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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

​​Part II of a II Part Series
Meet the Local Wearable Tech Industry Leader Who is Hosting a Worldwide, Online Hackathon

LaKisha Greenwade—the nonprofit founder of Wearable Tech Ventures who is committed to encouraging development of wearable tech— is gearing up to equalize opportunity in a lesser-known industry through a virtual hackathon from Jul 25 -29, 2022 called Tech REMIXed. Adults and students will have an opportunity to focus on the ideation and development of wearable technology, instead of viewing themselves as only consumers. Health, Fitness & Safety; Medical Device Revolution; Fashion Tech & Sustainability; Gaming & The Metaverse; and Ethics & Innovation are tracks that teams will explore through multi-disciplinary teams that are formed during the event.

Participants who are 13 and up will “collaborate to learn, research and then address wearable solutions in the United States through a pitch competition for solutions they developed,” according to details provided on Wearable Tech Venture’s website. Team placement will coincide with the interests of participants. They can receive free training; access to a free community; workshops; mentorship through Tech REMIXed; and eligibility to win wearable tech prizes.

Greenwade told The Baltimore Times that opportunities like Tech REMIXed are not typically geared to include others in the manner that this event is designed to do.

“Typically, these types of events are only marketed to Ivy League schools, technical schools or in other countries. And what I’ve come to find is that there’s a tremendous gap in our community with one, knowing that these types of platforms exist with understanding that these platforms serve as recruitment for talent, as well as for being found by investors and other institutions, so that you can be nurtured and brought to market,” Greenwade said. “My number one personal goal is that I want our community to know that they belong at the table in tech, because for too long, we’ve never been invited. We’ve never known that we have opportunities to engage in tech.”

Greenwade pointed out that in corporate or academic settings, Wearable Tech Venture’s advisory team represents the authorities that help to manufacture and bring products to market around the world.

David Canada is within Greenwade’s noteworthy network. The board member of Wearable Tech Ventures currently an executive at Boeing who works as the director of business operations in digital transformation for the aerospace company’s services division. Canada said that he was motivated to get involved with Greenwade’s nonprofit partly because of her vision, in addition the commitment to expose more youth to the technology field.

“Most of most of our students are in the inner city of Baltimore,” Canada said, mentioning why he was excited to get involved. “I grew up in Baltimore. I’m from Baltimore. I went to high school at Polly (Baltimore Polytechnic Institute), so technology and engineering and things like that has always been a part of me. So just being able to extend that to other individuals who normally wouldn’t be able to have access to it has just been really powerful.”  

Canada added that coaches and mentors keep track of participating youth who become Wearable Tech Ventures college ambassadors on their various campuses. The students help the steering team and board members become informed about what the next generation is really interested in, which takes the guesswork out of gathering information to market products to them.

Shawntera Hardy, a Minnesota resident, is a Wearable Tech Ventures board advisor and co-founder for Civic Eagle. The thought leader builds legislative intelligence tools for organizations to track public policy in all 50 states and Congress through her company. Hardy explained that Civic Eagle’s engineers were part of the early pilot of getting young kids in Baltimore excited about technology. She hopes that the community, especially in Charm City, sees the value in the kind of learning offered by the upcoming online hackathon.

“I do hope that investment follows as we think about just how we create educational experiences that are going to meet our young people where they are and spur that curiosity. I think this (hackathon) is one of those opportunities to do that,” Hardy said. “I do hope that investment is knocking at the door to do more of these things to expose more folks to the industry, but also just to (support) the way of learning.”

Please visit https://www.wearabletechventures.org/news-1 to register for Tech REMIXed. Hackathon registration will remain open until July 24, 2022.

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