Dealflow | March 9, 2021

Black Tech Nation Ventures aims to build an inclusive tech ecosystem in Pittsburgh

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, March 9 — Tech startups in the city of bridges attract about $3 billion a year. Black Tech Nation’s Kelauni Jasmyn launched Black Tech Nation Ventures in partnership with Pittsburgh venture fund Birchmere Ventures to make the tech ecosystem more inclusive.

The $50 million fund will invest in Black-led and owned tech businesses in Pittsburgh and other cities, along with startups led by women, LGBTQ+ and other diverse founders. 

Gender-lens tech

Erin Gatz founded Prototype PGH to broaden access to tech skills and opportunities especially for women (see, “A prototype for diversity in Pittsbugh’s tech scene). Gatz saw little diversity of race, gender or class when she returned to Pittsburgh amid the tech boom.

Bitwise model

Fresno-based Bitwise Industries, a tech apprenticeship, tech consulting and real estate platform, is helping low-income minorities in underrepresented communities break into the tech industry.

The company recently raised $50 million to take its integrated model to Toledo, Ohio and other cities largely left out of the boom in tech-related investments and job creation.