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.
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.
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”
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.
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.
Mandy Antoniacci’s insatiable quest for transforming the way people see the world has made her a sought-after voice of social change for this generation. Her body of work — exploring the power in seeing the unseen — has earned her global attention and exclusive discussions with elite social leaders and sports figures around the world.
Andrea Barrica 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.
Emily Best is the founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, an online crowdfunding and subscription streaming platform for content that emphasizes diversity and inclusion. An advocate for diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry, Best regularly speaks at conferences and events about building equity and sustainability for everyone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mark Coopersmith is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, Fortune 500 executive, and educator. Mark has mentored hundreds of startup teams which have launched groundbreaking new ventures in sectors as varied as web services, consumer electronics, medical devices, internet-of-things, education, cleantech, fintech, and fashion.
Dawn Dickson is a serial entrepreneur with over 16 years of experience in marketing and business development. She is currently the Founder & CEO of PopCom, an automated retail company that uses facial recognition, A.I, and blockchain technology to help retailers collect valuable customer insights.
Ugwem Eneyo is co-founder and CEO of Solstice Energy Solutions, specializing in the use of IoT for remote energy monitoring and control technologies. Ugwem’s Nigerian heritage created a strong passion for addressing the challenges and opportunities across the African continent and focusing her research on the nexus of energy, environment, and infrastructure in Nigeria.
Mike has developed a unique perspective from 20+ years working alongside world-renowned thought leaders. He is a leading authority on unleashing personal and organizational accountability. Clients rely upon Mike’s solutions to accelerate change, shape their optimal culture, flawlessly execute key strategies, ignite leadership capacity at all Levels, amplify employee engagement, and cultivate peak performance.
Peg Fitzpatrick is social media strategist, popular blogger, and co-author of The Art Of Social Media with Guy Kawasaki. Peg has spearheaded successful social-media campaigns for Audi, Google, and Virgin as well as having been a brand ambassador for Kimpton Hotels, T.J.Maxx, and Adobe.
David is the author of Paid to THINK: A Leader’s Toolkit for Redefining Your Future, a work for which he has earned comparisons to Peter Drucker, the father of modern-day management. Considered by some to be the “Thought Leaders’ Thought Leader”, he is known for replacing common leadership thinking with bold, proven, and sometimes counter-intuitive approaches to address leadership challenges and opportunities.
Andrea Guendelman is the founder and force behind BeVisible, the first career social media platform for Latinx. Andrea founded BeVisible after her own experiences as a Harvard-trained corporate lawyer and an entrepreneur. Andrea is considered a thought leader in the topics of Latinx career building and creating diverse workforces.
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.
Jim Harris is one of North America’s foremost thought leaders, management consultants, and authors on disruptive innovation. With 20 years experience as a professional speaker and consultant, Jim Harris speaks internationally at more than 40 conferences a year on and is ranked as one of the nation's top ten speakers by Association magazine.
The entrepreneurial genius, Troy Hazard, has founded and nurtured twelve businesses over two decades, has turned around businesses that were making enormous losses, and has consulted to countless successful companies including Goodyear, Baskin Robbins, Subway, Fisher & Paykel and many more.
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.
Yelitsa Jean-Charles founded Healthy Roots in 2015 after recognizing a need for more diverse toys and representation in children’s publishing. She has been recognized as Essence’s 50 Founders to watch and frequently speaks about entrepreneurship, social justice, and cultural competency.
Maral, also known as, ‘Maral from Twitter’, ‘Powerhouse’, ‘energy pack’ or ‘Curly’ is one of the most familiar faces in the Nordic tech scene. Maral is the CMO at Watty, one of the hottest startups in Europe. She is also the co-founder of Peppy Pals, an active ambassador for diversity in tech. Former StartupGrind chapter director and SUP46 Femtech co-organizer.
Guy Kawasaki is an author, former chief evangelist of Apple, and a former trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. Today, he is the chief evangelist of Canva (an online graphic design tool), brand ambassador for Mercedes-Benz, and is also an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley).
Sky Kelley is the founder & CEO of Avisare, an enterprise software marketplace simplifying the government RFP process to foster an inclusive ecosystem for small businesses. Sky found a need to help non-technology companies use technology to innovate their products and services. Her focus is on making technology simple and user-friendly with the ability to grow the bottom line.
Dave is a serial entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, and global keynote speaker. He is the Founder and CEO of Likeable Local, a social media software company serving thousands of small businesses, as well as the chairman and co-founder of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and word-of-mouth marketing agency for big brands.
Carrie Kerpen an author, columnist, host of the popular podcast “All the Social Ladies”, and the co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, a digital agency that was named Crain’s sixth Best Place to Work in NYC.
As a brand marketer, venture investor, and startup advisor, Dave Knox bridges the worlds of the Fortune 500 and entrepreneurship and is widely recognized as an industry thought leader.
Jonas Koffler is the New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestselling coauthor of HUSTLE: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum (Rodale, Penguin Random House Books), which Fortune called “a must-read.” It has been published in more than 10 countries. Having recovered from a stroke in his 20s, Jonas is a leading voice in enhancing human potential around how we work, live, learn, and play.
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.
Josh Linkner, who started his career as a jazz guitarist, has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million. He is also a deeply experienced business leader, venture capitalist, top-rated keynote speaker, and author of four books which include the New York Times bestsellers: Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention.
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.
Erica Orange is Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of The Future Hunters, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms. She evaluates emerging social, technological, economic, political, demographic and environmental trends – and identifies the strategic implications of those trends for several of the most influential Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, and public sector clients.
Damian Pelliccione is the CEO and Co-Founder of Revry, the world’s first LGBTQ Global Content Streaming Network and is passionate about supporting the LGBTQ community in both authentic media representation and entrepreneurship.
Joseph is a thought leader in business agility and uses that expertise to motivate his audience to think of breakthrough ideas in their industries. Integrating startups with legacy corporations, running technology operations for the world’s largest payment processor, building a nationwide franchise organization has given Joseph the breadth and depth required of any executive.
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.
Katica Roy is an ambassador for gender equity in the workplace and beyond. She is a gender economist and the CEO and founder of Denver-based Pipeline, an award-winning SaaS platform that leverages artificial intelligence to drive economic gains through closing the gender equity gap.
Leah La Salla is the Technical Founder & CEO of award-winning Astral AR, a technology startup building drones that stop bullets and save lives. 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.
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.
As an early former employee of Airbnb, Kati Schmidt worked on launching and scaling Airbnb’s operations in Europe, starting Airbnb’s public policy efforts globally and launching Airbnb Experiences. Kati is passionate about female entrepreneurship, immigration, and the transatlantic relationship.
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.
Dr. Travis Stiles is the founder of Novoron Bioscience, which is developing therapeutics to reverse damage of the brain and spinal cord. A member of the Cherokee Nation, Dr. Stiles is a passionate advocate for diversity, equality, science and informed solutions to the world’s problems and speaks across the spectrum from innovators to policymakers to encourage the ideas and policies that will shape the future.
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.
Kunbi Tinuoye is an award-winning British-born journalist and broadcaster based in the United States. She is the founder of UrbanGeekz, a groundbreaking video-centric African-American, Latinx, and multicultural digital news platform focused on technology, science, business, and startups.
Jared is Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer of The Future Hunters, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms. His work is industry-agnostic, and covers trend activity in the realms of science & technology, economics, politics, demographics and environmental issues.
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.