PRESS ROOM: Zillow, United Negro College Fund and Black Tech Ventures host hackathon for students at historically black colleges and universities


Challenge aims to increase the number of Black students in the pipeline of early career tech talent. Participants will create innovative living solutions while learning skills and competing for $90,000 in cash and prizes.

SEATTLE, — Registration for Zillow’s first hackathon for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country is now open. beginning 09/23, the seven-day virtual competition challenges students to design and deliver creative and impactful tech solutions that align with Zillow’s goal of helping consumers overcome obstacles in their home-hunting journey. Nearly $90,000 Money and prizes are up for grabs as students gain hands-on experience in the technology industry.

Zillow, in collaboration with United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Black Tech Ventures (BTV)will host the HBCU Housing Hackathon To help HBCU students further develop their skills through workshops, hands-on enrichment, mentoring and teamwork.

To engage HBCU students with a range of technical skills, Zillow’s HBCU hackathon is open to both students with advanced computer coding experience and those with little or no programming experience. Students will work closely with Zillow and BTV mentors. Teams can have up to four members, and while enrollment is open to HBCU students in any major, each team must have at least one member enrolled in a computer science, computer engineering, or related program.

At the end of the week-long event, the team finalists present their solutions to a jury. The first-placed team receives a $20,000 Cash prize to be shared among its members and Zillow will donate $25,000 to his school’s computer science program. 2nd and 3rd place teams received $12,000 and $6,000 Cash rewards or top three teams’ students will also receive new laptops, textbook gift cards, and AfroTech World 2021 conference tickets. All eligible hackathon participants interested in a position at Zillow have the opportunity to apply for an internship.

“Zillow is proud to sponsor this hackathon because we serve our clients best when we can recruit and retain some of the best talent in the world — the kind of thinkers and doers who come to the campuses of the historically black colleges and universities of the world.” country,” says Zillow Chief Technology Officer David Beitel. “Our goal is to strengthen our recruitment pipeline by working with HBCUs and encouraging students to consider careers in technology and of course at Zillow.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, HBCUs produce 27% of all black STEM graduates. Graduates from these institutions account for 40% of all black engineers in the US

“Zillow understands the importance of building strong relationships with HBCUs,” adds Beitel. “That’s why we joined in 2019 HBCU Partnership Challenge, prepared by the bipartisan HBCU Congressional Caucus. The challenge encourages greater engagement and recruitment to HBCUs by private companies. This hackathon is one of the ways Zillow is taking on the challenge.”

DR Chad Womack, Senior Director of National STEM Programs and Initiatives at UNCF, will be a member of the judging panel for the HBCU hackathon. Womack also co-founded BTV, a venture tech company formed to empower African American technology innovators and startup entrepreneurs with a focus on fostering the entrepreneurial mindset on the HBCU campus.

“UNCF is proud to partner with Zillow and Black Tech Ventures on this wonderful initiative for our students,” says Womack. “UNCF is excited to leverage its reach on the HBCU campus to engage our students and market the HBCU Housing Hackathon challenge opportunity.”

As a partner, BTV will introduce participants to design thinking and the lean startup process so that they can incorporate these principles into their hackathon projects. During the hackathon, the BTV team will also provide mentoring and coaching for HBCU’s student-led teams.

“We founded Black Tech Ventures as an organization dedicated to supporting design thinking, lean startup, and tech entrepreneurship among HBCU students and alums, particularly those pursuing STEM careers,” she says Jaye Espy, a co-founder of BTV who serves as Director of Programs and Operations. “Our mission is to encourage and empower more Black Americans to use their science, technology and engineering skills as they embark on their entrepreneurial journey.”

Zillow and leading representatives of the technology industry will join Womack on the judging panel David BeitelZillow’s Chief Technology Officer; Eric BaileyVice President of Experience Design at Zillow; Aldona ClotteyZillow Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility; Stan HumphriesChief Analytics Officer at Zillow; Loni MahantaVice President of Government Relations and Public Policy at Zillow; Jaisa MinorHead of Partnerships; Damien Petersfounder of Wealth Noir; and TiffanyTaylorChief People & Impact Officer, GSV Ventures. Special Judge Student Richard Lehm, Bowie State University The class of 2022 will participate in the semi-final judging.

To learn more or to register for the hackathon, visit

About the United Negro College Fund

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, community and nation, UNCF supports student education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and champions the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are very effective, conferring 20% ​​of African American high school diplomas. UNCF awards annually 100 million dollars in scholarships and administers more than 400 programs including scholarships, internships and fellowships, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”®. @UNCF.

About Black Tech Ventures

Black Tech Ventures (BTV) mission is to empower African American tech innovators and startup entrepreneurs and foster a culture of entrepreneurship in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). At BTV, we believe that innovation and entrepreneurship are essential to succeed in the innovation and tech economy.

About the Zillow Group

Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) is reinventing real estate to make it easier to move on to the next chapter in life.

As the most visited real estate website in the US, Zillow® and its affiliates offer customers an on-demand experience to sell, buy, rent or finance with transparency and near-seamless end-to-end service. Zillow Offers® buys and sells homes directly in dozens of markets across the country, giving sellers control of their schedule. Zillow Home Loans™, our affiliated lender, offers our customers an easy way to get pre-approved and secure financing for their next home purchase. Zillow recently formed Zillow Homes, Inc., a licensed brokerage firm, to streamline Zillow Offers transactions.

Affiliates and subsidiaries of the Zillow Group include Zillow®; Zillow Offers®; Zillow Premier Agent®; Zillow Home Loans™; Zillow Closing Services™; Zillow Homes, Inc.; Trulia®; Out East®; StreetEasy®; and HotPads®. Zillow Home Loans, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #10287 (


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