August 18, 2022

The SoLa Tech And Entrepreneurship Center Has Officially Opened

SoLa Impact and Riot Games have partnered to launch the Tech & Entrepreneurship Center, which aims to help “inspire and develop the next generation of Black and Brown game developers.” 

The new center will be located in the heart of South Los Angeles and will provide accessible technology education to the South Los Angeles community. 

The initiative was made possible after the popular game developer app, Riot Games, donated $2.25 million to the SoLa I CAN Foundation. The additional funding went towards the design of the center, which will be free for all South LA residents. 

“Our mantra is that ‘if you can see it, you can be it,” said Sherri Francois, the Chief Impact Officer at SoLa Impact. 

“For the community that we serve, it’s about providing exposure and access. Most of our kids are unaware of what is available to them. The first thing is to open their eyes and expose them to people, places, and experiences that they will not have access to in their everyday lives. We also want to build a community through technology and gaming so that kids have ownership, are empowered to keep learning, and eventually build a pipeline of talent in the tech industry.” 

The I CAN Foundation, the non-profit affiliate of SoLa Impact, aims to not only inspire the next generation of Black and Brown game developers but also improve the lives of South LA residents. 

The grand opening saw young children play around with exclusive VR headsets, state of the art music studios and build their robots in the robotics lab. Both businesses actively work to close the racial wealth gap and hope the center launch will help break intergenerational poverty through education and economic mobility. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.