Mission & Board

Diversity is central to TechCrunch’s mission.  We believe everyone, regardless of background, should have access to the immense possibilities of the tech world, and, at the same time, we are confident that more diverse workforces will only strengthen technology businesses.  TechCrunch’s Include program aims to promote diversity by applying resources uniquely available to TechCrunch, including our editorial and events platforms, and by exemplifying the diversity mission in TechCrunch’s own staffing and culture.

Core Principles

The Include program will encompass many projects and experiments over time, but whatever shape the Include program takes these guiding principles will be at the core:

 

  • Collaborative and Open. The Include effort will call on the broader community for ideas and support.  We will work with individuals and organizations outside TechCrunch that can provide constructive insights and criticism as well as benefit from TechCrunch resources.
  • Transparent and Accountable. TechCrunch will announce all Include initiatives publicly as well as post results for each initiative. That information will be trackable on TechCrunch’s Include channel.
  • Evolving. We expect to encounter both successes and failures as Include moves forward, but we will apply what we learn to new projects and approaches.

 

In broadest terms, TechCrunch Include aims to provide access to those historically underrepresented in the tech world. Our initial efforts will focus its efforts on underrepresented groups in tech including, but not limited to, Black and African Americans, Latino and Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, women, aging Americans, the economically disadvantaged, and the LGBTQ community. We recognize that this is not the whole picture. Over time, TechCrunch will take a fluid view of who qualifies for the Include program.

Include 2016 Initiatives

Editorial

  • Increase the percentages of founders, investors, judges and founders on-stage at TechCrunch Disrupt Events and the Crunchies from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Create a framework for evaluating coverage of diverse companies, founders and topics
  • Hire(d) a writer to focus primarily on diversity issues in tech

 

Advisory

  • Form an Advisory Board to act as a sounding board for Include initiatives and feedback.

 

Events

    • Track and report, at minimum, the gender and racial breakdown of Battlefield contestants and judges. Whenever possible, efforts will be made to report age, gender identity and socio-economic status as well.
    • Track and report, at minimum, the gender and racial breakdown of speakers at Disrupt. Whenever possible, efforts will be made to report age, gender identity and socio-economic status as well.
    • Provide X% of available tickets, free or heavily discounted to each major TechCrunch event to underrepresented groups or organizations working with to promote them in tech.
    • Host a Women in Tech(Crunch) event at each Disrupt.
    • Develop concept of an Include “gala” to raise money and provide exposure for groups working on diversity in tech for some time in 2016.
    • Create a Diversity Award for the Crunchies.
    • Host Include Office Hours with partner VC’s + a TechCrunch writer. Goal is to do approximately 12 office hours per year.

     

    Media

    • Launch the Include “channel” on TechCrunch
    • Relevant posts from TechCrunch diversity beat.
    • Updates on the Include program
    • Updates from organizations collaborating with Include
    • Crowd-sourced directory of organizations working to improve diversity in tech.
    • Crowd-sourced listings for events relevant to the Include Mission
    • Recommended links and data: Links to useful posts and data related to diversity efforts in tech.

     

    Staff and Culture

    • TechCrunch will report annually on the demographic makeup of its own staff.
    • TechCrunch will hold period training sessions in subjects such as management topics relevant to the Include mission.
    • TechCrunch will publish an annual report of the impact of TechCrunch Include
    • TechCrunch will meet host quarterly meetings and dinners with its Include Advisory Board

     

    Meet Our Board

    Our past and present board members are:

    • Aarthi Ramamurthy

      Aarthi Ramamurthy

      Aarthi Ramamurthy is the founder and CEO of Lumoid, a try-before-you-buy service for consumer electronics like drones, wearables and digital imaging products. Backed by YCombinator, Lumoid is one of the top 25 hottest startups in San Francisco. Prior to Lumoid, Aarthi built Xbox LIVE at Microsoft for 6 years, and then joined Netflix to build the video streaming SDK for various CE platforms such as Sony, Panasonic, Apple etc. She hails from India, and has a Masters in software engineering. Aarthi is one of the top 50 influential women in the US and is an avid runner and photographer.

      See Aarthi Ramamurthy's Crunchbase profile
    • Charles Hudson

      Charles Hudson

      Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor Ventures, an early­stage venture capital firm focused on investing in the first institutional round of investment for the most promising software and hardware companies.

      Prior to founding Precursor Ventures, Charles was a Partner at SoftTech VC. In this role, he focused on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure, mobile applications, and marketplaces. In addition to his investment activities, he supports SoftTech portfolio companies on business and corporate development matters. He was also the Co­Founder and CEO of Bionic Panda Games, an Android­focused mobile games startup based in San Francisco, CA.

      Prior to joining SoftTech VC and co­founding Bionic Panda Games, Charles Hudson was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business until the company was acquired by Zynga in February 2010. Prior to Serious Business, he was the Sr. Director for Business Development at Gaia Interactive, an online hangout and virtual world for teens. Prior to Gaia, Charles worked in New Business Development at Google and focused on new partnership opportunities for early­stage products in the advertising, mobile, and e­commerce markets. Prior to joining Google, he was a Product Manager for IronPort Systems, a leading provider of anti­spam hardware appliances that was acquired by Cisco Systems for $830 million in 2007.

      Charles was also the founder of the Virtual Goods Summit and Social Gaming Summit, two of the leading conferences in the free­to­play games space.

      Charles spent several years working at In­Q­Tel, the strategic venture capital group for the Central Intelligence Agency. While at In­Q­Tel, he focused on identifying investment opportunities that could deliver significant value to the CIA and the commercial market in both the short and long term. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a B.A. in Economics and Spanish from Stanford University.

      See Charles Hudson's Crunchbase profile
    • Tracy Chou

      Tracy Chou

      Tracy is currently a backend/infrastructure software engineer at Pinterest.

      She was previously at Quora, where she joined as the second engineer.

      She holds an MS in Computer Science and a BS in Electrical Engineering, both from Stanford University.

      See Tracy Chou's Crunchbase profile
    • Alexia Tsotsis

      Alexia Tsotsis

      Alexia Tsotsis is the former co-editor of TechCrunch. She attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA, majoring in Writing and Painting, and moved to New York City shortly after graduation to work in the media industry.

      After four years of living in New York and attending courses at New York University, she returned to Los Angeles in order to continue her career in new media, first as LA Weekly’s Internet culture reporter, and then as SF Weekly’s web editor.

      Before she joined TechCrunch in 2010, Alexia ran the SFweekly website from San Francisco, staying on top of the tech scene and human behavior in the digital age.

      At TechCrunch, Alexia covered young companies, and has had the opportunity to interview everyone from Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom to Facebook investor Peter Thiel to fashion blogger Leandra Medine. In 2011, Alexia made the Forbes “30 Under 30: Rising Stars of Media List.” In 2012 she was promoted to Co-EIC of TechCrunch.

      In 2015, she stepped down as co-editor to attend Stanford.

      [**Disclosures**](http://www.crunchbase.com/person/alexia-tsotsis): I own Aol stock, diversified investments via ETFs and Mutual Funds, and shares in Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter. I am a board member of MAS, a non-profit design lab in Los Angeles. I’m also in a relationship with a VC at General Catalyst Partners. Whenever there is the potential for real or perceived conflict in what I write about, I promise to bring it up, and link back here.

      See Alexia Tsotsis's Crunchbase profile
    • Kate Courteau

      Kate Courteau

      Kate Courteau is the director of nonprofits at Y Combinator. She joined the Y Combinator team in 2005 as their chief actual architect and has been in charge of architecture, design and facilities for their growing company. She has also run her own private architectural practice since 2000. As a part of this practice she has been active in the nonprofit world leading various projects in North America and Africa. Her deep interest and slight frustration working in the nonprofit space has lead her to head YC’s new initiative to teach social entrepreneurs how to build thriving and sustainable companies and do good in the world. YC has mentored 15 nonprofit startups since the program’s start in 2014.

      See Kate Courteau's Crunchbase profile