On Tuesday, August 4, 2015, Indiegogo was a part of history: we attended the first ever White House Demo Day. Hosted by President Obama himself, Demo Day was created to bring together a diverse group of entrepreneurs, startups, venture capitalists and large tech companies to share their ideas and stories of their individual innovation journeys. Participants included Indiegogo alum Jerry the Bear, a bear designed to playfully educate children newly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Entrepreneurship and innovation are thriving more than ever, yet we can improve diversity in the tech community. There has been a lot of conversation about diversity in tech recently. For example, the I Look Like An Engineer campaign aims to increase awareness and celebrate the diverse backgrounds of engineers worldwide. This type of chatter has driven companies to release diversity reports to showcase their rich employee backgrounds.
Photo Credit: White House
Indiegogo’s Senior Director of People Operations, Michael Milner, attended White House Demo Day, representing Indiegogo and our pledge to workforce-diversity transparency. We take pride in our diverse group of talented folks and publish statistics annually to provide a new level of clarity and insight into those who define and characterize the company Indiegogo is today.
Michael had the pleasure of meeting some truly incredible and inspiring people, including Megan Smith, Daymond John and Moziah Bridges.
Megan Smith is the first female Chief Technology Officer of the United States and has an extensive background, working with some of the top tech companies in the world. She spearheaded Demo Day along with Doug Rand, Assistant Director for Entrepreneurship at the White House Office of Science and Technology. Not only does Megan’s entrepreneurial spirit shine through in the concept of Demo Day itself, but her presence inspires women everywhere to pursue their dreams.
Daymond John attended Demo Day as the Entrepreneur Ambassador for President Obama. Best known as the founder of FUBU, he is an investor on the hit reality series Shark Tank today. Daymond is a true embodiment of the American entrepreneurial persona with his strong work ethic and creative ingenuity.
During his visit, Michael got to walk around the White House a bit, pausing to take a photo in front of the late John F. Kennedy’s presidential portrait.
Moziah Bridges of Mo’s Bows is one of the youngest innovators to exhibit at Demo Day. As a stylish young 9 year old, he wanted to wear fun and cool bow ties, but couldn’t find any to his liking. So, he decided to take his grandmother’s old scrap fabric and make his own. Mo’s passion and drive to create his own business is the perfect example of American entrepreneurship.
Having the opportunity to be a part of the first ever White House Demo Day was an honor and a privilege. Not only do we embrace innovation and ingenuity with our powerful crowdfunding platform, but we strive to hire people from diverse backgrounds to bring a new layer of creativity and thought leadership to the tech community. Indiegogo values diversity, encouraging people to be themselves regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or culture. Having a diverse group of people behind-the-scenes at Indiegogo provides unique perspectives, skillsets and talent, empowering us to be the world’s largest crowdfunding platform.
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