BUILDUP and the City of Oakland Host Panel Highlighting the Need for Inclusion and Diversity in Tech

June 24th event will tackle why women and people with different backgrounds and experiences are integral as local tech scene expands
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OAKLAND, Calif. - June 20, 2014 - PRLog -- BUILDUP, a global impact firm designed to connect, mentor and educate technology entrepreneurs, and the City of Oakland today announced they are partnering to host an event and panel discussion on the need for inclusion and diversity in the growing technology industry. The panel entitled “Building Innovation: Creating an Inclusive Technology Ecosystem” will address how the technology industry can be more reflective of the global population, receptive to its needs, and raise awareness about issues of diversity and inclusion.

The panel will feature participants from Facebook, Oracle, CODE2040, and TechCrunch, and will take place Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 7 p.m. at Impact Hub Oakland, 2323 Broadway (at 23rd Street).

BUILDUP “Building Innovation: Creating an Inclusive Technology Ecosystem panelists include:

· Barbara Williams, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Oracle. She has received numerous awards, including Women of the Year, Most Powerful Women of the Bay, Women Leading the Way and as a Technology All Star at the Women of Color STEM Conference.

· Leah McGowen-Hare,Master Technical Trainer with industry at She has more than twenty years of experience in the technology field; mastering a variety of roles including Consultant, Developer, Manager and Technical Trainer.

· Kiva Wilson, Diversity Program Manager at Facebook.

· Amy Schapiro, Director, Fellows Program for CODE2040. She leads program operations, student and company recruitment, and other strategic pipeline partnerships.

· Samantha O'Keefe in charge of TechCrunch Include and the Startup Battlefield. In her role, Sam supports social enterprises selected to participate in Include,TechCrunch's recently launched diversity partnership program.

BUILDUP was founded in 2014 by Wayne Sutton, Kristina Omari and Christian Anderson, who together have more than 30 years experience in technology and investing. Sutton is a three-time startup founder and co-founder of the first minority lead startup accelerator/incubator dlwtq in Silicon Valley, while both Omari and Anderson bring a wealth of knowledge from their backgrounds in technology, strategy, investments and business development. Together, they formed BUILDUP as they noted the extreme lack of minority technology role models, such as founders or investors who are women, African-American, or Hispanic for upcoming entrepreneurs to approach as mentors or advisors.

“It’s important that the tech community and local areas, like the City of Oakland find ways to foster innovation and ensure its future in the ever-changing and competitive technology industry,” said Christian Anderson, general partner of BUILDUP. “There is no way the tech industry can remain competitive and drive innovation without factoring in the experiences of women, minorities and others with diverse backgrounds. Solving the world’s most critical challenges starts with achieving global inclusion.”

The firm is dedicated to increasing innovation globally by bringing innovators together from an array of backgrounds and experience – from the technology, education, health, design, environmental, social and political sectors. BUILDUP hosts networking events featuring successful founders, designers, investors and thought leaders to assist in providing valuable information to first time and experienced entrepreneurs.

For tickets and more information about “Building Innovation: Creating an Inclusive Technology Ecosystem”, please visit


BUILDUP is a global impact firm designed to support an inclusive ecosystem of entrepreneurs focused on building new technologies to solve the world’s most critical challenges. For more information, visit

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Tags:Tech, Diversity, Workforce, Venture Capital, Innovation
Industry:Internet, Technology
Location:Oakland - California - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Jun 20, 2014

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