By Kathy Chouteau
The Hidden Genius Project—an Oakland-based nonprofit that trains and mentors Black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship and leadership skills—will host the virtual “Genius Founders Showcase” Thursday, April 22 from 5-7:30 p.m.
The free event will feature the project’s inaugural cohort of five entrepreneurs from its Alumni Venture Seed Fund, who will “demonstrate their startup brilliance and apply the concepts they learned in our program to their keynote business pitches,” per event organizers.
Event participants will have an opportunity to meet the project’s “geniuses,” including their phase coaches, and hear about their experience and growth in the new program. One participating and presenting genius during the event will be Ronald Bolden III, an 18-year-old Pinole native currently majoring in Business Management with a focus on entrepreneurship at San Diego State University.
According to The Hidden Genius Project, throughout his time with the program, Bolden has “blended his passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and law to create his tech project called Fix Ya Ticket, which aims to help people who receive traffic violations and educate them on ways to fight common infractions.”
In early November, The Hidden Genius Project launched the aforementioned inaugural Alumni Venture Seed Fund program, which aims to help young entrepreneurs progress through the five phases of startup development, while also supporting a deeper understanding of the “space and application,” per the organization.
During the five month time period since program’s inception, the Hidden Genius alumni received coaching, training and early-stage funding to empower them with the resources, networks and capital needed to support their entrepreneurial ambitions, according to the organization.
Along with Bolden, others who participated in the program and who will serve as speakers at the event include: Honorebel Walker, founder of Divine, a personalized errand service; James Green, creator of Fixmykix, an online marketplace for shoe restoration and customization; Perry Irving, originator of iCreateSkateboards, which helps skaters design and create their own customizable skateboard via a mobile device; and Malik Poole, inventor of an app called H.I.R.E (Helping Inmates Reach Employment) to help formerly incarcerated people find jobs and fight recidivism.