4Q4: Four questions for … Safia Porter, Black Orlando Tech

As Black Orlando Tech has evolved and grown since its 2016 inception, it has become a vehicle for improving economic growth in the city for minorities, a practice that will have an overarching effect on Orlando’s tech scene, in general.

Now, the non-profit organization moves into the post-pandemic world set to increase awareness and provide local resources for minorities who aspire to be entrepreneurs in tech.

From upskill classes to a forthcoming accelerator, the initiatives create an overall picture, one that Executive Director Safia Porter says aims to help launch potentially formative businesses.

“The primariy goal is to mentor and assist members in establishing a successful career in the tech industry, and start a new chapter in their lives,” she said.

We spoke to her a bit more about Black Orlando Tech.

What’s BOT’s top priority in 2024?

Our main focus for 2024 is to enhance the opportunities for people to join the tech industry. This involves offering courses such as Salesforce Administration and AWS Cloud Computing in both self-paced and coached cohorts providing guidance and support to early-stage entrepreneurs to improve their product/service offerings and pitch decks with our Startup Launchpad Accelerator Program in Partnership with KoFound.

What’s your view of entrepreneurship in Orlando and its importance to the city’s future?

Orlando is often associated with theme parks and tourism. However, it is an ideal city for entrepreneurs, rapidly emerging as a top destination for startups and investors alike. The City of Orlando offers diverse entrepreneurial opportunities with a wide range of industries, making it an attractive option for those looking to grow their businesses.

Orlando is an open city that thrives on creativity and innovation, and it will be important for the tech community to work together to
showcase why Orlando is the best place to build and grow tech startups.

It is also crucial to continue building and nurturing relationships with businesses (small and large) to strengthen our workforce with skilled and diverse talent in order to boost Orlando’s economy.

BOT recently started hosting sessions that improve attendees’ general skills. Why?

It is important that BOT continues to support the professional growth of our community. Employers are seeking well-rounded individuals with both strong general and technical skills. We aim to make our community stand out as competitive tech job candidates.

What one key topic in marketing should people know as they position themselves to grow?

Make your Personal Branding and communication style a priority. This can be achieved by enhancing your online presence, networking with like-minded individuals in your field or industry, and sharing your expertise through various forms of content media such as articles, social media posts, vlogs, and more.