For BLNDED, 2018 was a year of many firsts and brand growth.
We established our company’s first ever media partnership with AustinInno and co-organized the inaugural Austin Mosaic Awards to highlight the diversity and inclusion work within the business and tech community.
Our toughest challenge in 2018 was executing operationally. It truly takes a village to build a community and business and this past year was no exception to that rule.
Take a look at what the #BLNDEDMedia team accomplished in 2018.
- March 9: Secured our first media partnership with AustinInno
- April 3: Sponsored our first event as a media partner with The New Philanthropists
- April 5: Welcomed our first editor, Taylor Tompkins
- May 3: Co-founder Jonathan Hackworth accepted into Notley Ventures Fellowship program
- May 23: Graduated BunkerLabs + WeWork ViR program
- July 11: Welcomed our first summer interns, Helen Oyeniyi and Olivia Taylor
- July 19: Co-organized inaugural Austin Mosaic Awards
- July 27: Welcome our first content producers, Alexandra Wilson and Brandon “AK” Akpunku
- September 9: Hit our 100th post with Reda Hicks‘ #BLNDEDFounders story
- September 14: Co-founder Alexis Davis accepted into Leadership Austin Emerge class of 2019
- September 20: Founder and CEO Naji H. Kelley accepted into Leadership Austin Essential class of 2019
- October 11: Naji H. Kelley named a 50 on Fire Blazer Winner in the Lifestyle category
- October 11: BLNDED to highlight founders in Oracle’s global startup ecosystem
- November 13: Media sponsor for first Inclusive Innovation Summit
- November 17: Created and lead our first workshop: (Inclusive Media I The Future of Media) at UT Div Day
- December 1: Media sponsor for LULAC’s inaugural Austin Tech Summit in Austin, TX
- December 6: Accepted into Local Media Association Chief Diversity Club program powered by Google News Initiative and Mercer
- December 21: Naji H. Kelley selected as a 2019 Austin Young Chamber ChangeMaker Finalist
I’m so glad Alexis mentioned we should start tracking our accomplishments earlier this year because as I was compiling this list, I almost missed all the amazing things we did. While I would never forget our process, the noise of this roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship has my mind 90% thinking about the future of BLNDED and how we can really add value to the many voices still unheard. Reflecting on this list signifies to me the relentless grind my team and I have put in to build relationships, create content, and lay down the foundational work to inspire others.
2019 will be a year of building infrastructure to connect our community to new opportunities that help blend the tech, business, and media industries, starting in Austin. We plan to build brand ownership and authority, vertically integrate our creative ideas and cultural influence to impact companies and the diverse communities they serve, and own our narrative and cultural influence to challenge the status quo of people of color in tech, business, and media.
I know and believe more than ever that what we do at BLNDED matters and we have a responsibility to those who don’t have a voice or seat at the economic table in the media, tech, and/or business ecosystems. BLNDED’s role is to bridge that gap by blending the startup ecosystem, starting right here in Austin, TX.
Thank you to all of our partners, community shareholders, content creators, interns, advisors, and friends who supported the BLNDED Fam this year! I look forward to building on what we accomplished in ’18 to open more doors of opportunity for those who need it the most in 2019.