The ITEM (The Inclusive Technology & Entrepreneurship Movement) is conceived as a symbiotic ecosystem that is providing value internally to its constituency, i.e., its membership and its partners and externally, to the City of Philadelphia. The ITEM’s contribution to Philadelphia’s big agenda is to address the issues of (i)
poverty reduction/wealth creation, (ii) attraction and retention of millennials to the City, and (iii) branding Philadelphia as a world-class city. The ITEM, in brief:
- Incorporated in May 2015, The ITEM, Inc. is a Pennsylvania non-profit organization that enjoys federal tax exempt status through its fiscal sponsor,Urban Affairs Coalition (UAC).
- The ITEM serves as a tent pole organization for the minority and female technology community in Greater Philadelphia. Once a month, The ITEM organizes a meetup to facilitate networking and resource mapping among over 940 women and diverse technologists. The format showcases three businesses, highlights a particular technology concept in a lecture format and a keynote speaker on a topical issue with questions from the audience.
- To assist its members that are trying to develop or improve their technology skills, The ITEM created the The ITEM Academy. Designed to accommodate the schedules of our working members, The ITEM Academy delivers its programming online led by an experienced instructor, typically a practicing engineer.
- For graduates of The ITEM Academy and our members at large, we developed placement services under the brand, The ITEM Resources. Leveraging our membership network, The ITEM Resources has built relationships with large corporations, non profits and placement agencies to (i) assist our members find positions in the technology sector and (ii) assist companies achieve their diversity and inclusion hiring objectives.
- Through The ITEM Ventures, we provide the entrepreneurs in our group with (i) business resources, i.e., internal and external education opportunities, financial, professional and technology service providers (ii) mentorship, i.e., business, subject matter and technology mentors and (iii) capital. The ITEM is building relationships with technology venture firms as we identify companies in our group who are seeking capital with the goal of connecting the two.
The ITEM’s value proposition is simple. The technology sector represents an opportunity for a large amount of Americans to transition into a field that offers at a minimum, a living wage, at its optimal, great wealth. However, a lot of these people are unaware of the opportunity and how to access it. The ITEM provides a platform that makes access to the sector possible and provides the tools to do so. As it relates to creating wealth, we have over 100 entrepreneurs, some of whom are very seasoned and others who are at the beginning of their journeys.