It’s a packed week in Durham by design, with an accent on founders of color and attracting investors.

Twelve early-stage tech led by black founders arrived last weekend for the first week-long Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange Black Founders hosted by longtime partners Google for Entrepreneurs and American Underground. The intense dose of mentoring aims to prepare founders to seek and close capital, taking aim at the documented funding gap says American Underground’s Chief Strategist Adam Klein. The event attracted companies from as nearby as Raleigh and as distant as Los Angeles.

​WRAL TechWire coverage:

  • Black Founders event draws near capacity crowd
  • Conferece focuses on building “best black led startups”
  • Why American Underground brings conference to Durham

On Wednesday, the second Black Wall Street Homecoming dove into its lineup of company and community focused programs in partnership with North Carolina Central University.  

The intersection of these events and audiences translated into a near-capacity crowd for Wednesday’s Helpfest with Brian Brackeen, CEO of Kairos, a venture-backed AI facial recognition and processing software company.

Jes Averhart founder of BWS along with Talib Graves-Manns Durham’s first CODE 2040 Entrepreneur in Residence and Tobias Rose founder of Kompleks Creative, says that close to 200 attendees have registered, most of them paying ticket holders, an uptick from the number of daily attendees at last year’s free events.

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