2017 was an exciting year of growth and activity for the Kapor Center. In January, we brought in Ellen Pao to head our new Diversity and Inclusion division which infuses every aspect of our work. We hosted a total of 115 events at the intersection of tech and social impact at our Uptown Oakland headquarters, and launched a number of groundbreaking — and award winning — reports. Here are 14 of our proudest accomplishments of the year:
Tech Leavers Study: In April we published the groundbreaking Tech Leavers Study, exploring why people — particularly women, underrepresented people of color and LGBT tech employees — left their jobs. Coverage of the study’s findings appeared in 50+ publications.
Latinx in Tech Startup weekends: Spearheaded National Latinx in Tech Startup Weekends in Oakland, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, demystifying entrepreneurship via hands on experience of going from idea to launch, channeling the diverse experiences of Latinx founders to inform their products and companies.
#AnitaEllenSpeak: In April, we hosted an historic conversation between Anita Hill and Ellen Pao at San Francisco’s Nourse Theater. Two thousand attendees participated in person, and the hashtag #AnitaEllenSpeak became a nationally trending topic on Twitter.
POT Competition: Hosted our third-annual People Ops Tech pitch competition, bringing together 10 of the country’s most innovative people ops startups to compete for more than $100,000 in prizes.
Founders’ Commitment 2.0: Kapor Capital remains the only venture fund that requires its entrepreneurs to make a diversity and inclusion commitment, set diversity goals and measure results. In 2017 we expanded on this commitment by conducting trainings for portfolio companies on codes of conduct and values and surveying investors.
Oakland Startup Network: Launched a “You Too can Startup” workshop series and First Friday Founders series, attracting over 1200 attendees to tech entrepreneurship education and networking activities.
CSforCA: In December, we helped launch the Computer Science for California campaign, working to ensure all students in California’s public schools have access to computer science education by 2025.
Innovation Lab: Launched the Kapor Center Innovation Lab, where tech done right ideas are incubated and launched, bringing in seven Oakland entrepreneurs and five mission aligned tech nonprofits for onsite co-working and advising in our Oakland headquarters.
Best Paper Award: In July our research team received the “Best Paper Award” at the ACM Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Conference in Italy. The paper explored the longitudinal experiences and outcomes of high school girls of color in computing.
ResistTech: Collaborated with New Media Ventures and Kapor Capital to vet and award two #Resistech grants to nonprofit civic startups Notifica-United We Dream and Indivisible, nonprofit civic startups.
Funding Tech Research: We launched the inaugural Grants for Research on Inclusive Technology (GRIT) program to fund innovative research leading to evidence-based solutions to reduce bias and barriers across the tech ecosystem. We awarded seven research grants to researchers from Notre Dame, UC Berkeley, Harvey Mudd, Coppin State and nonprofit organizations DiverseScholar and Black in Tech Nashville.
Our Collective: Launched Our Collective, the cross-industry cohort of Employee Resource Group (ERG) representatives as well as other tech company staff with no ERGs for support.
National Science Foundation: This year we received a 3-year, $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to examine the longitudinal access, participation, and persistence trends in computer science across California.
Impact Awards: Hosted the first ever Kapor Center Impact Awards, recognizing five outstanding community leaders in the tech/STEM ecosystem.
As 2017 ends, we are even more excited about furthering our mission and work to new levels of depth and impact in 2018. Stay connected, engaged, and join us in mobilizing as an ecosystem for #techdoneright.