Seattle mayor encourages companies to hire people of color at inaugural Black Tech Night



Tech companies can benefit from hiring Black employees because of the grit they bring, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said at the inaugural Black Tech Night in downtown Seattle Thursday.

  • "I looked at what they had to do to achieve their levels of success — the impediments they had to overcome," Harrell said of people of color that he appointed as civic leaders. "I want that kind of talent around me."

  • The goal of Black Tech Night is to be a monthly networking hub for Black people with corporate tech jobs to network and share experiences, said Sierra-Leone Jones, founder and CEO of A Space Inside, which hosted the event. Read more

  • Even as the quantity and variety of tech jobs has grown over the past two decades, “the technology workforce has not evolved to reflect the makeup of the American workforce,” noted a McKinsey report published this month. Above, from left: Google Cloud Senior Engineer Abuna Demoz; F5 Senior Manager Carl Mosby; Zillow Diversity & Inclusion Manager Makeda Hope-Crichlow; and Harrell.

Tech Moves:

Bellevue, Wash.-based software engineering bootcamp operator Coding Dojo has been acquired by Perdoceo, a publicly traded owner of online academic institutions.

  • The deal includes an initial cash payment of $52.8 million. Read more

Inspired by a problem she helped address at her family’s business in India, Priyansha Bagaria founded Loopr, a startup that offers manufacturing firms edge-based software to aid production and compliance. 

  • Part of Loopr’s mission is to provide tech opportunities for women from disadvantaged backgrounds. Read more

Seattle-based Dué Cucina this week announced a $2.5 million investment to help the company expand its fast-casual pasta model beyond Washington state. 

  • The company is led by two best friends who grew up in Italy and its CEO is a former Amazon senior project manager. Read more

Another new report is linking Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to a potential bid to buy the NFL’s Washington Commanders.

  • The Washington Post reported Thursday that Bezos has hired investment firm Allen & Company to kick the tires on the football team. The firm is prominent in transactions involving professional sports franchises and handled the two most recent sales of NFL franchises, involving the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos. Read more

New opportunities for investment in the gaming industry are opening in fields such as VR, AR, and the metaverse, as well as the potential role of generative AI in game development.

  • That’s one takeaway from a report highlighting trends and predictions for how VC investments in video games will proceed this year. Read more.
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend. — GeekWire managing editor Taylor Soper,
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