May 04, 2023, 03:05pm CDT
Michael Jackson is CEO of Black Tech Talent. Nancy Kuehn | MSPBJ
Black Tech Talent, a Twin Cities startup that connects companies to Black technology professionals, has signed a five-year lease for a new headquarters in St. Paul. The company’s new 3,823-square-foot space is intended to help facilitate the company’s expansion efforts, which includes hiring more employees and adding more programming, CEO Michael Jackson said. The buildout will begin next week with a grand opening expected this summer. Founded in April 2020, Black Tech Talent looks to increase the talent pool of Black technologists by offering resources and coaching, as well as facilitating networking events and boosting job opportunities. For organizations seeking Black talent, the firm provides a way for them to find candidates. The six-person team most recently worked out of the Coco co-working space, previously known as Fueled Collective, in downtown Minneapolis. But the firm needed its own space, Jackson explained. “We wanted to have our own space so that we can bring people into our world,” Jackson said. "... We wanted people to come and be able to interact within our second home." The new space, located on the top floor of 867 Pierce Butler Route in the West Frogtown neighborhood, will have a new kitchenette, podcast studio, gaming lounge and other features. It will have a presence, with some signage, so that "When they pull up, they go, 'Oh, we're at Black Tech Talent headquarters,'" Jackson said. Marshall Nguyen and Ozzy Dris, both of Caspian Group, represented Black Tech Talent on the deal, while Drew Bonjean, also of Caspian Group, represented the landlord, KEO Enterprises. Black Tech Talent plans to add between three-to-four more employees by this summer, Jackson said. It will also expand program offerings, such as providing workshops on coding and conducting mock interviews, Jackson said. More than 100 employers across the nation have posted listings on the board. Those include the Minnesota Twins, Pohlad Cos. and Target Corp., the Business Journal previously reported. And there have been over 7,000 Black tech professionals who have created accounts on the platform, Jackson said. In addition to its expansion efforts, looking ahead, Black Tech Talent also plans to finish out its pre-seed round of funding, which already includes $200,000 from Brown Venture Group, Jackson said.