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Tech Rising Summit Recap 2024

Tech Rising Summit Recap - 2024

SHARE Charlotte recently hosted the fourth annual Tech Rising Summit presented by The AvidXchange Foundation and Ally Financial and in partnership with the Center for Digital Equity (CDE). 

Tech Rising, an initiative led by the AvidXchange Foundation in partnership with local corporations, strives to bridge the digital divide and make Charlotte the most digitally inclusive community in the U.S. through strategic engagement with the Center for Digital Equity, government, academic and nonprofit partnerships. 

The Tech Rising initiative was born out of a collaborative rally of corporate leaders to pool together their resources to help students in families stuck in the digital divide during the pandemic.

Over the past 3 years we have hosted hundreds of  attendees representing Corporations, Strategic Partners,  Nonprofits, and Community Members all working together to create more digital equity in our community.

This year’s focus is on the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Equity. AI will play such a pivotal role in our future and during this year's summit, we will explore its potential to create or deteriorate digital equity in our community.

This year’s event was hosted at the Ally Charlotte Center and included the following topics:

  • Update on the Center for Digital Equity’s work, progress and how the community can get involved, led by Natali Betancur, Deputy Director of the CDE
  • Fireside chat on “The Potential of AI”, moderated by Bruce Clark, Executive Director of the CDE and included: Sathish Muthukrishnan, Chief Information, Data, and Digital Officer (CIDDO) of Ally Financial and Angelic Gibson, CIO of AvidXchange.
  • Community Impact Panel on “How will the growth of AI will Impact Digital Equity”, moderated by Natalie Brown,  Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Ally and included Brad Dunkle, Deputy CIO of the City of Charlotte, Christine Edwards, CEO of Civility Localized  and Jill Bjers, Principal at Brainbloom Labs
  • Breakout Sessions on AI 101 led by the Ally Tech Team and How we can use AI responsibly in our community led by Ally’s Human Centered Design Team.

Attendees were not only able to understand more about the growth and impact of AI in our daily lives but how we must think about AI through an equity lens.

As part of the Tech Rising Summit over the past 3 years, we have been able to provide a Tech Rising “Tech Idea” Incubator Fund to local nonprofits serving Mecklenburg County to seed innovative ideas that can come from participating in the summit.

Over the past 3 years we have given away $103K to 21 organizations and you can learn more about last year’s grantee’s here.

This year's grant pool is $30K to seed to seed ideas that include an element using AI to foster digital equity. If you are interested in learning more about this fund, click here.

Funding corporate partners include: Ally Financial, AvidXchange, Google Fiber, LendingTree, Duke Energy and Honeywell. Additionally, each grant recipient will receive an “AI Coach” from Honeywell!

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