Fabian Elliott is a hybrid entrepreneur. As founder and CEO of Black Tech Mecca Inc., he is leading his organization to transform Chicago into a “global Black tech mecca” through the development of a thriving Black tech ecosystem. This is done by creating a tech community that has a strong network and access to information and resources. Their strength also lies in measuring success, directing growth, and championing progress within the Black technology community.
Elliott is also an advertising technology consultant at Google. He recently completed his inaugural term as the appointed global co-chair of Google’s Black Google Network. Elliott has been featured in Ebony, Black Enterprise, ChicagoInno, dnainfo, and the Chicago Reader 2015 People issue.
Elliott shared with rolling out why he feels Chicago is the next Black technology mecca.
- Chicago is a power city – Beyond just the Black and tech communities, Chicago is a major player on the global stage. It is the 3rd largest city in the US and ranked No. 7 in the world on the 2014 Global Cities Index 2014 (produced by A.T. Kearney). Chicago is also home to two of the world’s most prestigious universities — the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.
- There is a vibrant tech scene – The Windy City is very serious about technology. According to the Illinois Technology Association, Chicago is the top U.S. city for growth-stage technology companies. All of the generations of major tech giants have a presence in the city. Also, research reveals the number of jobs at tech companies in Chicago are growing at a rate that ranks the city sixth among the nation’s top 20 tech markets.
- The city has a clear vision – Chicago not only has a vision, but also a solid plan. The Chicago Technology Plan consists of 28 initiatives within five broad strategies. It enables the city to realize its vision of becoming a place where technology fuels opportunity, inclusion, engagement and innovation. Together, these five technology-focused strategies provide the path to solidifying Chicago a place as one of the world’s leading cities.
- There is a strong black nucleus – About 100 years ago, the Great Migration to Chicago was initiated by Robert Abbott and the Chicago Defender. This brought many Black people from the South to the city for opportunities fueled by the booming industries. This played a major role in Chicago growing to be the third largest urban Black population in the nation. Along with the sheer numbers, the city also has a history of Black influence and current direct connections to some of the most powerful Black people on the planet, including President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and countless other power brokers.
- There is a collaborative culture – Surprisingly enough, there is currently not a reigning “global Black tech mecca,” so we are creating the very first one in Chicago. We are fortunate to have a special culture in the community that allows us to collaborate with key community partners such as [BlackinTech], Blue1647, Code2040, and many others.
Black Tech Mecca Inc will host the State of the Black Tech Ecosystem in Chicago on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. The event will bring all of the city’s key players and stakeholders to the table to demystify the state of the Black tech ecosystem and to project a clear vision for collaborative action. Attending organizations will have the opportunity to share their plans for the year. For more information, log on to www.blacktechmecca.org.