Black Tech Street is not a short-term, band aid solution that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in recent years. Black Tech Street is something created from within. Created by Tulsa’s Black community, spurred by a Tulsa native, this is not just another initiative.
In order to be truly equitable, economies must be inclusive. And we believe this means the architecture, structure, and decision-makers of this economy must be inclusive from its very creation.
More than a century ago, Tulsa’s Greenwood community
was founded on the idea that economies can, and should,
work for all. O.W. Gurley and J.B. Stradford, Greenwood’s visionary black founders, partnered together to design a future in which black entrepreneurs could start and grow businesses, build wealth and opportunities for others and pass down legacies of hard work and prosperity to their children. True to their vision, they built, invested and influenced the design of Greenwood, enabling black entrepreneurs to achieve unprecedented success and earning Greenwood the moniker “Black Wall Street.”
The remnants of this success, however, have been all but erased. The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 not only destroyed lives, businesses and homes, but also generations of wealth for black Tulsan families.
After commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Race Massacre and with a renewed commitment to look forward, an emerging generation of black entrepreneurs in Tulsa is working together to cast a new vision for the future of black prosperity. Unfortunately, this vision is shadowed by the current economic reality in which black founders and entrepreneurs receive less than 1% of venture capital, hold just five CEO roles among Fortune 500 companies, and represent persistently low rates of employment in high-growth sectors, including technology.
Technology will undoubtedly play an increasingly outsized role in Tulsa’s future economy — an economy that can, if designed intentionally and inclusively, lead the country in innovation and become a powerful engine of wealth creation for black entrepreneurs. Ten years from now, Tulsa can be a globally-renowned city known for its black tech ecosystem — a city in which every black child has a viable path toward building intergenerational wealth and the ability to make a global impact through the tech industry. Black Tech Street is a national initiative dedicated to making this new vision for Tulsa a reality. We intend to mobilize national resources from companies, influencers and more to collectively right this heinous wrong.
The initiative is founded and led by Tyrance Billingsley II, a native black Tulsan entrepreneur, in partnership with SecondMuse, which has more than a decade of experience incubating entrepreneurial ecosystems to create self-sustaining, resilient and equitable economies. Our aspiration is for Tulsa’s Black Innovation Economy — an economy designed by, and for, black entrepreneurs — to be known globally as “Black Tech Street,”and as a center of inclusive economic opportunities for black entrepreneurs and businesses.
There’s a way for everyone to be a part of this.
We’re calling on organizations of all sizes to create something real.
Engage with Black Tech Street in co-designing or relocating programs/institutions needed to build Tulsa’s Black Tech Innovation Economy.
For large tech companies, incentivize your Black workers with the ability to work remotely from Tulsa.
For large companies, open a second office in Tulsa and hire Black workers (remote or local).
Provide access to resources, product and talent to help build the Tulsa ecosystem.
Invest in Black Tulsa Entrepreneurs or commit capital for the development of blended funds/mechanisms for Black Entrepreneurs to access.
Invest in the Black Tech Street Initiative to support the team's ability to recruit, align and coordinate stakeholders across Tulsa.
Invest in experiential and educational opportunities to support the development of a Black Tech pipeline.
"SecondMuse collaborates with visionary governments, corporations, foundations and startups to build 21st-century economies.”
Black Tech Street is powered by SecondMuse, a global innovation company dedicated to creating new models for building equitable and cutting edge 21st century economies. With over a decade of experience building ecosystems and working with top tier entities like the World Bank and Pivotal ventures, SecondMuse brings the perfect experience and perspective to the groundbreaking work of Black Tech Street. Together with SecondMuse, Black Tech Street will make Tulsa a global model for building equitable and inclusive economies.