New Tech Community Event Spotlight: David Pierre-Louis, Founder of Kay Tita & Startup Week Tacoma

Each week in the New Tech Newsletter we feature a Spotlight Q&A with founders, angels, New Tech alumni presenters, and other people or companies in our community we believe you’d like to learn about. Reach out if you’d like to recommend a startup, founder, angel, accelerator, or New Tech alumni presenter for us to spotlight for the PNW tech community!

In this week’s spotlight we caught up with David Pierre-Louis, Founder of Kay Tita and Startup Week Tacoma

Can you tell us about yourself and your journey as a social entrepreneur?
My name is David Pierre-Louis, I was born in Brooklyn, New York to Haitian immigrant parents. I grew up watching my mother and her entrepreneurial pursuits, which always inspired me to create and not have a fear of failure. By middle school, I had a candy enterprise (haha) on the playground. As a junior at Bethune Cookman University, I started teaching local high and middle school kids how to create franchises. It was an initiative that I was a part of, Students in Free Enterprise, and we were developing ways to connect the local young folks with entrepreneurship skills. From then on, I’ve been an entrepreneur. I operated LUCID Lounge in Seattle, a jazz lounge featuring local performances, lectures, and musicians, and went on to start Kay Tita, our current social enterprise. This past July, we opened Konbit Cafe in the University District, Seattle. 


What has been one of your biggest lessons as a social entrepreneur and founder of so many different initiatives?
No initiative is ever as small as it seems. Every idea, whether small or big, requires a significant amount of attention to detail, collaboration, and commitment for it to be successful. 


You specialize in creating businesses with a deep social impact focus. Can you tell us what inspired you to create Kay Tita?
Kay Tita (Tita’s House) is a community resource organization named after my mother, endearingly known by many as “Tita.” Tita is a resilient woman whose existence depicts strength, passion, and love for all humankind. Kay Tita is an integrity-driven social enterprise dedicated to connecting resources, access, and opportunities to fuel the dreams and aspirations of historically under-resourced communities.  

In Port-au-Prince, we prioritize programming that creates safe physical environments for youth to receive the education and resources to explore the direction they need to move away from violence, poverty, trauma, and stagnancy. 

In Washington, USA, we provide direct technical assistance, leveraging public-private sector partnerships to innovatively bridge the digital divide that impacts immigrant, minority, and small businesses located in underserved, low-income areas. 

The idea for Kay Tita was born out of the rubble after the 2010 Haitian earthquake. As a Haitian-American and part of a diaspora, I understood that giving back to my community in Haiti was part of my life purpose. The earthquake’s impact on my mother’s home inspired me to rebuild her space into a 100% sustainable community resource center. We are slated to break ground in 2024. We recently opened Konbit Cafe in the University District, which is a window to the impact work we’ve been fostering in Haiti for over the past seven years as an extension of Kay Tita’s vision. Our coffee and chocolate is directly sourced from over 150 farmers we have relations with. 100% of Konbit Cafe’s proceeds benefit the community of entrepreneurs we support in Port-au-Prince at Impact Hub Port-au-Prince.  


Given your work in Haiti, what inspired you to create the first inaugural Startup Week in Tacoma?
Inspired by how well Starup Week Port-au-Prince (SW PAP) brings together entrepreneurs and thought leaders and having created and executed the Digital Sales Access Program here locally, I realized that the DSAP program may be operating in a silo. My vision was to make resources accessible and so knowing how well we execute SW PAP I believed in a bigger potential for Tacoma. Once the match was lit, the flame grew strong and bright and so many partners have come together to provide a robust week of engagement to the members of the community.

How has your experience creating Port-au-Prince Startup Week influenced your work in Tacoma?
As founder of Kay Tita, and co-founder of Impact Hub Port-au-Prince which has been running Port-au-Prince Startup week for the past seven years I know the incredible impact that it can have. The community in Haiti is different but the drive for innovation, education and economic stability inspires such remarkable results. SW PAP has hosted over 250 sessions and engaged more than 3000 participants, showcasing the transformative power of entrepreneurship in our community. The space, through Impact HUB evolved to became a literal safe haven for many of our youth to shelter from the violence and instability plaguing their neighborhoods. Our team in Haiti has worked on many aspects of the Tacoma Startup Week, and as such, we have been able to bridge our vibrant Haitian entrepreneurial community with the boundless innovation of the Pacific Northwest. Through this collaboration, we’re forging a powerful gateway for collective growth, shared wisdom, and boundless opportunities. Together, we’re writing a story of entrepreneurship that knows no borders, and our ‘Collective Energy’ will light the way toward a brighter future for all.


Can you describe your experience organizing Startup Week Tacoma?
The Kay Tita team and  community partners have come together to create such a robust inaugural Startup Week Tacoma. Our team at Impact Hub Port-au-Prince played a significant role in the overall infrastructure, leveraging their experience to help organize an event thousands of miles away. Locally, the partners we worked with didn’t hesitate to bring their ideas and inspirations for the community to the table to add to our rich lineup of events taking place all week. We are grateful for our partnership with Techstars, Comcast, the City of Tacoma, ACE, Tacoma Arts Live, Startup253, Maritime Blue, Goodwill Milgard Work Opportunity Center, Spaceworks Tacoma, Tacoma Art Museum, Pivot Partner, 3Collegey, Konbit Cafe, Haiti Coffee Co., Endicott Coffee, Block Inc, Kami Social Media Agency, Professional Women of Color Network, Kingdom Financial Solutions, USBank, Surfrider Media, William Factory Small Business Incubator, Rae Enterprise, Terrestrious, True Adventure Collective, New Tech NW, Foster’s Creative, WTIA, UW Tacoma, Foster’s Creative, Feisty, Pivot Partners, Creation Station CavenessHR, Harbor bridge, and Black Future Co-op Fund.


What makes Tacoma Startup Week so timely and impactful for this time we are in?
The conference parallels the different initiatives that the City of Tacoma has outlined as part of the vision to help the city progress. There is a large influx of people moving to Pierce County, and there is a strong desire for more progressive initiatives that foster entrepreneurship, community, growth, and togetherness. 


What can participants expect from this event?
This five-day event promises to catalyze innovation and empowerment, featuring a diverse array of tracks tailored to the unique needs of Tacoma’s entrepreneurial community. 

A remarkable kick-off event at Tacoma’s Startup Week, where innovation meets inspiration!

These include the Fundraising Track, Inclusivity/Resources Track, Mental Health Track, Digital Equity Track, Financial Literacy Track, and Marketing Track.

Startup Week Tacoma is free to the community for all participants to attend and boasts over 50 sessions, ranging from Black Futures + Black Funding Fireside Chat with Senator T’wina Nobles & Monique Idlett-Mosley, Mastering Business Finances with Wave Robinson, Intro to Mindfulness for Founders with Kate Dillion Levers, The Digital Sales Access Program, Coffee with CoFounders hosted by Startup253 featuring Alicia Ortiz at Campfire Coffee, The Women in Tech STEAM Showcase, an interactive Haitian Cultural exchange of Stories from Port-au-Prince, Empowering the creative Art community, City of Tacoma – Tax and Licencing: What you need to know for small business and startup success, Investor Speed Dating, The Madan Sara Documentary, Storytelling at the Tacoma Art Museum, and so much more. 

There really is something for everyone. We are bringing changemakers together to share resources, create space for important conversations like AI, alliances within the city and community, how to take care of our mental health through all of our work, and much more. 

Register Today


How can our audience support Kay Tita’s ongoing mission and impactful initiatives?
Please visit our website,, for our ongoing programs and to learn how you can participate or support our work. Follow us on Instagram – @kay_tita and on LinkedIn –

If you love coffee, please visit  Konbit Cafe (4518 University Way NE) in the University District, Seattle. Every dollar you spend here goes right back into our work in Haiti. Thank you for the opportunity to share our story. 


Reach out if you’d like to recommend a startup, founder, angel, accelerator, or New Tech alumni presenter for us to spotlight for the PNW tech community!

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