MC Hammer Offers Tips to “Innovate the Hood” at Detroit Event

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2003, Finney said technology has always played a big part in her family’s life. Her father lost a factory job in the 1980s and soon enrolled in a workforce development course. From there, he started his journey in the tech world, and he’d eventually work for Microsoft “back when it was cool,” she said.

“Technology totally changed my family’s trajectory,” Finney explained. “I went to school to be an epidemiologist, but then I became one of the first fashion bloggers. Seeing the growth of blogging and the rise of social media put me in an interesting position to see the growth of this new space.”

Finney became especially interested in bridging the digital divide after a stint at a startup incubator in New York. “I was the only black woman participating,” she said. “It was the first time in my life that there were no expectations of me, and that really stuck.”

Now, with digitalundivided, Finney travels around the U.S. holding events and conferences in an attempt to connect local networks with her huge, national network. Time and again, Finney sees people who are interested in founding startups falter because they don’t have access to resources or power players. (Digitalundivided’s annual conference is coming up on Oct. 3, and she says she’ll give Detroiters a discount on ticket prices if they want to attend.)

Digitalundivided will be back in Detroit in November to conduct a lean startup workshop. Finney advised those who are interested in participating to watch digitalundivided’s Twitter page for details. Check out the hashtag #innovatethehood to see conversation from the Detroit event.

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