First Tech Fund Joins Civic Hall to Expand Opportunities in NYC’s Innovation Ecosystem to Underserved Individuals

NEW YORK, NY (January 5, 2024) —Civic Hall is partnering with First Tech Fund to enhance workforce training opportunities for low-income high school students in New York City, particularly within the innovation ecosystem. This collaboration will allow the First Tech Fund to provide additional workforce development programs and pathways for high school and college-aged students across New York City.
The First Tech Fund has been at the forefront providing underserved communities educational opportunities. It has empowered over 300 high school students through its year-long fellowship program, offering mentorship, college preparation, career readiness, and pathways to future opportunities since 2020. The recent launch of the Dual Impact Internship Program, piloted in 2023, successfully placed underrepresented college-aged students in paid eight-week internships. Scaling from 2 to 20 seats in 2024, the First Tech Fund will expand its impact, supported by Civic Hall’s network and resources to meet the growing needs of its 125+ college-aged alumni.

“We are excited that the First Tech Fund team has become members of Civic Hall to provide opportunities to underserved communities to join our collaborative network that will provide bright futures in New York City’s innovation ecosystem,” said Seema Shah, Executive Director at Civic Hall.  “Our partnership will support even more students across NYC to access diverse pathways to educational and career opportunities.”

“We’ve heard constantly from our student community about the difficulties they face once they arrive to college when navigating the complex internship process and we’ve seen how transformational it can be to help students land their first meaningful work experience after their freshman year. With more companies cutting staff and making reductions in DEI programs, it’s more important now than ever to invest in this programming that is creating real systems change,” said Josue De Paz, CEO and co-founder of First Tech Fund, “We’re excited for the numerous opportunities that Civic Hall’s hub of partners and resources will open for students.”

In Spring 2024, the First Tech Fund will open applications for its free fellowship program for New York City high school students. The program offers virtual workshops, mentorship, career exploration, and networking opportunities.

About Civic Hall

Civic Hall is New York City’s tech training, innovation, and entrepreneurial hub in the heart of Union Square. Civic Hall is a member of The Fedcap Group. Civic Hall’s mission is to support and enable best-in-class programs that help close the digital skills divide and plan for the needs of tomorrow’s workforce. Civic Hall will facilitate groundbreaking partnerships among high-impact tenants, civic and social innovators, workforce training partners, and NYC’s diverse employer ecosystem to work collectively to meet the educational and professional needs of all New Yorkers, especially those from communities too often left behind.  For more information about membership opportunities, please visit  


First Tech Fund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to empowering low-income high school students in identifying, navigating, and attaining academic and professional opportunities. First Tech Fund provides a supportive, adaptive ecosystem where students get access to free tech, free broadband, skills training, social capital, mentorship, and more. Follow First Tech Fund on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.


For media inquiries or more information, contact: Jim Malatras at