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Black Innovation Week launches in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Highlighting Black tech owners and entrepreneurs is the goal of the first ever Black Innovation week.

Katara McCarty launched her business in August 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I started hearing about how the Black community was being impacted disproportionately with COVID. We saw the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor play out in our news feed and our news cycle. I could feel the collective trauma, grief, stress, anxiety that the Black community was experiencing,” McCarty said.

So she launched an app called Exhale. It’s an emotional well-being app designed for women of color.

“It’s free to download, free to use,” McCarty said. “There’s meditations, guided breath work techniques and coaching talks. It’s all about addressing our every day stressors as Black and brown women and fems.”

She is one of many business owners taking part in the Be Nimble Foundation’s Black Innovation Week.

“Our goal is truly just to highlight Black innovation,” Be Nimble Foundation co-founder Jeff Williams said. “That means the creatives, the entrepreneurs that are shifting culture and the future. We like to call them the Madam C.J. Walkers of Indianapolis, Indiana, and the greater Midwest. We believe there’s so many talented individuals within our community.”

He and his team want to shine a light on Black tech owners and entrepreneurs.

“This will be the first Black innovation Week. It’s really to draw and cast a light on what has already been happening in our community as well as what will be happening in our future and use the funds to really accelerate that growth by passing out grants to the entrepreneurs who participate in our programs,” Williams said.

This week is full of events, like a disrupting education panel at the Central Library on Tuesday evening and a pitch party and Black in tech mixer at the High Alpha Studios office on Mass Avenue. There will also be a garden party at the Lucas Estate on Saturday from 3-8 p.m.

Both Williams and McCarty hope this week inspires people.

“I think it’s inspirational to see Black people creating things,” McCarty said. “Black innovators. I hope that it inspires other people to create and to innovate. When you’re able to see someone that looks like you, weave through life in a body like you, Black or brown body, it’s inspiring, it’s hopeful.”

To learn more about Black Innovation Week click here.