Divinc’s 5th Annual Champions of Change Awards

Champions of Change Ceremony Chair Janice Omadecke. Photo by Jerrell Trulove

Each year, leaders from the Austin community are nominated as Divinc’s Champions of Change over multiple categories. These individuals all strive for inclusion and lead efforts in advancing an entrepreneurial ecosystem equitable for all in Austin.

Divinc, Austin’s premier startup accelerator for BIPOC and women entrepreneurs, revealed its nominees in late January and held voting for People’s Choice nominees until February 9. All selected winners will be announced and awarded on March 2, 2023, at the prestigious ceremony. The event will consist of nine categories:

  • Executive of the Year
  • DEI Leader of the Year
  • Young Leader of the Year
  • Champion of the Year
  • Investor of the Year
  • Startup Leader of the Year
  • Rising Star of the Year
  • Spacemaker of the Year
  • and Non-Profit Leader of the Year

See all the 2023 nominees here.

“Leaders don’t always get the recognition they deserve. These awards highlight those that are making Austin a better city for all,” stated Janice Omadeke, this year’s Ceremony Chair.

Preston James, CEO and founder of Divinc, founded the organization in 2006 due to a lack of diversity and inclusion in the local entrepreneurial system. His mission was to increase opportunities for BIPOC entrepreneurs to participate and build social economic equity. Champions of Change is not only a fundraising opportunity for Divinc but also a way to give back and support the community by shining a light on individuals who are often overlooked. “This event is used to support them and to inspire others to support them and become leaders in their own right,” James said.

These awards highlight those that are making Austin a better city for all

When asked what makes a good candidate, James stated that they are looking for individuals who are taking on bold initiatives to create change in the community while also driving strong impact with their initiative; who represent what is possible in our community to create that change. Divinc is also looking for those who haven’t fully “made it” yet. They want to be sure to recognize and encourage those individuals especially.

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“I want people to understand that there is so much inequity in our society. There’s no room to stand on the sideline if you want to see change. Whether you want to support Divinc to help support entrepreneurs or to support the Champions of Change, lean in and support with either your time or money. Become part of the solution and don’t sit idly by.” contnued James.

James remarked that this is likely to be the best, most diverse, warmest, most inclusive event of the year. Meet new people while having an artist showcase, showcasing local artists of color. This will be an amazing evening of celebration, warmth, and an all-around good time.

Tickets to the event are $50 per person and are available on Eventbrite.

Light bites and drinks will be provided. Proceeds from the event will go directly to support DivInc’s efforts in bridging the gap between underrepresented entrepreneurs and the resources they need to build profitable high-growth, high-impact startups.

Divinc can best be reached on its website. Janice Omadeke, the 2023 Ceremony Chair, can also be reached on LinkedIn.


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