Thursday, September 7, 2017

See How The Spirit of Black Wall Street RISES Again In This Economic Development Event

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Black Wall Street (BWS), a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the number of minority and underserved entrepreneurs who successfully grow scalable businesses, today announced the return of its signature event, Black Wall Street: Homecoming. The three-day series of conference programming and networking events will take place October 11-13 at various venues in Downtown Durham.

The Black Wall Street: Homecoming week will feature highlights such as the Google for Entrepreneurs Black Founders Exchange Program and the first BWS: Boot Camp for idea and early-stage entrepreneurs. Hosted by American Underground, The Exchange is a week-long immersion program for pre-selected teams, focused on addressing the documented funding gap for startups led by Black founders. Led by Kezia Williams of the Black upStart, the BWS: Boot Camp will guide entrepreneurs on how to start a successful, profitable business. Application information for the boot camp will be announced in late August.

BWS: Homecoming brings together black founders, investors, industry experts and members of the startup ecosystem. This year’s agenda ranges from motivational talks led by speakers who live the entrepreneurial journey to deep-dives on business pain-points, with an option to personalize agendas. The three-day event is designed to allow founders the opportunity to exchange ideas with peers and subject matter experts, plus connect with investors through nonstop networking.

“This will be a powerful and impactful week for black founders – and what better place than Durham, where history shows what we can build and where diversity isn’t just talked about, but celebrated,” said Jesica Averhart, BWS co-founder. “Our mission and agenda focus on principles of the historic Black Wall Street –innovation, community and entrepreneurship – themes key to the area’s success. We look forward to bringing people together to learn from each other, to talk about deals and opportunities, but most importantly, to leave with actionable plans to move their businesses and communities forward.”

BWS: Homecoming 2017 sponsors and partners include Google Fiber, Square 1 Bank, Carolina Small Business Development Fund, Bull Durham Beer, American Tobacco Residential, Mechanics & Farmers Bank, American Underground and Coastal Credit Union.

Tia Bethea, Community Impact Manager at Google Fiber, added, “We are proud to be a part of Black Wall Street: Homecoming through our sponsorship and staff participation. Durham is a very special place with a rich history, and supporting the Black Wall Street organization provides a unique opportunity to support values closely tied to the work we do – community, technology and diversity. We are committed to developing connected communities at home, work and play.”

In addition to content and networking opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors and the community, the BWS: Homecoming week also includes an event for students, Tech Futures, focused on education and career path opportunities. This year, BWS will host a coding party for teen girls, partnering with Google’s Made with Code project, an initiative launched in June 2014 to inspire millions of teen girls to learn to code, and to help them see coding as a means to pursue their dream careers. The event is free, but will require registration to attend.

For more information on the week’s events, speakers and agenda, please visit

About Black Wall Street
Black Wall Street (BWS) celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship within diverse, multicultural communities. Created in honor and as an extension of what was built during the heyday of Durham, NC’s Parrish Street, BWS creates conversations and promotes thought leadership around diversity, technology and entrepreneurship. No matter the city or decade, the spirit of Black Wall Street remains the same – building communities and wealth through business ownership. BWS is the remix. Same vision. New day.


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