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Kathryn Finney        

CEO/Founder of Genius Guild & General Partner of the Greenhouse Fund

Kathryn Finney is the CEO/Founder of Genius Guild and General Partner of the Greenhouse Fund, a $20 million dollar venture fund that invests in amazing Black founders. One of the most influential women in tech (Inc Magazine), her groundbreaking work laid the foundation for generations of black entrepreneurs and investors.

Finney created Genius Guild, a business creation platform that uses the venture studio model (Lab & Venture Fund) to invest in Black entrepreneurs building scalable businesses that serve black communities and beyond. In April 2020, Finney founded The Doonie Fund with a $10,000 personal donation, to encourage other black women entrepreneurs to continue to build their businesses in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. One Medium post, a few emails and 6 weeks later, the fund grew to over $150,000, providing micro investments to over 1500 Black women-owned businesses.

Finney is the founder of digitalundivided, a groundbreaking social enterprise focused on creating a world where women own their work. She started digitalundivided after selling her company, The Budget Fashionista, the pioneering lifestyle media company. Her pioneering research, “#ProjectDiane”, drew widespread buzz for disrupting the dialogue around women of color and tech entrepreneurship.

A Yale-trained Epidemiologist, Finney has received numerous honors and awards including the Echoing Green fellowship, Eisenhower Fellowship, Entrepreneurs Magazine’s “Woman to Watch”, Grace Hopper ABIE award, Marie Claire’s 10 Women to Watch, Ebony Power 100, Black Enterprise “40 under 40” list and more.

A White House Champion of Change and a past member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) appointed by the Obama Administration, Finney was honored by the Borough of Manhattan with the “Kathryn Finney Appreciation Day”. She has also received an Honorary Doctorate from Mount Holyoke College and was inducted into both the African-American Alumni Hall of Fame at Rutgers University and Spelman College’s “Game Changers Academy.”

Speech Topics


The New Normal: Reframing the Issue of Diversity in Tech

You can’t innovative without diversity. Period. Yet most of the proposed solutions to increasing diversity in tech involve people of color moving to Silicon Valley (leaving their social and supports networks) or exposing black youth to coding (who then go back to techless homes and schools). So, what’s the solution? In this thought provoking presentation, learn about the very real cultural, technological, and historical barriers to increasing the number of blacks in tech and how digitalundivided is directly addressing those barriers and creating a “New Normal”.

Lean Startup Strategies For Small Business

In this interactive keynote, Kathryn shares the strategies used by today’s innovative companies to rapidly develop and grow their businesses.

Tech Needs Civic Leadership

An engaging talk about the role of “civic” in Civic Tech and how government can be a positive force for diversifying tech.

News


Kathryn Finney Is FOCUSed on Getting Black Women STARTed in Tech

Attention tech entrepreneurs: If you’ve never heard of Kathryn Finney before, then pay attention; she is someone you should know. In fact, more importantly, if she knows you, she can be the best friend you’ve never had...

When It Comes to Diversity in Tech, Silicon Valley Isn't Leading

"We don't focus on Silicon Valley because it's very insular and we don't think that's where the change is going to happen," says Kathryn Finney, founder and managing director of New York-based DID. DID, which promotes diversity in entrepreneurship, launched Project Diane to identify and support black women founders. The program is named for civil rights activist Diane Nash.

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