2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Four Tech Companies Changing the Face of Tech

#sxsw #techface

The myth that there are no successful tech companies run by people of color is just that, a myth. Meet three successful tech-enabled companies that have raised over $4 Million dollars in angel and seed funding, won praises from publications like TechCrunch and the Wall Street Journal, and are working in markets as diverse as Health Care, Education, and Software as a Service (SaaS). And oh, the founders just happen to be black women.



Darlene Gillard Jones

Partnership Dir, Community & Events


Darlene Gillard Jones is a partner and Partnership Director, Community and Events at digitalundivided, leading all community partnerships, press relations and events; and the force behind our signature program, #FOCUS100. Darlene has more than 20 years of experience managing large-scale projects for brands like eBay, BlogHer, and the International Downtown Association. As the special projects editor at Essence Magazine, Darlene oversaw the development of several key projects and events for the Time, Inc.-owned brand, including the annual Essence Music Festival. She has also held editorial and marketing leadership positions at diverse, women-focused media companies, such as Women’s Wear Daily, W, and Elle. Darlene is the founder of The Gillard Jones Agency, a public relations and event-planning firm.

Heather Hiles

CEO & Founder

Pathbrite Inc

Heather Hiles is the Founder and CEO of Pathbrite, a learning and career portfolio platform. Heather has committed her life to closing education and employment achievement gaps for youth and adults. Her leadership experience spans more than 20 years, during which she has founded and led several private and public sector organizations, including: Commissioner, San Francisco Unified School District; Executive Director, Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2); Co-Founder, EARN (Individual Development Accounts program); CEO, SFWorks (NGO to place women from welfare into careers); and COO, Break the Cycle (K-3rd grade tutorial program). Heather received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and her MBA from Yale University.


Nichelle McCall


BOLD Guidance Inc

Nichelle N. McCall is the founder and CEO of BOLD Guidance, an interactive mobile platform that helps students through their college applications while parents and counselors view their progress. Our mobile counselor makes college applications easy for everyone. BOLD Guidance won 1st place mobile award at #FOCUS100 and was a finalist for the national Mobileys’ competition. BOLD Guidance participated in the FlashStarts Startup Accelerator in 2013 and is now closing a $450,000 investment round.

BOLD Guidance is Nichelle's third startup in the college admissions space over the last 10 years. She was a liaison to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on a $20 million college completion project and has served as an advisor to numerous social enterprises. Nichelle graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University and Baruch College - CUNY with honors.


Nicole Sanchez



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