Tech Talk: Black Urban Professionals meeting in August

Tech Talk: Black Urban Professionals meeting in August

A new group for professionals in Des Moines will have its first meeting next month.

Antoinette Stevens, who does IT work at Principal Financial Group, has started Black Urban Professionals. She said the group is dedicated to celebrating the city’s diverse talent.

The meetup is not tech- or startup-centric. It’s also not limited to black professionals, Stevens said.

“My goal is to create an environment where people feel comfortable and safe to have open dialogues about race and diversity in their workplace and in Des Moines as a whole,” Stevens said in an email.

The meetup is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 5 at Gravitate, the downtown coworking space, 206 Sixth Ave. on the third floor. Those interested in going can RSVP via

The group comes as more and more focus is put on the amount of diversity — or a lack thereof — in the technology industry.

For instance, a few weeks ago, the Technology Association of Iowa announced it had started a diversity committee. Part of that committee’s role will be collecting employee diversity information from TAI’s members.

ISU, UNI buying industrial 3D printers

Organizations at Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa have plans to buy metal 3D printers.

Both universities plan to buy metal 3D printers and will use them to train businesses on the technology. The idea, officials at each university said, is to help Iowa’s manufactures figure out if they should invest in the technology on their own to boost production.

ISU’s Center for Industrial Research and Service and UNI’s Iowa Metal Casting Center each received state funds last month to help with the purchases.

ISU received $100,000 and UNI received more than $2.7 million.

Matthew Patane covers technology, innovation and startups for The Des Moines Register. Contact him at 515-284-8211 or Follow him on Twitter via @mattpatane.