managing Director, EchoVC will all be on hand to offer expert advice and information to those who attend and have anidea for the next big website, mobile app or blog.

Some of the titles for the panels include "What You Need To Know Before Leaving Your Day Job, "Everything You Need To Know To Build Your Site/Product," "How to Ask for Money for Your Business" and "How to Market Your Company on the Cheap."

 "10.1 million firms in the United States are owned by women, and people of color are among the fastest growing demographic of the population," said Jane Smith, executive director of the Spelman College Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement. "It is this reality, along with the role of technology in our lives that motivated Spelman to become the host sponsor of this event."

From the Wall Street Journal to Essence Magazine, DID’s activities and initiatives continue to drive the discussion around people of color in the digital space. DID was founded in 2012 by Kathryn Finney, a leader in the social media space, Editor-At-Large at the global social media powerhouse, BlogHer, and one of the first style bloggers on the web. In less than six months DID has had a significant impact on increasing the number of successful digital entrepreneurs of color.

DID’s FOCUS100 event, held this past October in New York City, reached more than 3 million people with an additional 47 million impressions and drew in major players in the digital space such as Newark, NJ Mayor Corey Booker, Andreesen Horowitz, Ogilvy, and Techstars.

More than 30 percent of companies participating in FOCUS100 received "next steps" meetings with major Silicon Valley venture capital firms and half of those received funding. DID’s GROW Meetups, held in four cities (New York, Detroit, Chicago, and Bay Area), have created entry points into the digital space for new urban digital entrepreneurs and has garnered support from such major corporations as Google, American Express and Thomsen Reuters.

"One of the reasons why it’s hard for urban entrepreneurs to find success in the digital space is because the current start up system is built for a certain gender, race, andclass which excludes 99 percent of all potential digital entrepreneurs", says Kathryn Finney, Managing Director and founder of digitalundivided. "We created our own ecosystem which allows the folks in our community the opportunity to succeed."

According to Mayor Booker working with DID is "…a great chance for me to connect with people who have the same mission as me, expansion of opportunity, expansion of job creation, and creating new avenues of promise for our community."

About digitalundivided:
digitalundivided (DID) is a social enterprise that builds forward thinking initiatives that fundamentally change the digital space by increasing the number of urban women digital entrepreneurs.  Their first project, the annual FOCUS100 Pitch BootCamp and Symposium, held in October 2012, had a reach of over 3 million people with 47 million impressions that resulted in several angel and venture funding deals.

Upcoming projects include:

FOCUS100. An annual conference for tech companies with a black women founder/co-founder, angel and venture investors, leading corporations, and those interested in the future of tech.

GROW. National monthly meetups held in four cities (New York, Detroit, Chicago, Bay Area). Check calendar for upcoming meetups.

START. DID’s initiative in local communities around the nation that teaches urban digital entrepreneurs how to go from idea to execution.

INVEST. DID’s initiative focused on investing in companies led by women and people of color.

About Spelman College:

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson.  

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