George Hofstetter is a junior in college and university innovation fellow at Stanford University, computer programmer, motivational speaker, and founder of George Hofstetter Technologies, Inc., whose mission is to change the world’s perspective on race through technology. He envisions creating equitable technologies, integrating social justice and technology while simultaneously changing the world's perspective.
In 2013, at age 13, Hofstetter competed in the Qeyno Labs Hackathon in Oakland, California, where he and his group developed a social network called "Connect the Dots," creating a space for Black students in private white schools to share their experiences with one another. After his team finished third at the hackathon, he was featured by Bay Area television outlet KQED.
The following year's Qeyno Labs Hackathon was sponsored by ESSENCE and Qeyno Labs in New Orleans and was after the launch of YesWeCode, an initiative started by Prince and Van Jones after the murder of Trayvon Martin with the goal of helping 100,000 young women and men from underrepresented backgrounds to be successful in the tech sector. He and his team developed an app called CopStop to address issues of police violence in Oakland.
After the hackathon and his graduation from the The Hidden Genius Project, Hofstetter received a two-year internship in the office of Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.
Hofstetter founded his company at age 16 with the goal of helping other kids of color gain entry into the world of technology as innovators, not just consumers. He worked on a project for Capital One DevExchange to create a free mobile online curriculum, UpToCode Academy to close the gap of digital divide by pointing users in the right direction, using technology as a platform for socially equitable solutions in any environment.
Hofstetter and fellow Hidden Genius alum Malik Poole were flown to Miami, Florida in October 2018 to speak at the Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp. There, he was also motivated to continue creating opportunities for people of color when he met Sybrina Fulton, the mother of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
Hofstetter was featured in The Hidden Genius Project's Black History Month Pay it Forward Challenge in March 2019. That fall, he traveled to South Africa to teach computer science and design thinking in the LEAP Science and Math Schools program, an organization created to give young South Africans the academic and life skills they need to become future leaders.
In October 2019, he spoke at a TedxYouth event at the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences. His talk was entitled "How technology redefined can be a social justice super power."
- "Program Nurtures Tech Genius Among Oakland's Teens". KQED.
- "How Prince helped launch the #YesWeCode initiative after the Trayvon Martin verdict". Los Angeles Times. April 22, 2016.
- "Oakland Teen Is Creating an App to Prevent Police Brutality". EBONY. October 7, 2017.
- Project, The Hidden Genius. "Black History Month Pay It Forward Challenge: Recognizing students making a difference (Part 2)".
- Media, Up To Code (February 23, 2018). "Digital Divide, Vol.1: Theme Song "Silicon Valley"" – via Vimeo.
- George Hofstetter Technologies, Inc.
- Black Enterprise: 17-year-old Tech Phenom Develops Apps that Address Social Problems
- Equal Justice Society
- Hidden Genius: George Hofstetter
- Hofstetter at Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp
- George Hofstetter, 19-year-old entrepreneur, inspires Youth Summit crowd at Sonoma State
- George Hofstetter: Using Tech as a Social Justice Superpower