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BPTN Launches New Networking Platform in Obsidi

Launch of Obsidi

On February 1, Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN) launched Obsidi, an “all-in-one networking platform” catered to Black professionals and allies. The software offers extensive growth opportunities for individuals and businesses alike. By uploading your resume and skills to Obsidi, you’ll be able to level up your career and gain traction through like-minded Black professionals across the globe.

We reached out to CEO and Founder of BPTN, Lekan Olawoye, to gauge the kind of opportunities that will come with the public launch of Obsidi.

What have been the biggest benchmarks in growth since being founded in 2018?

Lekan Olawoye: BPTN was born from a conversation between four Black professionals and myself. In just over a year, we grew to 5,000 members. Within two years, we had 10,000 members with a monthly 5 per cent membership increase. Today, we have almost 50,000 members and more than 66 corporate partners. Through obsidi.com, we hope to scale the site to 150,000 members. Since the beginning, we’ve supported thousands of Black professionals across North America to connect with each other and to jobs in the realm of tech.

Does the network have any objective goals for 2022?

BPTN is a platform focused on reducing the “network gap,” which impacts talented Black tech professionals to get into and move up in tech.  It acts as a global marketplace for Black professionals to build community, level up, and get that next growth opportunity through their expanded network.

On Obsidi.com, we will also be offering global masterclasses to allow our members to grow and be “in the know” with our brand. These global audiences will be welcomed to Obsidi for our masterclass series by the end of Q1 2022.

Later in 2022, we will be onboarding corporates onto the Obsidi platform, who will also network with Black professionals and provide additional job opportunities to the network. This will help us to change the way in which companies engage and connect with Black professionals for career opportunities.

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What are the most popular resources that BPTN has offered users thus far?

Our members get complimentary access to our Masterclasses. In 2021, over 11,000 members engaged in our masterclasses. Not only that, but hundreds of jobs are available on the BPTN platform. This leads to an incredible number of career matches that are being made for Black professionals across the globe. Additionally, BFUTR is the place to be for Black tech in October, with more than 20,000 Black tech professionals coming together at the largest Black tech global summit.

All of these resources will now be offered on Obsidi.com to enable membership to continue to flourish.

As membership continues to grow, how do you think the network might evolve over the next few years?

Over the next five years, we believe that one million members will be present on Obsidi.com. Hopefully, this will be the one-stop-shop for Black tech globally. With that large of a scale, we will be positioned to tell the story of Black tech globally and change the narrative, the narrative being that “There’s not enough Black talent out there.”

How crucial have virtual networking programs become in this new age of post-pandemic work?

Virtual networks are crucial for post-pandemic work because they are limitless – they are not bound by time or location. No matter where you are in the world, you can instantly connect with millions of other professionals at any time of the day through the simple click of a button.  Digital connections will change the game for Black professionals. The importance of the virtual marketplace was what led us to build Obsidi.com for our members.

What were some of the biggest challenges when first launching the network?

BPTN was built from the community up. It was meant to solve a problem and we were relentless in that goal. Of course, there were challenges of focus, strategy, and building a team, but ultimately the network thrived because the members were always at the core. As a result of that focus, we’ve become the global network for Black tech professionals, and we are grateful to play a small part in changing the world.

How are companies failing themselves by not prioritizing diversity in their hiring strategies?

Diversity is no longer a quality considered “nice to have,” but it is a business imperative. Ultimately, companies who do not see diversity as a business need will not be around in the long term. They will also miss the opportunity to hire great talent, access new markets, onboard new customers, grow their sales funnel, and build products that have “stickiness” in the marketplace. Companies and leaders who are focused on diversifying their talent pool should be networking and engaging with Black tech professionals on Obsidi.com.

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