Hello friend --
Snap Design Academy underway
It’s official! June 17 marked the first day of Bixel Exchange's 2019 Snap Design Academy, in partnership with Snap Inc. We are so excited to have 20 students from Los Angeles area community colleges participate in the hands-on, six-week academy at Snap’s headquarters. Each student is receiving a fully funded scholarship to explore art and design through creative workshops, lectures, field trips and mentorship with Snap employees. All these workshops and classes will culminate with their final showcase on Aug. 8.
Congratulations to all the Nike x Design graduates!
Earlier this week, the Bixel Exchange team traveled to Portland to see our 13 apprentices from L.A. community colleges graduate from the Nike x Design apprenticeship program. For the last six months, the apprentices had the opportunity to learn about design and business and experience what Nike is all about. The program began with a two-week design bootcamp at Pensole Academy where they presented to their managers and mentors before diving into focused programs at the world headquarters. During their time at Nike, the apprentices traveled to New York where they visited the Nike New York offices and Converse headquarters to learn about apparel design. The program ended with a final project presentation in front of top Nike executives and with a graduation ceremony where the apprentices received their own special Nike shoes. This was the first apprenticeship program of this kind for Nike and Bixel Exchange, and we will continue to forge stronger partnerships to create similar programs with more companies. We'd like to thank Nike for hosting this wonderful program and giving our students an experience like no other.
BIZCON SoCal celebrates small business owners and entrepreneurs
Yesterday, in partnership with Bixel Exchange, the L.A. Area Chamber hosted its annual BIZCON SoCal business conference and networking event. Designed to celebrate, inspire and support businesses across the L.A. region, the event included a keynote address from Shawn Gold, TechStyle Fashion Group, and Isabel Guzman, Office of the Small Business Advocate. Startup LAunch Tech SBDC Director Kat Yalung moderated a panel on "Launching AND Growing with Purpose-Driven Strategy" featuring Grace Chung, Pledgeling; Walter Delph, BCG Digital Ventures; Benny Tran, Los Angeles Football Club; and Megan Sette, M Collaborative. Bixel Exchange also hosted BiXelerate Your Business one-on-one advising sessions throughout the day. Our expert team of more than 30 advisors met with small business owners and entrepreneurs to provide guidance on everything from raising money to building their brand. Guzman met with entrepreneurs to discuss how her office can be of service to the economic health of L.A. "[It is] inspiring to see live mentoring taking place at #BIZCONSoCal19 -- a strong example of how California's Technical Assistance Expansion Program grants are being utilized in communities to start and grow small businesses,” said Guzman at the event.
Diversifying the future of STEM
Science and technology are the future careers of our workforce, but today’s students, especially those in racially marginalized communities, are underprepared. Last week, Bixel Exchange joined the Chamber for a special joint Education & Workforce Development and Innovation & Technology Council with Susan Bonilla, state director at the Council for a Strong America, who highlighted how the graduation rate in computer science is starkly low when it comes to black and Latino students. To combat this, many groups are spearheading efforts to ensure that kids today are getting the necessary skills and training in order to succeed in the STEM world of tomorrow. Bonilla sits as a panel member for the California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Plan, where educators are paving a future for computer science innovation in California’s education system. “We will not have economic success if we do not have educational success,” said Bonilla.
Qmmunity hosts IDAHOT Gala in Shanghai
As we celebrate Pride Month in June, Bixel Exchange would like to recognize Startup LAunch company Qmmunity, an online and offline platform for the LGBTQ+ community in China that has since set up offices in L.A. to serve as a bridge to connect businesses and individuals across both countries. Gabby Gabriel founded Qmmunity in 2014, and, last month, Qmmunity hosted its first gala in Shanghai to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). This event also marked China's first IDAHOT Gala, aiming to educate the general public about the violence and discrimination that LGBTQ+ individuals face. Sean Stein, consul general of the U.S. in Shanghai, was the guest of honor and the keynote speaker for the event. "I’m very thankful to be part of Bixel and the mentorship I have received through Sebastian has helped make my progress possible," said Gabriel on her time spent with Sebastian De Vivo, one of our rockstar advisors.
Applications open for SVP Systems Change Accelerator
Attention to all startups in the systems change and nonprofit fields! Our community partner, SVPLA, has opened submissions for the 2019-2020 Systems Change Accelerator. The accelerator is a nine-month program accelerating the growth and impact of a cohort of systems change initiatives in L.A. County. The accelerator blends workshops, coaching, peer learning and one-on-one mentoring to support nonprofit leaders in honing their systems change and wellness strategy, clarifying and amplifying their message, and growing their network of relationships and resources while grounding their work in the values of equity and justice. Supporting these foundational elements uniquely accelerates an organization’s ability to create systemic community impact. Learn more.
Until we sync again,