Recently, Brooklyn On Tech hosted “Tech and Tea: A Celebration of Founders and Community Builders” at the WIX Lounge in New York.
Brooklyn On Tech is a social, non-profit organization founded by Evin Robinson and Jessica Santana, focused on educating and inspiring public high school students in the Brooklyn area to pursue tech-related careers.
“We think it’s really important to pay tribute to the organizations and to the people involved in those organizations,” said Santana.
The speakers included three founders of some of these organizations that Brooklyn On Tech hopeswill ispiretheir students and founders everywhere.
The first speaker was Jerry Castanos, founder and CEO of 3D Heights, a 3D scanning and printing store located in lower Manhattan. He spoke about his first introduction to the entrepreneurshipas a mobile DJ for parties. While working for a logistics company, he became interested in starting his own business and pitched the idea to some people in his office. They opened a business for eight months, but quickly realized that it wasn’t working out and decided to go back to their previous jobs.
He then went to Afghanistan for two years, where he was introduced to 3D printing. Upon returning to New York, he created 3D Heights. He encourages budding entrepreneurs to give their ideas a chance to thrive, and also to share these ideas with family and friends.
“Don’t be afraid to say ‘Hey, I’m doing this thing, can you help me out?’” he said.
The second speaker was Katie Hudson, the Outcomes Producer for General Assembly, a global educational institution. They offer classes, workshops, programs, and online courses that teach graduate students relevant skills in technology, design, and business. As Outcomes Producer, Hudson helps these students find jobs when they graduate. She also teaches job preparatory curriculums and talks to New York companies about hiring GA grads.
Hudson emphasized the importance of companies and organizations like WIX and Brooklyn On Tech.who are helping to shape technology today. In a time and age where technology is a part of everyday life, budding entrepreneurs and those interested in starting a business have to learn to embrace and adapt these new technology in order to succeed in the field.
Hudson also shared this quote by Alvin Toffler: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who can’t learn, unlearn, and re-learn.”
The last speaker was Anthony Frasier, the cofounder of Phat Startup, an integrated media company that providestools and resources for aspiring entrepreneurs. The company is acombination of his three passions: hip-hop, community, and entrepreneurship. His presentation included a history on hip-hop.
“Hip-hop was created by hackers,” he said, explaining how the first hip-hop artists created their own turntables.
They made do with what they had and created something that amazed the whole world and went down in history. Not unlike entrepreneurs.
He proceeded to talk about the influence of technology on the unlikeliest of business ventures, such as gaming or e-sports. He gave the example of Justin.tv, a video game streaming site, where people can watch two gamers play various video games. It became so popular that it turned into what is now known as Twitch.tv and was sold to Amazon in 2014.
“Everyone starts at the bottom,” he said.
The night ended with a raffle, the proceeds of which to Brooklyn On Tech’s Tech Flex Scholars and students.