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Key Recommendations for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in Tech

Key Recommendations for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in Tech 1200 1200 OneTech

Learning from OneTech: Recommendations for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives in Tech, created with Dr Angela Martinez-Dy of Loughborough University London,

 

We, at OneTech, are dedicated to impact. We believe in an inclusive knowledge economy whereby gained insights become open-source — so that our learnings as OneTech become our learnings as a community and wider ecosystem.

 

This policy brief, created in collaboration with Dr Angela Martinez Dy of Loughborough University London, approaches OneTech as a case study to illustrate and explore how good policy and practice for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives can be facilitated in the tech and startup ecosystem.

 

 

The policy brief is based on a longitudinal, critical realist action research project evaluation of the initial two years of OneTech (Summer 2018-Summer 2020). As a newly established initiative designed to diversify London’s tech entrepreneurship ecosystem, we have experienced a number of achievements and challenges, which this policy interrogates to unearth key learnings such as:

 

  • Programmes attracted a wide range of participants with differing needs, this prompted the need for more appropriate measurements of impact.
  • Programmes act as educational spaces, so clear learning outcomes are important to manage expectations. Plus, beware of the Matthew Effect.

 

  • Diverse founders require diverse leadership. EDI initiatives must be open to alternative approaches and share support resources to foster collaboration.
  • Don’t “jump on the bandwagon” with shallow initiatives. Users are great potential advocates, so offer meaningful support and transparent communication.
  • – Be aware of what cultural norms or ways of working are being reproduced, and what must be challenged in your organisational culture.

 

 

Each of the learnings above are further discussed within the full brief, alongside a set of reflection questions, insightful recommendations and a Good Practice Checklist — all for the benefit of our community of change-makers.

 

Click here to download the Policy Brief

Click here to download the Good Practice Checklist

 

Special thanks to Dr Angel Martinez Dy of Loughborough University London, Digital Women UK and Dr Chris Carter of Nottingham University Business School, Ben Cole of LU London Future Space, Renaisi, and all the participants, mentors, project funders and partners who made this research possible.

 

For more information about the research or this brief, please contact Dr Angela Martinez Dy, Loughborough University London: A.Dy@lboro.ac.uk

OneTech Alumni Recipients of Google’s Black Founders Fund Europe

OneTech Alumni Recipients of Google’s Black Founders Fund Europe 2876 1618 OneTech

Congratulations to all 30 recipients of Google’s Black Founders Fund Europe!

We’re so excited to be a part of such an important initiative to break the status quo and finally #FundBlackFounders. It’s great to see so many innovative black-led startups get their shine, proving that the lack of diversity in tech is NOT a pipeline problem.

We’re especially proud to see 3 of our OneTech & Capital Enterprise alumni Danielle Lawrence of Freyda, Erika Brodnock of Kami and Ivan Beckley of Suvera

Danielle Lawrence of Freyda

Freyda is digitizing the asset management industry by helping funds and service providers to become hyper-efficient in how they approach their data capture from documents.

 

 

Erika Brodnock of Kami

Kami empowers parents during family planning, pregnancy and childhood, allowing them to adapt and thrive through even the most difficult transitions.

 

 

Ivan Beckley of Suvera 

Suvera delivers a virtual care clinic for patients with long-term conditions in the UK.

 

Find out more about Google’s Black Founders Fund

 

 

Women in Leadership Event Series

Women in Leadership Event Series 1080 1080 OneTech

Our Women in Leadership series is all about celebrating, hearing and be inspired by the stories of women who #ChooseToChallenge the status-quo of their respective field. Topics will include #DeepTech Venture Scientists, Engineering Academia and bridging the skills gap through tech. Expect to be inspired by our speaker’s stories of resilience and discover how they leveraged their adversities to lead consciously and effectively.

 


Dr. Riam Kanso, CEO of Conception X

Riam has founded three businesses and is the CEO of Conception X, an exciting programme that is empowering PhD students to explore deep tech and entrepreneurship alongside their studies. This thoughtful model challenges the idea of classical entrepreneurship which disproportionately favours privileged white males. Join us live to discover more about Riam’s exciting venture and her inspiring story as a woman in leadership.

 

Wednesday 17th March, 17:00

Sign up here to attend

 


Jane Butler, Vice Dean of University College London

Jane Butler’s career challenges the reductive stereotypes of where a woman’s place should be in the workplace. As Vice Dean of The Faculty of Engineering at University College London, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Chairperson at Cybertonica and IDEALondon, Jane Butler breaks through the glass ceiling in the most male-dominated environments. Join us to hear more about her inspirational journey.


Thursday 25th March, 16:00

Sign up here to attend

 


Claudine Adeyemi, CEO of CareerEar

At 16, Claudine was homeless with dreams of being a lawyer but had nowhere to turn for advice and support. Now, Claudine is an award-winning Lawyer and the Founder of CareerEar — an e-learning platform that harnesses the power of tech to address skills gaps and underemployment. Join us for an intimate conversation with Claudine as she shares her story of perseverance and the power of leveraging your difficult experiences to build businesses that empower your community.

Friday 26th March, 16:30

Sign up here to attend

 

 

 

 

A Journey in Tech as a Queer South Asian migrant | LGBTQ+ History Month

A Journey in Tech as a Queer South Asian migrant | LGBTQ+ History Month 3200 1800 OneTech

In commemoration of LGBTQ+ History Month, OneTech is highlighting and celebrating trailblazers, entrepreneurs, founders and progress-makers in the tech ecosystem and beyond. In this blog post, we’re invited to experience a journey in tech through the lens of a South Asian migrant in London’s tech scene.

 

London’s tech scene is a vibrant one. There is no doubt about it. But 12 years ago, as someone who moved from a South Asian country, I had no idea this would become a natural ‘work’ home for me. As February is LGBTQI+ History Month in the UK, I thought it would be a good time to look back and reminisce on my journey in tech.

In 2009, when I moved to the UK as an international student,  the plan was to finish my degree, complete a masters degree, get a job in a bank and live happily ever after. Fast-forward a few years, I did manage to graduate with both my bachelors and masters degrees, but I landed a job in tech instead.

The journey was not an easy one. Within a few weeks of attending my bachelors business classes, my tutor suggests I get tested for dyslexia. Being unaware of dyslexia, I was confused and went to the student centre for an assessment. This is where I came across, what I now would call, structural bias.  The assessor concluded I did not have dyslexia. Instead, they told me it was just the standard of my English language as a South Asian migrant. It wasn’t until years later when I attended UCL for my masters, that I was diagnosed with severe dyslexia in my first week. Looking back, I am very aware of my first university’s shortcomings in regards to supporting international students, compared to UCL’s decades of experience.

One of my first jobs was working for a large tech giant. A company that had its float at the Pride in London march. At this job, we worked in rotas that are published every week in advance. Knowing this, and how important Pride is to me, I informed my line manager over a month in advance that I will be unavailable on the day of Pride, as I was a senior-level volunteer. Nevertheless, a week before Pride, I find my name on the rota to work that very day. When I asked about my request, I was told my volunteering at Pride was not important and he went on to mention “business needs”. But for me, Pride is a very important part of building an LGBTQI+ identity and a sense of community. It is especially important for someone like me who comes from a country where LGBTQI+ rights and freedoms are not always upheld. So I got in touch with my manger’s line manager, explaining how important Pride was for me at that point in my life.  He completely understood, expressed this to my manager and I eventually got the day off!

one of my main challenges was finding a role model I could relate to. I came across many Asian founders and lots of white gay founders, but I never came across anyone who was an Asian queer immigrant founder.

My next few roles were in small tech startups ranging from AI to Crypto. During this time, it was very informative and I learnt a lot about the tech sector. But one of my main challenges was finding a role model I could relate to. I came across many Asian founders and lots of white gay founders, but I never came across anyone who was an Asian queer immigrant founder. To this day, people like me are far from seen and represented in this space. I can say from my experience, there is elitism in the tech industry and so many barriers to entry.

Yet, I must admit that having a masters from UCL has helped me to navigate through the elitism. Going to a reputable UK university has worked in my favour to a certain extent. But what do you do when the system-at-large is seeming against you? One of the moments I realised this was when I applied for residency in the UK as a migrant with a same-sex partner. I applied around the same time as my Canadian friend who applied as a migrant with an opposite-sex partner. So two unmarried couples, a South Asian with an Irish partner and a Canadian with a British partner. Guess whose residency application took longer? My friend’s application took two months. Whereas, my application took about two years! In those two years, I was consistently asked to provide more and more evidence that I lived together with my partner. Of course, we complied and submitted the evidence asked. Then, they asked for proof that we were sleeping in the same bed! It was only when my partner, who happens to be a lawyer, indicated to take legal action that things started to move in a more positive direction. But what if my partner had not been a lawyer? The interrogation would have continued beyond the two years.

As a curious person, I have always wanted to figure out why things don’t work out for me as it has for my white friends. Initially, this was confusing, but since joining an organisation that values and champions diversity everything makes sense. I would consider myself lucky or privileged in some way as I have supportive parents, went to a great university and have a supportive partner. But this is not the case for everyone.

By journeying through a system that was built to make your life difficult in every step, I have learnt not to take anything for granted and, now, I look forward to how I can make an impact with people that align with my values and passion for positive change.

 


Discover our Twitter thread of selected LGBTQIA people blazing a trail in their respective industries and paving a way for a more inclusive society

IDEALondon Offers Free Membership to OneTech Founders

IDEALondon Offers Free Membership to OneTech Founders 3360 1890 OneTech

The workspace and innovation centre set in the heart of Shoreditch will provide 20 startup founders with space and support to grow

We’re really excited today to announce that founders in the OneTech community will soon be able to benefit from a free membership to IDEALondon

IDEALondon is home to some of the most ambitious and flourishing new businesses in London’s tech city. A partnership of University College London, EDF and Capital Enterprise, IDEALondon provides startups with space and support  — from access to funding and the best talent to advice from its expert partners. 

OneTech startup founders involved in programmes supported by JPMorgan Chase or the Inclusive Knowledge Economy programme (IKE) will be able to apply for one of 20 available memberships, which will provide them with three months of access and support. 

The free membership will be available for two cohorts of ten founders, starting in March 2021. Given the pandemic, founders will have a choice between a fixed desk, a hot desk or a virtual membership. The virtual membership gives founders a huge package of support including mentoring, events, credit and discounts. 

When allowed to re-open, IDEALondon is operating a Covid-19 safe space and provides breakout spaces, free meeting rooms for members, a welcoming cafe space, free tea and coffee and unlimited Wi-Fi. Members will be able to work alongside a community of startups founders all building MVPs. 

You can take a look at the fantastic, vibrant space, below. 

Startups that have previously been apart of the IDEALondon community and gone on to great success include Curve, the FinTech which recently closed a $95M Series C, online fashion ecosystem SilkFred, visual fashion search tool Snap Fashion, and UniBuddy, a platform connecting prospective students with real-time access to University students. 

You’ll be able to tap into the existing IDEALondon community of startups, alongside mentors and industry experts. There are also ongoing online events to get involved in to get to know the IDEALondon network. 

 

To register your interest, apply here and someone from the OneTech team will be in touch. 

 

We target underrepresented communities in tech including women, people of colour and people from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds. 

 

OneTech Continues To Sponsor Spaces With The Angel Investing School

OneTech Continues To Sponsor Spaces With The Angel Investing School 750 782 OneTech

Last year, we decided to partner with The Angel Investing School (AIS) to widen participation for professionals from all backgrounds to learn how to get started with investing in startups. Through their 6 week courses, they teach 30 emerging investors every April and September on a guided tour of angel investing. Their most recent cohort had 43% women and 78% people of colour with a wide range of professions represented by community leaders to lawyers and management consultants.

We were proud to sponsor 5 places last September and we are pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring 5 more places for April 2021.

OneTech is proud to work with a value-aligned partner dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive tech ecosystem in the UK. Andy Ayim shared,

“We believe that investing in startups shouldn’t be so elusive and opaque. Our goal with this partnership is to make this education available to curious people from diverse backgrounds who would not ordinarily afford this opportunity. Our ambition ultimately is to teach a new breed of investors to invest in the next generation of diverse founders.”

 

If you would like to qualify for a OneTech scholarship for AIS: APPLY HERE

Applications will be reviewed at the deadline date of 1st March 2021, and recipients will be announced on Monday 8th March 2021. Please note the course starts on 24th March and runs the following 7 Wednesday evenings.

To learn more about The Angel Investing School, visit angelinvestingschool.com

 

Introducing our new initiatives to further support underrepresented entrepreneurs in London

Introducing our new initiatives to further support underrepresented entrepreneurs in London 400 400 OneTech

We are excited to announce that we are expanding our efforts to support and diversify London’s entrepreneurial community! We hope that this will contribute to addressing systemic racial and economic barriers to entrepreneurship highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The expanded programme aims to increase, educate and strengthen the number of BAME and female founders developing tech businesses and working in the digital industry, whilst collaborating with the industry to fix underlying issues and create new opportunities. Run in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase.

Following the results of a longitudinal programme evaluation conducted by Loughborough University London, and direct feedback from target communities over the past two years, we’re launching two new programmes for entrepreneurs: the OneTech Entrepreneur Incubator and OneTech Accountability Groups. These programmes will reach over a thousand people and offer intense support to more than 250 entrepreneurs and 120 businesses at a time when it is needed most.

Alongside the new programmes, we are continuing our work with Diversity VC who recently launched the Diversity Standard for VC’s, and are happy to announce new partnerships with The Nest, a mobile platform democratising entrepreneurial education and access to capital, and the Angel Investing School, which trains professionals from all backgrounds on how to get started with investing in startups. 

Here’s a breakdown of the activities we are introducing. 

OneTech Entrepreneur Incubator

Four expert-led programmes for early-stage businesses will be delivered across the next year for underrepresented communities, each comprising two cohorts. The curriculum will combine distance learning, webinars, workshops, peer learning, one:one and complementary content. Specialist sessions and support will be delivered by black leaders for the black community. The programmes will be organised by stage of business; ideation, validation, early traction and funding readiness. 

Resources for all programmes will be provided by The Nest and aligned with the incubator programme curriculum. As part of the programmes, all Founders will have over 15 hours of support, free membership to The Nest for its mobile-first masterclasses from entrepreneurs, and can use The Nest to access angel invests, venture capitalists and other forms of financing.

For businesses that are at the Traction and Funding Readiness stage, we will provide them with regular office hours from industry experts within its network, and a 1:1 investment readiness support through Investor-in-Residence, Andy Davis, and regular Office Hours with potential investors. 

Gary Stewart, CEO and Co-Founder of The Nest, said: “As a founder from various underrepresented backgrounds, I know how essential it is to have the right knowledge set and access to a network of peers, experts and capital to succeed. We created The Nest to grow, educate, inspire and support a new generation of global entrepreneurs and future leaders, with a key focus on those who feel overlooked and underfunded. We have invited the best entrepreneurs in the world to share their lessons learned with you, founder to founder, and then facilitate access to some of the world’s top investors, all from the palm of your hand.”

OneTech Accountability Groups

Building on the experience of the previously run Pioneer Investment Readiness programme and the Startup Resilience Programme developed in direct response to COVID-19,  we will roll out online accountability groups as one of its key business support activities. 

Recent feedback from the black communities, in particular, confirm that specialist mentoring remains important and this model offers a way of delivering this at scale. Each group will comprise six to eight founders and an entrepreneur-in-residence or industry expert. Entrepreneurs will be grouped by stage and area of interest. The groups will meet once or twice a week for three months for a mixture of peer-to-peer support and expert input. The groups are for BAME and female founders of early-stage businesses. 

Diversity Standard for VC’s

Launched in early September, the Diversity VC Standard is an industry-first benchmark for diversity and inclusion. 10 UK funds, including Atomico,  Ada Ventures, and McRock Capital, have already been assessed and certified. Through our ongoing partnership,  Diversity VC will continue to offer assessment and certifications to funds in the UK. By September 2021 it aims to have assessed 20 more funds. 

We will also work with Accelerators and Angel groups to encourage fairer representation and assessment for early-stage founders. 

Our Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Emma Obanye, commented: “The lack of diversity in tech is a big issue, and the events of this year have once again surfaced the ongoing issues around institutional and structural racism both in society and the economy. COVID-19 is creating additional challenges for all and many entrepreneurs and startups are struggling. As with any macroeconomic shock, people from excluded communities with little or no savings and reserves will suffer most. BAME communities have been hardest hit. Our mission is to support the underrepresented, increase visibility of role models, and address systemic problems through diversity & inclusion best practices, and this has never been more vital. We’re proud to launch these new initiatives for our community alongside our partners, providing Founders with the expertise and support they need, right now, across the next 12 months.”

Hang Ho, Head of Global Philanthropy EMEA and LATAM for JPMorgan Chase, said: The Covid-19 crisis has further highlighted historic and systemic barriers to opportunity for diverse entrepreneurs. By bringing together the industry, entrepreneurs and community organizations, we can help more women and BAME founders grow their business and give back to their communities.” 

Andy Ayim, Founder Angel Investing School, commented: “It takes an ecosystem to change the systemic issues diverse founders face when starting and scaling startups. We believe entrepreneurs can come from anywhere, so everyone should be afforded equal opportunity. In working with One Tech, I’ve had the privilege of mentoring founders through the Accountability Groups as well as benefiting from sponsorship for The Angel Investing School. We are proud to share that we have had 50 attendees, 45 percent were women and over 70 percent were people of colour.

 

Since our launch in October 2018, we’ve been on a mission to change the face of startups with the support of JPMorgan Chase, which has committed a total of £1.3 million to this effort. Through various initiatives, we’ve engaged over 1000 founders, and 360 people and 180 businesses have received support. Of those people, women made up 68 percent and BAME 91 percent. As of June 2020, OneTech startups have raised £14.4m and created well over 130 jobs.

Applications are now open – https://weareonetech.typeform.com/to/GLPs19R6

OneTech partners with Andy Ayim's Angel Investing School

OneTech Partners With The Angel Investing School To Provide Scholarships To Underrepresented Professionals

OneTech Partners With The Angel Investing School To Provide Scholarships To Underrepresented Professionals 1024 683 OneTech

The Angel Investing School (AIS) is a nationwide community focused on widening participation for professionals from all backgrounds to learn how to get started with investing in startups. Through their 6 week courses, they teach 30 emerging investors every April and September on a guided tour of angel investing. Their most recent cohort had 45% women and 65% people of colour with a wide range of professions represented by digital marketers to developers and management consultants.

OneTech is proud to work with a value-aligned partner dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive tech ecosystem in the UK. We are proud to have worked with the founder, Andy Ayim who was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with us last year where he had his Ah-ha moment and went from idea to launching this mission-led business. 

After piloting a program in April, the two organisations joined together to launch a new AIS scholarship program that sets out to help level the playing field for underrepresented professionals keen to get started with investing in startups but lack the access to the knowledge and network.

So much of the focus in the work we do at One Tech is about nurturing diverse founders in the London ecosystem but we recognise that in the absence of a “friends and family” round, many of our founders benefit from raising angel investment. Therefore, we believe that as AIS trains more diverse investors, the flywheel will lead to more diverse startups being invested in. This is all part of our long term goal of changing the face of startups.

 

Julie Fedele graduated from AIS earlier this year and went on to invest in Ohne, the UK based direct-to-consumer subscription service providing bespoke deliveries of organic period products to customers, on a cycle to match theirs. In her own words, Julie mentions that,

“For a long time, I have wanted to start angel investing but didn’t have the confidence. Through AIS, I now have a sound understanding of the process, ‘investing’ language demystified and a laser focussed investment thesis.”

One Tech is excited to provide 5 scholarship places for the September cohort of The Angel Investing School. Our goal is to provide an opportunity to overlooked professionals who wouldn’t traditionally have access to the startup and investing ecosystem. Andy, the creator of AIS shared, “I am excited about this opportunity to create pathways for anyone from teachers to nurses to have the opportunity to gain access to this education and network.”

Alison, the Managing Director of One Tech shared that, “One Tech will cover the costs for 5 people to gain access to this opportunity who need it most, we have no doubt it will be a great learning experience and we are proud to partner with Andy on this journey.”

If you would like to qualify for a One Tech scholarship for AIS: APPLY HERE.

Applications will be reviewed at the deadline date of 14th July 2020, and recipients will be announced on Monday 20th July 2020.

To learn more about The Angel Investing School, visit angelinvestingschool.com 

OneTech’s #FoundersSpotlight: Feedback Swap

OneTech’s #FoundersSpotlight: Feedback Swap 1292 862 OneTech

Following Feedback Swap‘s amazing performance at OneTech’s Founders Weekend, and then them subsequently winning a place on our pre-Accelerator FoundersDoor (run in conjunction with YSYS), we were pleased to quickly checkin with them to see how their business idea is progressing and get their tips for other young aspiring founders.

Feedback Swap – founded by Bradie, and now joined by team members Eva, Gaby and Andy – is a Web platform that allows users to get unbiased feedback in exchange for giving it to others. They aim to build a community of entrepreneurs and empower them to build products that solve problems.

The team are currently looking for participants for their customer survey – if you can help, get in touch with Bradie!

 

What gave your founder Bradie the idea for Feedback Swap?

 

The idea came from my own frustrations not being able to get the feedback I needed on a previous project. I felt lost and alone and really needed outside  help to drive my project further. I started swapping feedback with other people who were in a similar position as myself on Reddit and that’s where the idea emerged.

 

How have you found the process of developing the business so far?

 

The process has been both difficult and rewarding. We are all enjoying the journey but it isn’t without its frustrations at times. We know we have to take this journey to get to the outcome but sometimes it feels like we are running in circles. Having the mentors, OneTech Founders Weekend and FoundersDoor has been an absolute blessing!

 

What would your tip for first time Founders be?

 

Make sure your have a solid team you enjoy spending time with. No matter what you are creating it will be a tough journey and it’s important you have the right team to work through it with. At the end of the day if you aren’t enjoying the process it will show in the result.

Don’t feel as if you need to know everything before you start but ensure you’re always actively learning from the people around you and in your own time. When you’ve approached a road block remember to always take a step back and reflect!

 

www.feedbackswap.com

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