TechCrunch TV interviewed to a bunch of New York startups during Disrupt NY, but we also talked by a nonprofit called Brooklyn on Tech, which may be training the next generation of local startup founders.
As co-founders Jessica Santana and Evin Robinson explained in the video above, they both grew up in Brooklyn themselves.
“We always had a huge interest in technology, but at the time, we didn’t know that we could be technologists,” Santana said.
In fact, Santana and Robinson got involved with management consulting, but as Brooklyn became more of a startup hub, they wanted to make sure local kids could connect with the tech industry. So they’ve created a yearlong program that works with high schoolers from Brooklyn to teach them both programming and a broader set of professional skills.
Santana acknowledged that there’s some skepticism among longtime Brooklyn residents about whether the tech scene will actually benefit them or just drive them out, but she said she sees it as “make that an opportunity to create meaningful conversations with people who have been traditionally left out of those conversations.”
The key, she said, is creating “pipelines for people who have been underrepresented in the technology industry to actually go ahead and call their place of employment home in places like the Brooklyn Tech Triangle” — and that’s what Brooklyn on Tech is trying to do.
The organization worked with 20 students in its first year, and Robinson saidthey’re planning to double that number to 40 or 50 this fall. Santana and Robinson are looking for their next group of students and mentors — you can learn more at the Brooklyn on Tech website.