Austin Business Journal Announces 2022 Champions of Change Nominees

One of the biggest issues facing the technology sector, along with the rest of the nation, is creating a more equitable landscape for populations that have traditionally been underserved. And that doesn't just happen. It takes strong teams of community leaders, collaboration and buy-in from small businesses and big industries.

With that in mind, every year Austin nonprofit startup accelerator DivInc and its partners celebrate Austin leaders who helped advance conversations and actions throughout the community to make the city a more inclusive place.

"We want to inspire community members to get more engaged, to get more involved to support these leaders with their causes," said Preston James, co-founder and CEO of DivInc. "I want people to rally around them and be inspired by them."

Austin has made a variety of strides in recent years to make the startup and business landscape more diverse, he said.

"It's unfortunate to say, but we do have a long way to go," Preston said. "There are a lot of forces working against the great growth that a lot of these people are building, and so there's some very strong headwinds. People really just have to kind of stand up and say, 'Let's stop and come together, to not back away from those headwinds.'"

Increasing equity in the startup world will take a lot of work, including better ways of measuring disparities in funding and access, he said. But it's achievable.

Read the full Austin Business Journal article here, and see our full list of nominees below!