The vision of the BGV Connect Incubator is to create a bridge for growth by providing tools and resources for Black and Brown women leaders to bring their products, ideas, and businesses from concept to execution.
We believe that by providing entrepreneurship education, access to networks of support, and by facilitating robust connections within the tech ecosystem we will be able to grow the number of innovative solutions uniquely designed to help lift our communities.
We're accelerating a community of over 100,000 Black and Brown women––together, we will unleash a collective disruptor force that will transform not just tech and entrepreneurship, but the world. In our BGV Connect Member series, we’re highlighting Chanita Christmas's experience as a Connect member.
Chanita Christmas, Founder Of Melanin.Tech
Melanin.Tech is an online hub to join communities with an aligned focus on the personal and professional advancement of Black people within the technology industry. They're here to inspire, encourage, and inform Black professionals who either work in the tech industry or aspire to do so.
Their mission is to cultivate a close-knit hub, provide safe space, and accelerate the growth of the Black tech ecosystem. They do this in the interest of their shared identity and shared sense of purpose that benefits the individual, the community, and the companies that employ them.
This year they'll be launching their diversity, equity, and inclusion, strategy development, and training along with their global employee resource group program. Their pillars are impact, development, and diversity.
How did you learn about BGV?
I learned about BGV through a webinar that was hosted by iFund women. Shelly was one of the panelists on that webinar, and I knew from that moment this is the community I wanted to be a part of.
Why did you join and what was the deciding factor to remain an active member?
I joined BGV because of Shelly––because of her authenticity, how open she was about her experiences and the things that she wanted for Black women. And I remain an active member of this community because of the community. The people in here are incredible. The resources that everyone shares are phenomenal. I feel like I've found friends and even business partners all within the same community.
What events have you attended so far and what has your experience been like? What keeps you coming back to the community?
The events that I have attended have been the pitch practices and the weekly co-working sessions. I keep going back to the co-working sessions because it's such a free space to talk about my ideas, what I'm working on. And honestly, it's a good place to do a little venting too. And it's nice to be understood and valued in the community of other Black women.
What have you gotten from being a part of this community? Please include how this has impacted you individually and your business.
I've gotten so many resources from this community and in particular about funding. I've learned how to sign up for my own crowdfunding campaign, how to receive grants, how to do grant writing. So it's been very valuable in the funding of Melanin.Tech.
What would you say to those who are thinking about joining BGV Connect?
To those who are thinking about joining BGV Connect. My advice to you is to do it and to do it, now. This community is full of amazing women and amazing resources that we can all learn from. And this is a safe space to just be exactly who you are and that's something that we all need.
What would you like the world to know about BGV?
If I could tell everyone in the world about BGV, I would tell them that this is a community that really has your best interest at heart. They want to see us all when they want to see us all eat and that's something that I truly value.
As a Black/Brown woman entrepreneur, it can be hard to find the tools and resources needed to succeed. Let BGV Connect help you get there. Be a part of a tight-knit community that challenges you to think big and do big.
Subscribe to the Digital Orange Juice for juicy ideas and the people who fund them. You can find out about our next pitch competitions here.