Thanks to everyone of you continuing to support Colony 5 and the movement to create economic parity in the south and west sides of Chicago through the creation of innovative businesses. It ain't the most accepted notion, so your support is greatly appreciated.
WE DID STUFF: We convened our first business accelerator cohort, C518. C518 is the first cohort of companies designed specifically to leverage machine to machine architectures (blockchain) to connect external commerce to designated pilot area in Chicago beginning fall 2019. In this first phase, we are currently solidifying business plans and raising funds to enhance and convert our prototypes to operating platforms.
I also met with members of the Wu Tang Clan to discuss a partnership that will significantly compliment our mission. More to come! Cohort member and co-founder of Geek Empowered, Ehi Aimiuwu-Jinadu was guest speaker at i.c. stars Enterprise Next cohort presentation. I spoke with the good students of Northwestern University's Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Cohort member and founder of Neighbors' Scout, Demetrius Brown became a board member of CAN TV.
On February 1st, we officially launched at a celebration event showcasing pitches from our entrepreneurs. We owe a great big thanks to our host at Studio Xfinity, Matt Summy and Katie Mohrfeld. The venue is amazing and the staff were professional, generous and encouraging.
MORE FEBRUARY: Cohort member and founder of The Civic Tech Collective, Monique Wingard moderated a "Women of Color in STEM" panel for the Chicago Chapter of Black Girls Code. Cohort member and co-founder of Kinexx, Antoine Clark went to LA to meet with key media partners. And Annette Martin founder of Lice Busters shot her company's first commercial. We were also invited by City Clerk CTO, Eric Vasquez to be beta testers for the CityKey municipal ID, which by the way is pretty friggin' cool!
On March 1st Colony 5 and City Digital collaborated on an offsite version of Chi Hack Night at Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation. GECDC executive director, Derrick Warren was our gracious host. Thanks to Ms. Oliphant and Ameer Muhammad for making certain the evening ran perfectly! The panel discussion was absolutely amazing! Special thanks to:
Monique Wingard, Founder of The Civic Collective
Ehi Aimiuwu-Jinadu, Founder of Geek Empowered
Andrea Smith, Founder of Luminate Brands
Britney Robbins, Founder and CEO of The Gray Matter Experience
Deena McKay, Founder and host of BlackTechUnplugged.
Thank you so much Monique Wingard and Sonja Marziano for your hard and magical work producing this event.
MORE STUFF NEXT: Colony 5 will celebrate our first year on March 29th! It has been an year of bated breath and incredible collaboration. We've had the opportunity to see and hear a lot of the grinding that goes on in Chicago's civic tech ecosystem. Personally, it ain't pretty. Which makes our developing partnership with SCORE Chicago pretty exciting! More details on that later.
Yeah, I know the talk ..."we've done a great deal to improve diversity, inclusion, collaboration in this city... blah, blah, blah." Most people mean well, but today, there is no shortage of neologisms standing in our path to deliver on the promise sparked by our entrepreneurial spirit. Starting a business can itself be physically and emotionally draining. Add a layer of "minority" and the path to creating a startup leads to a gauntlet of implicit bias, jargon-laced versioning, doubt, and decelerated urgency. It is a tough, albeit standard, climb alone. Together, it's an adventure.
The benefit of working in a cohort allows for camaraderie and collective emotional intelligence in times where the startup process gets mucky. It helps to alleviate (some) fears and add weight to our voice. We share our days, conversations, gripes, and wins. We, Colony 5 and our supporters, are a part of the same adventure, experience, commitment, and attitude in the what is now becoming a more common notion: #ChangeinourLifetime.
Save The Date
Colony 5's 1-year Celebration
Hosted by Microsoft