Founder of Capway, Author
Sheena Allen is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and creative architect. She is the founder of Capway, a neobank for those who do not fit into the traditional banking system, which gave Sheena the title of the youngest female in America to own and operate a digital bank. Sheena has been featured in various documentaries and publications, including Inc Magazine and Forbes.
Co-founder of Tangelo Technologies
Antonio pioneered the adoption of early social media platforms at Fortune 500 companies and managed the integration of emerging technologies. Currently, he is co-founder of Tangelo Technologies, a Venture Studio and Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley where he believes that technology can and must contribute to society in positive, ethical, equitable, and scalable ways.
Visionary Entrepreneur, CEO of Black Star Fund
Kwame Anku is the CEO and Chairman of the Black Star Fund, an early-stage innovation fund. Kwame has worked extensively in business development and media marketing for over two decades, entering into the tech industry after being personally recruited by the late legendary rock star Prince to develop his mobile app, overseeing business and development teams on Africa, Asia, and the US.
Co-Founder & CEO of O.school, Author
Andrea Barrica, author of Sex Tech Revolution, is CEO and Co-founder of O.school, a judgment-free multimedia platform to learn about sexuality and pleasure. Previously, Andrea co-founded accounting and tax platform, inDinero.com, where she led sales and operations. She also served as a venture partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at 500 Startups.
The Mathpath, Director of Equitable Design & Impact at Culture Amp
Aubrey Blanche is The Mathpath (Math Nerd + Empath), Director of Equitable Design & Impact at Culture Amp, and a startup investor, and advisor. She questions, reimagines, and redesigns the systems that surround us to ensure that all people access equitable opportunities.
General Partner at Lightship Capital
Candice Matthews is a General Partner at Lightship Capital, where she finds and funds high growth, minority-led companies operating in underserved ecosystems throughout the Midwest. She also directs programming at Lightship Foundation, the inclusion-focused entrepreneur enrichment program guiding minority founders with instruction in product development, brand building, leveraging artificial intelligence for business and fundraising.
General Partner, Lightship Capital
Brian Brackeen is a General Partner at Lightship Capital, the Cincinnati-based VC firm dedicated to backing underrepresented entrepreneurs in the Midwest. Brian lectures extensively around the world on entrepreneurship, code, the digital economy, AI and machine learning — and participates in mentorship programs for organizations like Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code and The School District of Miami.
Co-CEO of US Market Access & A3 Global Collider
Chris is a serial entrepreneur with global experience. Since 2010, he has focused on bringing the lessons of Silicon Valley to entrepreneurs around the world. He is the co-founder of the US Market Access Center and the A3 Global Collider. Through USMAC, Chris has trained and mentored more than 1,000 startups from 25+ countries.
Head of Venture Growth & Partnerships at Republic, Co-Founder of VCFamilia, Actress
Cheryl Campos is the Head of Venture Growth and Partnerships at Republic, an investment platform for founders to raise capital from both accredited and non-accredited investors. Cheryl is also co-founder of VCFamilia, the largest Latinx community in the venture, supporting over 300 VCs throughout their careers — from breaking into venture all the way to creating their own funds.
COO & Partner at Tangelo
Tara Carter is a highly driven COO/Partner at Tangelo and a Partner at Backstage Capital, providing full circle guidance to startups and larger. She has over 25 years of experience in mentoring, growing and advising startups, investor relations, omni-channel marketing, business strategy, deep technology, and product development, diversity and inclusion, predictive analytics, data visualization, business intelligence, and activism.
CEO and founder of the GUILD, Serial Entrepreneur, and Super Connector in Silicon Valley
Anne Cocquyt, CEO and founder of the GUILD, is an inspirational speaker on entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership. She speaks on how to start businesses, prototyping, building successful partnerships, and how to attract and retain winning diverse teams. She moderates and joins panels on gender bias in AI, product management, and technology trends, and teaches design-thinking workshops on building innovation ecosystems.
Founder & CEO of Change Catalyst, Author on Allyship
Melinda Briana Epler, author of “How To Be An Ally”, has over 25 years of experience developing business innovation and inclusion strategies for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and global NGOs. As CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda currently works with the tech industry to solve diversity and inclusion together. Using her background in storytelling and large-scale culture change, she is a strategic advisor for tech companies, tech hubs, and governments around the world.
Founder Backstage Capital & Runner, Author, and Venture Catalyst
Arlan Hamilton is a remarkable entrepreneur who built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a VC firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT.
Host of Do The Work, Producer, DJ
Denise Love Hewett is the host of the podcast, Do the Work, which focuses on redefining leadership to be more holistic. This was birthed out of her time as a founder of Scriptd, an entertainment tech company working to dismantle the inefficient and exclusionary practices of Hollywood. She comes from the world of entertainment, fashion, and hospitality, starting her career as the Director of Sales and Marketing at famed nightclub The Box.
Early Stage Investor at Backstage Capital, Inventor
Christie Pitts is an experienced early-stage investor at Backstage Capital and co-founder of Backstage Studio. Additionally, Christie led the launch of the first global accelerator program for underrepresented founders. She identified a passion for working with early-stage companies while working as Venture Development Manager at Verizon.
Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, Author, Mentor
Bill Reichert is co-founder and Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, a well-known seed and early-stage venture capital firm in Silicon Valley. Bill travels around the world giving presentations and workshops on innovation, entrepreneurship, venture capital, and technology trends.
IBM Master Inventor, AI & Technology Expert, Author
Neil Sahota (萨冠军) is an IBM Master Inventor, United Nations (UN) Advisor, Artificial Intelligence (AI) subject matter expert, Faculty at UC Irvine, and author of Own the A.I. Revolution. With 20+ years of business experience, he works with organizations to create next-generation products/solutions powered by emerging technology.
CEO of Opportunity Hub, Inclusive Startup Ecosystem Builder, Venture Capitalist, Economist
Rodney Sampson, of Opportunity Hub, is heralded as the leading inclusive startup ecosystem builder and is passionate about reducing poverty and wealth gap by advancing the cause of innovation, technology, entrepreneurship and investment as a way of life for all, with an emphasis on socially disadvantaged and under-estimated and sponsored communities in America and beyond.
Serial Entrepreneur in Social Innovation & Systems Change
Dr. Astrid J. Scholz is a serial entrepreneur in social innovation and systems change. As a recovering nonprofit executive turned tech entrepreneur, Astrid is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Armillaria, and Co-Founder and Capital Lead of Zebras Unite. Astrid’s work focuses on democratizing innovation and capital to solve today’s wicked problems.
Co-Founder & CEO of Fearless Fund, Entrepreneur, Author
Arian Simone is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, best-selling author, and international speaker. She is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Fearless Fund, the First Venture Capital Fund built for WOC by WOC. She has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the “100 Women of Impact".
GP at Ganas Ventures
Lolita Taub is a woman of color with 13 years in tech, is an investor, micro-influencer, an international keynote speaker, 2x TEDx speaker, who has been recognized for her work in venture capital and tech on Forbes, Inc.com, The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.com among other publications.
Creator, Inventor, Tech Changemaker
Aniyia Williams is a creator, inventor, and tech changemaker. She serves as Executive Director of Black & Brown Founders, co-founder of Zebras Unite, and founded and led the fashion tech company, Tinsel. Aniyia addresses topics of diversity, equity and inclusion in tech, the economic future of creativity, self-awareness and mindfulness, alternatives to venture capital, fashion technology, hardware design, and parenting while building a startup.