Four sophomores have founded the Penn chapter of DiversaTech, a tech consulting club focused on bringing together engineering, design, and business backgrounds.
DiversaTech, which was started last semester, unites students of diverse backgrounds to provide technical solutions ranging from web development, UI/UX, and data analytics to companies in a variety of industries.
College and Wharton sophomore and Co-President Shriya Shah said that after sitting in on a DiversaTech meeting at the University of California at Berkeley while visiting a friend, she became interested in starting a chapter at Penn. She told The Daily Pennsylvanian that she saw an opportunity to bring the club to Penn and give tech experience to students underrepresented in the technology space.
“When I met them for the first time, I said, this is the niche that I want to be in,” Shah said.
From windsurfing to geospatial mapping, Shah said that DiversaTech consultants focus on utilizing technology in a wide variety of fields.
“There's more to tech than the one definition that we're told. That's what we're really trying to say here,” Shah said. “It really is about crafting your own path within it.”
During the fall 2022 semester, the club worked on three consulting projects.
The first team was tasked with conducting a market analysis of European and Latin American cryptocurrency to inform Coinbase's go-to-market strategy. The second team worked with the retail cell phone charging station company ChargeItSpot to identify entry opportunities through healthcare market analysis. The third team redesigned the website for Resilience Education, a non-profit that empowers formerly incarcerated individuals through technology.
DiversaTech’s leadership consists of an all-female executive board, which Shah added is particularly exciting to see in the technology space.
College and Engineering sophomore and Co-President Victoria Zammit said that her favorite part of DiversaTech is the ability to bring students together to allow them to explore the intersection between business and technology, while also producing real-world deliverables.
“It’s hard for people to learn more about emerging tech industries, so allowing them to have a club where diverse members with a variety of skill sets can work together on a project will be really powerful,” Zammit said.
Zammit said she enjoys the entrepreneurial aspect of starting a club, both with regard to recruiting students and working with companies.
“It was a great experience for all of us to learn what it takes to start something and be able to lead it and recruit students,” she said. “Also, on the other side, we have to be able to market to companies on why they should work with us.”
Wharton sophomore and Vice President of Projects Sophie Courtney said that DiversaTech uniquely prioritizes projects that create value for both clients and students.
“It's tough to find the sweet spot where you’re working with a company that's doing cool things but will also give you proper responsibility,” she said. "DiversaTech works towards achieving that balance more than any club I’ve seen.”
Engineering sophomore and Vice President of Internal Anna Bay added that the clubs’ goals for the upcoming semester include sourcing more clients and building the club’s reputation.
“We are looking to expand our outreach to include even more underrepresented groups and grant our members more access to resources to make a meaningful impact in the industry,” Bay said.