Woman Crush Wednesday: Tarryn Henry

Kicking off Black History Month, we are celebrating black female founders who are innovating their fields. This week's Woman Crush Wednesday belongs to Tarryn Henry, founder of The FOUNDER Project.

Originally from Antigua, Tarryn Henry has dubbed Durham, NC as her US-based home since 2014. Tarryn started her career in technology supporting startup tech entrepreneurs through her work with American Underground. During her time at AU, she served as the Code2040 Diversity Coordinator for the Triangle region and Program Manager for the AU community, including leading the elite Google for Startups Black Founders Exchange program. Her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the tech industry led her to pursue the expansion of ImBlackInTech to NC and T.H.E. Founder Project to the world.

How and why did you start your company?

I started my company to design programs that educate, inspire, and empower early stage tech founders of color, women, and immigrants. The struggle for tech founders with these identities cannot be understated. There are multiple barriers to overcome. 3% of VC investment professionals are people of color. Out of $85 billion in funding last year, only 3.3% went to women, and less than 1% to women of color (Entrepreneur.com)

How does your company make a difference?

We're just getting off the ground. Our hope is that we can provide valuable, relevant, and accurate information for diverse tech founders around the world to grow and sustain their businesses.

What's next for you and your business?

We have two exciting launches that are the culmination of the work I have been doing. One is The City Series - oftentimes, the narrative about a group of people is based on a singular story. The danger of a single story is it is often rich with stereotypes and rarely the truth. I've developed an initiative, The City Series, which allows founders to shape the narrative of themselves, their community, and their country. We will be releasing weekly webisodes featuring founders from around the world.

The second one is The State of Black Tech, June 5 - 6, 2020. It was originally envisioned as a tech conference for the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill) but it is quickly becoming much bigger. It is exciting to realize that this is a dialogue that is both needed and wanted in the community.

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