Organizations can only be effective if they can develop trust within the diverse communities with whom they work. But trust is not something that happens overnight– it must be earned and nurtured. Nick Lalla, co-founder and managing director of Tulsa Innovation Labs will discuss how his organization cultivated strong roots to the local community by holding ‘listening’ sessions with stakeholders and partnering with several well-regarded local institutions, including a community college and ‘Black Tech Street.’ Through these collaborations, Tulsa Innovation Labs were able to create an accessible pathway to a tech ecosystem spanning virtual health, cyber security, clean energy tech, and other areas, which connected the local underserved Native American and Black communities – the latter of which was especially important given Tulsa’s history and The Black Wall Street massacre.
In this panel moderated by Marcie Bianco, Editor of Stanford Social Innovation Review, Nick Lalla will be joined by David Hall, managing partner, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, an organization that helps to create tech ecosystems in cities other than the usual tech hubs of New York, Silicon Valley, and Boston. In a world where women get less than 2% of venture capital and Black entrepreneurs get less than 1%, cultivating trust and hope is critical when bringing the “American Dream” to tech entrepreneurs in underserved communities.