American Underground names Juan Porras as new entrepreneur-in-residence

The American Underground @ Main building in downtown Durham.
The American Underground @ Main building in downtown Durham. The Herald-Sun

Downtown tech incubator American Underground recently named Juan Porras as its new CODE2040 entrepreneur-in-residence — a position that supports and advocates for diversity at the technology incubator.

Porras is the co-founder and chief executive officer of the Durham software company Factivate, a cloud-based data analytics platform that lets user sync their spreadsheets to real-time data sources. He will begin in the position in April, when current entrepreneur-in-residence Doug Speight’s residency ends.

The entrepreneur-in-residence program is sponsored by Code2040, a nonprofit that seeks to increase diversity in technology companies, and also receives financial support from Google for Entrepreneurs. The residency is a yearlong program for entrepreneurs that identify as black or Latino, have founded an early-stage company and live in Durham.

The program currently exists in three cities (Durham, Chicago and Austin, Texas) and provides $40,000 in seed capital for the entrepreneurs’ business, as well as an office, a trip to Silicon Valley for training with Google and mentoring.

As part of being entrepreneur-in-residence, selected candidates are also implored to impact their community through diversity, inclusion, and community building events throughout the year.

Porras is American Underground’s third entrepreneur-in-residence. Previous entrepreneur-in-residence Speight plans to return to running his startup Cathedral Leasing, a business-to-business online marketplace for equipment leasing, full time once his residency ends.

This is the second high-profile position that American Underground has filled this year. In February, it named Aisha Lewis as its new director of community partnerships and new business development.

Lewis came to American Underground having spent time in a CODE2040 residency program in San Francisco. She succeeded Jesica Averhart, who left American Underground in January to become the president at Leadership Triangle.

Zachery Eanes: 919-419-6684, @zeanes