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Urban Tech Weekend: Innovation, IT Resources & STEM Focused Event Returns to Houston, Texas

by Anie Akpe

Urban Tech Weekend: Innovation, IT Resources & STEM Focused Event Returns to Houston, Texas

Houston is poised as host city of the 6th Annual Urban Tech Weekend. The event will be held Thursday through Saturday, September 25-27, 2014, at the Wyndham Houston Energy Corridor.

NBITLO Urban Tech WeekendAnnually, the event  attracts thought-leaders from across the country for an intensive three days of workshops and collaboration, research and technology symposium, high-tech vendor expo, recruitment fair, certification training and countless networking opportunities.

More than 40 dynamic speakers, entrepreneurs, industry experts and panelists from over 20 states will convene in Houston to attendees to dialogue and offer solutions to bridge the digital divide, address the under-representation of African Americans and other minorities in IT, Tech careers and silicone valley and work collectively on solutions to close the equity gaps and eliminate barriers to entry in silicone valley and beyond.

With President Obama recently calling for government and industry to train 10,000 new U.S. engineers every year as well as 100,000 additional STEM teachers by 2020, Urban Tech Weekend is well timed. African Americans hold less than eight percent of all information technology (IT) jobs and fewer than three percent of IT leadership positions. Even more startling, African American women hold less than two percent of IT positions in America where African Americans makeup approximately 14 percent of the population.

“As tech companies like Facebook, Google, IBM, Yahoo and Microsoft turn to lobbying the government for an increase in temporary visas to fill projected vacancies, the need remains great for more representation of African Americans in IT professions and STEM-related disciplines,” said Urban Tech Weekend Founder and President Andrew West. “Sadly, the IT profession is behind all other major professions when it comes to African American representation. This is particularly important because it is believed that if the various IT industries don’t do a better job of diversifying its ranks, there will be less confidence that a career as a black IT professional is one that is accessible and attainable to all people.”

Urban Tech Weekend programming will include three days of STEM education, innovation, technology leadership, empowerment, career planning, entrepreneurship, and proven practices that will push the leading edge of the industry, while motivating the pursuit of excellence.

“We selected Houston as the conference host city this year again, because the city is in the forefront of technology innovation, start-up accelerators and software development design and engineering in the nation,” said Urban Tech Weekend Founder and CEO, Andrew West.

“With organizations like NASA, Conoco Philips, Cisco and HP, and incubators such as the Start and Surge accelerators, Houston is a smart choice to nurture diverse technology growth in an urban global market.”

The 6th Annual Urban Tech Weekend – National Technology Conference & Career Expo will include symposium subjects such as:

1.         Urban STEM Innovation & Technology
2.          Women in STEM and Technology Leadership
3.         Urban Economics & Entrepreneurship
4.         Urban Education & Opportunity – “All Things Educational”
5.         Urban Technology Career Options Decoded
6.         Innovate Africa – “Emerging Global Markets”
7.        Urban Economics & Tech – “If it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense”

To submit a presentation proposal or to suggest a speaker, please review the requirements on by clicking here. Submissions will be accepted online through July 1, 2014.

In addition to a call for speakers, organizers have also opened early registration for Urban Tech Weekend. Register online at by clicking here.

Corporations interested in exhibiting are invited to share information related to careers, innovations or products and services at the Tech Expo and Diversity Career Fair.  Click here to get information on being a sponsor, partner or exhibitor.

The NBITLO Urban Technology Weekend (Urban Tech Weekend) is the crowning annual program of NBITLO.  A multi-day summit, the objectives of Urban Tech Weekend are to help create an environment and network to achieve the following: bridge the digital divide, create equity in the information technology workforce, diversify the STEM pipeline, and incubate and equip innovators with world class inventions and global business ideas. Visit the Urban Tech Weekend website by clicking here.

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