Aaron Saunders is CEO of Clearly Innovative, a minority-owned solutions provider that develops digital products, and Luma Lab – the company’s education arm that provides tech opportunities for DC’s underserved communities. Saunders is deeply connected to helping kids and young adults in DC’s overlooked neighborhoods find their path. “When people ask me for help with tech, for me it’s just like breathing. It comes very naturally,” says Saunders. “Inside I’m just me but when I get outside and look back, I realize the difference and the impact that I’m making.”
Saunders is just being himself but he is more than a modest, techy do-gooder. He provides learning and growth opportunities to students who might not fit society’s misguided narrative of technology and innovation. Additionally, Saunders is rocking DC’s tech community with two major projects that will change perceptions and history this fall.
DC’s Inclusive Innovation Incubator
Clearly Innovative’s Luma Lab was selected by Mayor Muriel Bowser in February to be the exclusive operator for DC’s Inclusive Innovation Hub (In3) on Howard University’s campus. Slated to open this fall, In3 is the District’s first venture capital hub for start-ups and emerging companies that supports underrepresented entrepreneurs, businesses and communities.
“In3 is a space where people will feel comfortable asking questions and learning … a place that offers students and entrepreneurs the opportunity to make a choice about what they want to do,” explains Saunders. “We want to bring as many people to the tech table as possible. Let us help you be successful.”
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Clearly Innovative is the mobile partner for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, opening September 24. “When the museum opens, that’s a moment that will feel like I have rocked,” Saunders shares. “It’s such a big deal for us. Literally we are going to be a part of history. Telling people about history.” Clearly Innovative’s mobile app will connect with hundreds of thousands of people who walk through the museum in its first year.
Saunders ROCKS. Learn more about Clearly Innovative, Luma Lab, In3, and Saunders’ projects.
Photos credit of Heather Cromartie.