Following Successful Pilot of Program, CODE2040/GFE EIR Program Will Scale Nationally; Thomas Stovall and Candid Cup Chosen From More than 40 Applicants
CHICAGO (MARCH 14, 2016) - 1871 joined CODE2040 and Google for Entrepreneurs (GFE) today to announce that Thomas K. R. Stovall has been selected as 1871’s second CODE2040/GFE Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR). Stovall is the founder and president of CANDID Cup and creator of the BlackInTech speaker series. The EIR program is facilitated by CODE2040 through Google for Entrepreneurs’ North American tech hub network, which 1871 and nine other tech hubs.
“I’m thrilled to have been selected by CODE2040, Google and 1871 as Entrepreneur in Residence,” said Thomas K. R. Stovall. “Focusing on leveling the playing field for founders and professionals of color in tech can create a measurable impact on our communities. A diverse tech ecosystem is good for the bottom line of Chicago businesses. 1871 has been an incredible partner as I’ve built my microfeedback company, CANDID Cup, and worked to increase diversity in Chicago’s tech ecosystem through the BlackInTech event series. In my new role as EIR, I look forward to working with 1871 to grow demand for and usage of my company's OmniView dashboard with enterprises and city agencies, while creating new opportunities for people who are gender diverse, ethnically diverse and/or come from a non-traditional background as it relates to tech.”
Stovall will begin his service in Chicago on April 1. He will succeed Riana Lynn, who served as the inaugural EIR with her business FoodTrace. This year’s selection process came as the culmination of a program launched in the spring of 2014 and successfully piloted in Chicago, Austin and Durham, N.C. This year, tech hubs in Minneapolis, Nashville, Detroit and Denver will also get EIRs.
“We are thrilled to have Thomas serving as EIR for the next year,” said Tom Alexander, COO of 1871. “At 1871 we are focused on finding opportunities to foster diversity across every single aspect of our business, and Thomas will be an instrumental partner in creating new programs and improving our ongoing efforts. We believe that inclusion is essential to innovation and that fostering an open, thoughtful and diverse environment at 1871 is critical for both our future success and Chicago’s prospects as a whole.”
Stovall is the Founder and President of CANDID Cup, a mobile microfeedback platform that can monitor microfeedback specific to any location, department, employee, event, or initiative. Stovall is also the creator and leader of BlackInTech, a Chicago-based series of business amplification events that accelerates growth for entrepreneurs and professionals of color in tech, which have been hosted at 1871 for the past year. BlackInTech hosts The Founders Series, which is the Midwest's largest quarterly technology panel for Founders of color in tech startups. In addition to building his business with the support of the EIR program, Stovall will work to create community impact through diversity, inclusion, and community-building events and programs throughout the year.
“From the onset of this program, 1871 has been a critical partner in helping evolve and expand the potential for the residencies,” said Laura Weidman-Powers, founder and CEO of CODE2040.
CODE2040 is a nonprofit organization that seeks to create access, awareness, and opportunities for underrepresented minorities. CODE2040 recently received $1.3M in funding from Intel to expand and bolster its operations. The EIR program is an outgrowth of CODE2040’s partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs, and allows CODE2040 to provide each EIR with:
- $40,000 in seed capital to help grow their business (no equity asked for in return)
- Work space in a tech hub for the EIR and their team
- A trip to the Googleplex in Silicon Valley for training and networking with Google and CODE2040
- Mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs in the Google for Entrepreneurs and CODE2040 networks
- Support from CODE2040 on the creation of community impact through diversity, inclusion, and community building events throughout the year
The EIR opportunity is the latest element of the ongoing and vibrant partnership between Google for Entrepreneurs and 1871. Google for Entrepreneurs enables tech hubs by providing them with technical content, business tools, and infrastructure upgrades so that they can support increasing demand from developers and startups. In addition to 1871 in Chicago, GFE’s North American tech hubs are located in Minneapolis, Waterloo, Nashville, Durham, Denver, Detroit, Montreal, San Francisco, Austin, and Mexico City.
“Supporting diverse startup ecosystems is a core pillar to our team and CODE2040 is one of the best organizations out there in this space,” said Mary Grove, Director of Google for Entrepreneurs. “We worked closely with CODE2040 and 1871 to provide the best of Google’s resources to the Residents.”
Google for Entrepreneurs provides a range of programming, events, and support to each of its North American Tech Hubs, as well as a number of special opportunities to startups within the hubs. Each year, startups are selected directly from the hubs to pitch their companies to an audience of Silicon Valley investors as part of the Google Demo Day. Members also have the opportunity to participate in the GFE Blackbox Connect programs that occur throughout the year, as well as Google Exchange programs that occur around the world. Recently, 1871 hosted the first GFE North American Tech Hub Vertical Summit, drawing tech hub partners and their startups from across North America to participate in a two-day event focused on the travel and tourism industry. Additionally, two 1871 companies – TraknProtect and Georama – travelled to the United Arab Emirates to participate in a Google for Entrepreneurs program for travel and tourism businesses. 1871 and GFE’s partnership is now entering its fourth year.