PRESS ROOM: Zillow, United Negro College Fund and Black Tech Ventures Host Hackathon for Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities


The challenge aims to increase the number of black students in the early-career tech talent pool. Participants will innovate housing solutions while learning skills and competing for $90,000 in cash and prizes.

SEATTLE, – Registration is now open for Zillow’s first hackathon for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the country. Start September 23, the seven-day virtual competition challenges students to develop and showcase creative and impactful technology solutions that align with Zillow’s goal of helping consumers overcome obstacles in their path to finding a home. Almost $90,000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs as students gain real-world experience in the technology industry.

Zillow, in collaboration with United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Black Tech Ventures (BTV)will host the HBCU Housing Hackathon to help HBCU students further develop their skills through workshops, hands-on enrichment, mentorship, and teamwork.

To engage HBCU students who have varying levels of technical skill, Zillow’s HBCU Hackathon is open to students with advanced computer coding experience as well as those with little or no coding experience. Students will work closely with mentors Zillow and BTV. Teams can have up to four members, and while enrollment is open to HBCU students in any degree program, each team must have at least one member enrolled in a computer science, computer or related engineering.

At the end of the week-long event, the team finalists will present their solutions to a panel of judges. The team ranked first will receive a $20,000 cash prize, divided among its members, and Zillow will donate $25,000 in his school’s computer science program. The teams ranked second and third will receive $12,000 and $6,000 cash prizes, respectively. Students from the top three teams will also receive new laptops, textbook gift cards and AfroTech World 2021 conference tickets. All eligible hackathon participants interested in a position at Zillow will have the opportunity to interview for an internship.

“Zillow is proud to sponsor this hackathon because we serve our customers best when we can recruit and retain some of the best talent in the world – the kind of thinkers and doers incubated on the campuses of historically black colleges and universities nationwide,” says Chief Technology Officer Zillow David Beitel. “Our goal is to strengthen our recruiting pipeline through engagement with HBCUs and encourage students to consider careers in the tech industry and, of course, at Zillow.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, HBCUs produce 27% of all black STEM graduates. Graduates of these institutions represent 40% of all black engineers in the United States

“Zillow recognizes the importance of building strong relationships with HBCUs,” adds Beitel. “That’s why, in 2019, we joined the HBCU Partnership Challenge, created by the bipartisan congressional HBCU caucus. The challenge promotes increased engagement and recruitment into HBCUs by private companies. This hackathon is one of the ways Zillow is rising to the challenge.

dr. Chad Womack, senior director of national STEM programs and initiatives at UNCF, will serve on the judging panel for the HBCU hackathon. Womack also co-founded BTV, a venture technology company created to empower African American tech innovators and start-up entrepreneurs, with a focus on fostering entrepreneurship on HBCU campuses.

“UNCF is proud to partner with Zillow and Black Tech Ventures on this wonderful initiative for our students,” says Womack. “UNCF is excited to leverage its reach on HBCU campuses to engage our students and market the HBCU Housing Hackathon challenge opportunity.”

As a partner, BTV will introduce participants to design thinking and the lean startup process so that they can integrate these principles into their hackathon projects. During the hackathon, the BTV team will also provide mentoring and coaching to HBCU student-led teams.

“We launched Black Tech Ventures as an organization dedicated to supporting design thinking, lean startup, and tech entrepreneurship among HBCU students and alumni, especially those pursuing careers in STEM,” declared Jaye Espy, co-founder of BTV who is the director of programs and operations. “Our mission is to encourage and empower more Black Americans to leverage their science, technology, and engineering skills as they embark on their entrepreneurial journey.”

On the judging panel, Womack will be joined by Zillow and tech industry leaders including David Beitelchief technology officer of Zillow; Eric Baileyvice president of Experience Design at Zillow; Aldona ClotteyZillow vice president of corporate social responsibility; Stan Humphriesdirector of analytics at Zillow; Loni Mahantavice president of government relations and public policy at Zillow; Jaisa MinorHead of Partnerships at; Damien Stonesfounder of Black Wealth; and TiffanyTaylorHead of Human Resources and Impact, GSV Companies. Special Student Judge Richard Clay, Bowie State University The Class of 2022 will participate in judging the semi-finals.

For more information or to register for the hackathon, go to

About the United Negro College Fund

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community, and the nation, UNCF supports student education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and champions the importance of education minorities and college preparation. Institutions at UNCF and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20% ​​of bachelor’s degrees to African Americans. The UNCF rewards each year $100 million in scholarships and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarships, internships and fellowships, mentoring, summer enrichment, and faculty training and development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo represents the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized brand, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”. @UNCF.

About Black Tech Ventures

The mission of Black Tech Ventures (BTV) is to empower African American technology innovators and start-up entrepreneurs, and to foster a culture of entrepreneurship in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). At BTV, we believe that innovation and entrepreneurship are key to succeeding in the innovation and technology economy.

About Zillow Group

Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) is reinventing real estate to make it easier to open the next chapter in life.

As the most visited real estate website in the United States, Zillow® and its affiliates provide customers with an on-demand experience to sell, buy, rent or finance with transparency and near end-to-end service. transparent. Zillow Offers® buys and sells homes directly in dozens of markets across the country, putting sellers in control of their schedule. Zillow Home Loans™, our affiliated lender, offers our customers a simple option to obtain pre-approved and secure financing for their next home purchase. Zillow recently launched Zillow Homes, Inc., a licensed brokerage entity, to streamline transactions for Zillow offers.

Zillow Group affiliates and subsidiaries include Zillow®; Zillow® offers; Zillow Premier Agent®; Zillow Home Loans™; Zillow Closing Services™; Zillow Homes, Inc.; Trulia®; Out East®; StreetEasy®; and HotPad®. Zillow Home Loans, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #10287 (


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