Atlanta Black colleges get $5 million tech boost from Cisco

Spelman, Morehouse and Clark to share funds to create Black entrepreneurs

Technology giant Cisco is hoping a multi-million-dollar gift to Atlanta’s Black colleges will help cultivate the next generation of Black entrepreneurs.

Through a partnership with the Black Economic Alliance, a national nonprofit that promotes generational wealth-building for the Black community, Cisco is making a $5 million commitment in grants and technical services to Spelman College, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University.

Cisco Executive Vice President Fran Katsoudas said the donations are part of a $150 million commitment to social justice and HBCUs and across the country, “strengthening our workforce and providing access to education and technology.”

“Preserving the legacy and sustainability of Historically Black Colleges and Universities is a global, companywide priority for us,” Katsoudas said.

The money will be used to create graduate programming for a Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE) at CAU, while expanding current CBE programming at Morehouse and Spelman.

BEA Foundation President Samantha Tweedy called the mission of equipping the next generation of Black founders with both the training and resources “game-changing.”

“The Center for Black Entrepreneurship’s chief goal is to eliminate the access barrier between Black entrepreneurs, professional investors, and business leaders by leveraging education, mentorship, access to capital, and opportunity to help a new class of Black entrepreneurs thrive,” Tweedy said, adding that Cisco will also donate $1 million in technology products and services to the three Atlanta HBCUs to close the racial technology gap.

The presidents of each of the three colleges praised the announcement.