Welcome to Friday.

Sherrell is back on the road again, this time in Austin for SXSW.  She’s scheduled to moderate a few panels for Huddle Ventures—the newest firm dedicated to creating impact in our communities, spearheaded by NFL player Derrick Morgan, investor Rodney Sampson, and Michael Peterson.  She’s also set to emcee for HBCU@SXSW. We’ll share her experience and exclusive interviews next week in #ThePLUG.

Charlotte’s culture really showed up last night for #BLKTechCLT. Nearly 100 innovators, business leaders, and tech entrepreneurs filled Hygge Coworking for an evening of brilliance.
Stefanie Thomas of Impact America Fund arrived from D.C. bringing a wealth of insight and philanthropic wisdom, spending the day with four local entrepreneurs. She dropped my favorite quote of the night about black women getting a seat at the table as investors, “Sometimes you have to crash the party. Sometimes you have to start your own.”

I loved seeing our subscribers in the building, thank you all for sharing great feedback about the newsletter. I facilitated a variety of great discussions during our podcast session, learning about the phenomenal work happening on the local level to advance Charlotte as a tech destination. Torie Leslie shared insightful knowledge about her work with Digi-Bridge and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, implementing weekend coding classes for children in underserved communities. Seeing the diversity in the room last night is what she says solidifies her goals for the next generation of innovators.

Thank you to all of our staff, speakers, Hygge, and partners for making the night a success. ​
Go hard, then unPLUG this weekend.




Riri Williams Comes to Life in Admissions Trailer Starring MIT Student 

A 15-year-old engineering prodigy attending MIT built her own suit of armor and takes it for a test flight to deliver admissions letters as Marvel Comics character Riri Williams.



Chicago CEO Launches First Replaceable Deodorant, Eliminating 96% of Plastic Waste

Switch Fresh is the market’s first replaceable deodorant that reduces up to 96 percent of disposable waste compared to traditional deodorant bottle designs.



How Two Entrepreneurs Got Jay Z to Wear Their ‘Retired Drug Dealer’ Hat 

You’re two young black entrepreneurs and your business proposition is to outfit black men with a hat that says RETIRED DRUG DEALER on it and costs $45.




NSF $225,000 Pilot Program to Help Minority Scientists Become Entrepreneurs

The University of Louisville is the lead institution for the $225,000 grant for the AWARE: ACCESS: Building Innovation Capacity through Diversity pilot program.



16-Year-Old Engineer Hopes to Become First Black Student to Build Nuclear Reactor

Steven Udotong is on a quest to inspire a cleaner, more environmentally-friendly future for us all.





Get our daily newsletter delivered to your inbox when you subscribe here