While the tech industry has long aspired to be inclusive, the numbers are dismal. Hardly a week passes by without media outlets highlighting concerns about sexism, ageism or “founder profiling” in our industry.
The truth is that TechCrunch will not be able to solve the SF housing crisis or increase STEM education in inner-city schools. We can’t offer entrepreneurship classes in rural America or require VCs to screen founders without considering their gender.
But there are great organizations who can. And we aim to support them.
Today we’re excited to announce TechCrunch Include, which is a program designed to help social enterprises (nonprofit and for profit) working to make tech a more inclusive place. The program offers a year’s worth of access to TechCrunch resources — financial as well as media and events. Our mission is to help these enterprises increase their effectiveness on a variety of fronts, including fundraising, volunteers, partnerships and media attention.
Participants will receive a number of benefits, including free exhibition space and tickets to Disrupt and Hackathon events, free attendance at all other events, and assistance with media/press strategy. In addition, TechCrunch will commit a total of $50,000 a year (starting in 2015) in direct financial support to select participants. TechCrunch already awarded $50,000 this year to Girls Who Code.
Consider this our minimum viable product. As we learn more about how TechCrunch can leverage its strengths, we may add to or modify this list. Of course, we’re open to feedback and suggestions.
So who should apply? We’re open to all types of organizations, as long as the mission is related to increasing diversity in tech. You do not need to be based in San Francisco or even the U.S. to apply. In keeping with TC’s love for startups, we’re especially eager to find compelling groups with early traction that will really benefit from Include.
How to Apply
Applications are now open until Sunday, June 29 at 11 p.m. PDT.
You can view more details about the program on the TechCrunch Include page.
To help us select these organizations, we assembled a fantastic group of advisors who have reputations in their own right for bettering the tech community.
Kate Courteau, Director of Non-Profits, Y Combinator
Aarthi Ramamurthy, Founder at Lumoid
Charles Hudson, SoftTech VC
Also on the selection committee are TechCrunch Co-Editor Alexia Tsotsis, writer Kim-Mai Cutler and Battlefield Editor Sam O’Keefe.
Who is eligible?
Any organization that aims to increase diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. You do not need to be SF or even US-based. NGOs can be any size; however preference will be given to those for whom participation in Include could make a significant impact.
How long is the Include program?
Organizations will be part of the program for one TechCrunch year. From August 1 2014 to August 1, 2015. The limit is to allow new groups to have the opportunity to benefit from the program.
When will results be announced?
All applicants will be notified by the end of July 2014.
I have other questions!