Wisconsin Tech Month is right around the corner, and to celebrate, we’ve invited two leaders in the tech community: Nadiyah Johnson and Ben Jaurez. Nadiyah Johnson is the CEO and founder of Jet Constellations and the founder of Milky Way Tech Hub, and Ben Jaurez is the co-founder of Like|Minded and co-founder of Latinos in Tech. They have impressive resumes that prove they’re industry experts – but have they been given the same opportunities as others in the industry?
Our conversation focuses on the lack of diversity in the tech industry and how to bring funding, access and resources to those that are underrepresented. We also discuss Milwaukee’s current status in the tech industry and the changes we could make as a community to make others view Milwaukee as a tech hub. So for those looking to get into tech, find ways to move Wisconsin forward and just bring more inclusivity into the tech industry, this episode is for you.
Nadiyah and Ben are passionate about bringing diversity into tech and advocating for the same level of access for Black and brown-led organizations as other organizations in the Milwaukee area. One could see the disconnect when examining the statistics, considering only 1% of Black founders are venture-backed. As Nadiyah put it, “It is a matter of funding, access, resources and I will also add a lack of corporate backing. In a way in where we consider corporations co-conspirators.”
And not only is it a matter of advocating for funding for these organizations, but it’s also a matter of getting the word out there. When reflecting on his own experience with tech, Ben said, “What if somebody told me at the age of 12 or even at the age of 16 that I could do this? And then showed me and like demystified it for me, I’d be flying.” That’s why he’s made it his mission to bring awareness of these opportunities to others.
Throughout the episode, Nadiyah and Ben discuss where the tech community currently stands in Milwaukee, where they’d like to see it go and actionable items people can do to move it forward. So tune in and gain insight into the future of tech. For more information, visit the links below:
- Wisconsin Tech Month: https://milkywaytechhub.com/witechmonth/
- Latinos in Tech: https://www.latinosin.tech
- Milky Way Tech Hub: https://milkywaytechhub.com
- MKE Tech Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mke-tech-podcast/id1628240470
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The podcast is produced by GGMM.