Business

Diversity accelerator gets Knight funding

Michael Hall co-founded Digital Grass, a social impact group and diversity accelerator, and also helped produce the 2015 Black Tech Week in Miami.
Michael Hall co-founded Digital Grass, a social impact group and diversity accelerator, and also helped produce the 2015 Black Tech Week in Miami.

Digital Grass, a social impact group and diversity accelerator, will expand its programs and services to help close the diversity gap across South Florida’s tech and innovation community. It received $75,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Digital Grass provides minority, women and LGBT-owned startups and established companies with access to mentors, financial investors, symposiums and other business development tools. It also offers peer matchmaking assistance for established companies interested in participating in diversity inclusion. “We’ve taken a pressing topic in America and made it a focus in South Florida to show the power and benefits of diversity inclusion in technology and innovation,” said Michael Hall, co-founder of Digital Grass.

Knight Foundation funding will help expand Digital Grass’ current offerings to include a speaker series, panels and talks that showcase the work of entrepreneurs from all backgrounds. Digital Grass also will launch a #W3RTech multimedia campaign to highlight the need for diversity in Miami’s tech community.

“Our sole objective is to weave the city together to show the world the melting pot that we really are, whether it is through the lens of collaboration to fill tech positions, build new innovation and tech companies or influence investors to see the power of diversity,” said Hall.

In February, Code Fever, Digital Grass and other groups produced the area's first Black Tech Week, which included a two-day summit with national speakers and panels at Miami Dade College’s North Campus, plus pitch competitions, networkers and youth programs. The organizers are planning another one for 2016.

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