CEO of nēdl, Serial Entrepreneur
Ayinde Alakoye is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of nēdl, his third live broadcast radio streaming venture. Ayinde was also the creator of the original iheartradio app served as a Speechwriter, Staffer, and Senior Message Advisor for Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, during both elections.
Founder of Capway and Sheena Allen Apps, Author
Sheena Allen is the founder of Capway, a neobank for those who do not fit into the traditional banking system, and Sheena Allen Apps, a successful media tech company. Born in Terry, Mississippi, Sheena travels the world speaking on the importance of inclusion in tech and entrepreneurship. Sheena has been featured in various publications and most recently was part of the Forbes 30 under 30 for 2019.
Co-founder Tangelo Technologies, Author
Rebecca Altamirano has dedicated her professional life to working within underrepresented communities to open up access to the culture of power. Her professional path has given her deep hands-on experience on working with the underserved and underrepresented. Many of these experiences she has shared as a co-author of “Be The Change: Reinventing Schools for Student Success”
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.
Columnist, Author, Tech Entrepreneur
A sought after voice of inspiration, Mandy is a columnist, founder, and prolific influencer. Her breadth of work in mind+body connection and unwavering optimism has earned her global attention and positioning alongside elite social leaders and sports figures around the world. Mandy now travels the globe inspiring resilience through her recent and personal triumph in mental and physical wellness.
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.
Founder and CEO of Seed&Spark
Emily Best is the founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, a platform that bridges online and offline experiences to make entertainment more diverse, inclusive, connected and essential. Best's talks on crowdfunding, pitching, and building equitable startups have been viewed millions of times and is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in companies across the globe.
Founder of Thurst
Morgen Bromell is a founder and technologist working to make tech more accessible to people of color through justice-based initiatives and tech activism. Apart from being the founder of Thurst, a dating app for the LGBTQIA+ community, they are also deeply invested in community building and documenting queer histories, particularly how queer and trans people use digital resources and online platforms to navigate our world.
Founder and CEO of Win-Win, Former Pro-Athlete
Mike Brown, a pro-athlete turned self-taught coder, transitioned from tackling to tech and went on to be the founder and CEO of Win-Win, a platform powered by gaming and giving. Win-Win enables pro athletes and influencers to monetize their fanbase and help brands engage with end consumers.
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.
Millennial Generation Expert and Technology Speaker
Jeff Butler is a speaker, author, and international consultant who helps organizations improve their relationships with millennial employees. Unlike other experts on millennials, Jeff has been in the trenches of what it means to be a millennial and what it takes to retain and keep them engaged. You may have seen him on Forbes, USA Weekly, or on the TED stage.
Cofounder & CEO of ShearShare
Dr. Tye Caldwell is the Cofounder & CEO of ShearShare. Recognized as a tech visionary and industry pioneer, Dr. Caldwell’s mission is to help beauty and barbering professionals around the world maximize their earnings potential. He has worked in beauty for 25 years as a master barber-stylist, educator, and small business coach, offering his 20+ years of industry knowledge as a proven roadmap.
Cofounder & COO of ShearShare
Courtney Caldwell is the Cofounder & COO of ShearShare, the first on-demand salon and barbershop space rental app. She is also an award-winning entrepreneur and tech founder and has spent two decades building winning teams in tech marketing.
Founder & CEO of PopCom
Dawn Dickson-Akpoghene is a serial entrepreneur and inventor with over 19 years of experience in technology, marketing, and business development. Her most recent ventures are Flat Out of Heels and PopCom. Dawn is a seasoned professional speaker, business advisor, and angel investor. She continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s top retail tech entrepreneurs.
CEO of Siempo
Andrew Dunn is on a mission to elevate the human condition by intentionally shaping technology to serve as an agent of flourishing individuals, institutions, and societies. As CEO of Siempo, he helps people build healthier relationships with technology through the first smartphone interface designed to support mental health and wellbeing.
Co-Founder & CEO of SHYFT Power Solutions
Ugwem Eneyo is co-founder and CEO of SHYFT Power Solutions, specializing in the use of IoT software and big data to improve access to clean, reliable and affordable energy solutions in markets that struggle with grid resiliency. Ms. Eneyo explores how we use tech to create ‘grids of the future’ but particularly in emerging markets. She’s given talks on the nexus of energy and sustainable development to global thought leaders, including the World Bank.
Founder & CEO of Change Catalyst
Melinda Briana Epler 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 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.
Veteran Journalist, Conflict Reporter, Author
Carmen Gentile is a veteran journalist who has covered the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and numerous bouts of unrest throughout the world. His life was forever changed when he was injured by a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade. In perhaps the most unusual injury in the annals of modern warfare, Carmen was struck in the face by the rocket at close range, an experience he chronicles in his book “Blindsided by the Taliban.” He speaks at length about his experience and how having a sense of humor about his injury and other setbacks helped him maintain his sanity during the worst time of his life.
Co-Creator of Wallbreakers
Andrea Guendelman is a leading force in creating platforms for minority professionals and the tech industry. Through her own experiences as a Harvard-trained corporate lawyer and an entrepreneur, she co-created Wallbreakers - a solution to connect talented students from underrepresented backgrounds with companies hungry for talent and looking to build inclusive teams. Andrea is considered to be a thought leader in the topics of Latinx career building and creating diverse workforces.
Internationally Recognized Speaker, Generational Expert
As an internationally recognized speaker, Phil has shared his wisdom and inspired audiences in 40 different states and four continents to over 100,000 people. He is a firm believer that with the proper motivation, training, and support system, members of any generation can become capable of remarkable accomplishments.
Founder Backstage Capital, Author & 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.
Founder & CEO of Bandwagon
Harold Hughes is the founder & CEO of Bandwagon – an analytics and identity management company that uses Blockchain technology to help teams & entertainers create more personalized fan experiences while eliminating ticket fraud. He has become a leader in the growing startup community in Greenville, South Carolina, speaking with entrepreneurs, youth, and his peers.
Intersection of Law, Innovation, and Pop Culture
Shontavia Johnson serves as a highly acclaimed writer, speaker, and commentator thriving at the intersection of law, innovation, and pop culture. She is host of The Shontavia Show and creator of the Brand+Business academy, teaching working professionals how to grow and operate businesses and build personal brands. She was the first African-American woman to receive full tenure at Drake University Law School and is the Associate VP for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Clemson University.
Speaker, Author, Investor, Innovation Expert
Joseph Kopser serves as an Executive-in-Residence at the McCombs School of Business. Prior to that his company, RideScout, was acquired by Mercedes. He served in the Army for 20 years after graduating from West Point and Harvard. He was recognized as a White House Champion of Change in clean energy and won the U.S. DOT Data Innovation Award. Co-author of, Catalyst, he is an advisor for CleanTX.
CEO of Drop, Creative Technologist
Russell Ladson is a creative technologist whose work sits at the intersection of emerging technologies, purposeful design, and visual art. His work investigates the use of emerging technologies like AR/VR (XR) to heighten the human-to-human experience through experimental concepts around information discovery in a post-smartphone world.
Co-Founder of CurlMix
Kimberly Lewis is the co-founder of CurlMix, a clean beauty brand for curly hair. Her innovative take on clean beauty hair products has won her praise from top industry publications. Kimberly now shares her journey into entrepreneurship, balancing motherhood, and how to scale your beauty brand.
Founder & CEO of Pilotly
James Norman is a serial entrepreneur who at the age of 16 built his first online company. While previously he may have been known as a visionary in automotive product planning, over the past 10 years in the media and entertainment industry, he has become a thought leader in over-the-top media and consumer video consumption behaviors.
CEO and Co-Founder of Revry, They/Them/Theirs
Damian Pelliccione is the CEO and Co-Founder of Revry, the world’s first LGBTQ Global Content Streaming Network. With over 15 years of experience in the digital and new media world and as an avid speaker, passionate about supporting the LGBTQ community in both authentic representation and entrepreneurship, Damian has spoken at more than over 250 conferences and film festivals around the world.
The Race Healer
Milagros Phillips designs strategic learning initiatives for clients seeking to enhance their diversity and inclusion programs by adding race literacy to their initiatives. With more than 25 years of experience in learning and development, Milagros has consulted with, designed and delivered customized programs across many industries and services, including financial/insurance, healthcare, higher education, and national and political leaders.
General Partner of Backstage Capital, CEO of Backstage Studio
Christie Pitts is an inventor and early-stage investor at Backstage Capital and co-founder of Backstage Studio, currently leading Backstage’s global Accelerator program. 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.
Founder, Political Activist, Miss Black America
Ryann Richardson made history when she became the 50th Anniversary Miss Black America. The tech marketer-turned-founder and Diversity & Inclusion advocate spent 10 years building brands and culture for companies spanning early-stage startups to billion-dollar "unicorns" to the Fortune500. Her work earned her a spot as the youngest honoree on Savoy Magazine’s list of Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America, and set her on the path to discovering her unique purpose as a champion for underrepresented voices.
Technical Founder, CTO of Wallbreakers
Leah La Salla is the CTO of Wallbreakers, an AI-powered platform that enables companies to identify, evaluate, recruit, and retain the next generation of software engineers. As an inventor, she is best known for “hacking NASA” with a toaster (a toaster-sized neuromechanical unmanned aerial vehicle, that is!). La Salla gained a decade of experience in software engineering while teaching herself to program in an additional 9 languages becoming a polyglot software architect.
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.
Director of Backstage Accelerator LA
Amiah Sheppard is a perpetual learner who currently is the Director of Backstage Accelerator LA. In venture capital, she daily examines the myriad ways founders harness, strategize, and utilize their unique socio-cultural location to get to their desired outcome.
Managing DIrector of Backstage Accelerator, Co-founder of Bosa
Anastasia Tarpeh-Ellis is the Managing Director for Backstage Los Angeles for the recently announced Backstage Accelerator. She is passionate about empowering others, creating genuine connections, and striving towards financial independence through entrepreneurship. She co-founded bosa, a wellness and productivity app that enables consultants to provide the highest level of service to their clients.
LatinX Allyship, Co-Founder and GP of The Community Fund
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.