#ItTakesAVillage: With New Diversity Coordinator, Atlanta Tech Village Doubles Down On Inclusivity

Atlanta Tech Village (ATV) has already built a thriving ecosystem for Atlanta’s tech community, hosting hundreds of events for entrepreneurs each year and serving as home for over 300 startups. Now, the fourth largest startup hub in the country is kicking off a new campaign to support all entrepreneurs to achieve success by growing a community that promotes faster connections between talent, ideas and capital.

Leading the “It Takes A Village” campaign is ATV’s new Diversity Coordinator, entrepreneur and diversity advocate Justin McLeod. A bootstrapped startup founder, Justin also produces culture- and inclusivity-focused events through his creative agency, Surthrive, including a pitch competition for diverse founders.

“I believe that if you genuinely include people with diverse perspectives ranging from age, gender, race, and cultural background you will be able to build more sustainable companies in an industry that has an extremely high failure rate,” says McLeod.

“I’m really excited about having the ability to provide more opportunities and resources to a misrepresented demographic in tech. This year I have been an advocate of exposing the culture to technology in creative ways and with this position I will be able to be a positive and relatable role model for the next generation of innovators looking for career opportunities in tech.”

The #ItTakesAVillage Campaign — Education, Opportunity, Community

To further its mission, ATV will strive to host educational programs and events that encourage an inclusive environment where all perspectives are welcome. They’ll also grant ten six-month scholarships (applications are open now!) annually for women and minority-led startups. The scholarship includes free member access, mentors, & amenities.

First Event — Twitter Chat

Next week, to kick off It Takes A Village, ATV is facilitating a Twitter Chat to amplify the importance of diversity and inclusion in technology while coming together to contribute solutions On Nov. 9th at 8pm, use the hashtag #ItTakesAVillage to join the conversation.

Future events will include a panel discussion on raising capital in unconventional ways.  This discussion will highlight diverse founders who have navigated the obstacle of raising funds by using non-traditional methods.