Mobility in Color: Uniting Black and Brown Innovators
Imagine bonding with 30 new friends in vans as they raced at 100-mph along the steeply banked walls of a test track. That was just one of the priceless experiences during Mobility in Color, a two-day event hosted by The Beta District that brought together Black and Brown business leaders to share innovative ideas and opportunities.
The event was spearheaded by the City of Dublin’s Chief Information Officer, Doug McCollough, and Columbus CEO Collective President and CEO, Elizabeth Joy, Ph.D., two changemakers in the Columbus Region. McCollough is also co-founder of Color Coded Labs, which offers computer coding courses to minority youth and emerging professionals. Dr. Joy devotes her time to expanding access for Black wealth building and economic mobility in Columbus. Together, they brought together leaders in smart mobility, technology, energy and electrification, in addition to angel investors, to join the inaugural event.
Once things slowed down—and nervous stomachs calmed—panel discussions and conversations covered connected, automated and electric vehicle testing in The Beta District; the region’s opportunities in semi-conductor and high-tech industry; and energy sustainability.
“This was an opportunity for us to introduce the assets, resources and relationships in The Beta District to The Columbus CEO Collective, other minority-led businesses, investors and entrepreneurs,” McCollough said. “We are bringing everyone together to have a real conversation about smart mobility and what we can accomplish if we know each other and the opportunities.
Dr. Joy explained that people of color are often not invited to the table to discuss this type of opportunity, “If there’s something important going on, if there’s an opportunity there, we want to make sure we’re representing the Black business community and making sure the world knows we’re here, and we’re capable.”
Monty Ragland with ProTeam Solutions Inc. agreed. “There are so many things (about The Beta District) … where do you start? What do we do? I think it starts with what are we good at, where we are—do something and help create.”
The “Mobility in Color” moniker is a nod to the The Beta District’s global leadership in smart mobility and technology combined with the Columbus CEO Collective’s mission of economic mobility and prosperity for Black and Brown leaders. The Columbus Region abounds with opportunities for companies to thrive—especially in technology, energy and electrification—and Mobility in Color aims to ensure minority-owned companies are at the forefront of our region’s growth.