Candice Matthews Brackeen Featured
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Available for

Keynotes, Virtual Presentations, Fireside Chats, Emcee, Panelist

Fee Ranges

Domestic In-Person (USA): $15,000*
International In-Person: Please inquire

* Ranges are presented as a guideline only. Speaker fees vary by engagement type and are subject to change without notice. For an exact quote, please contact Gravity Speakers.

Traveling From

Ohio, USA

Tags: Gravity's Exclusives / Diversity & Inclusion / Investing & Venture Capital / Emcees & Moderators / Entrepreneurship / Startup


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. Launched in 2020, Lightship Capital is raising a $50MM fund for investment into underrepresented founders operating in the CPG, E-Commerce, Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, and Healthcare spaces. Candice is also the Founder and CEO 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. 

Candice expands upon her work driving representation in innovation with her role on the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium for NASA, where she leads diversity of thought as new cultures and economies are developed. She also sits on the advisory committee and selection committees for technology for the Ohio State University and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center; ensuring that as technology is commercialized from these entities, diversity is at the forefront of decision making.


Building Inclusive Ecosystems: Cincinnati and Beyond

As an innovation focussed venture capital investor and economic development leader, Candice Matthews Brackeen works to influence outcomes for entrepreneurs who are typically underfunded and outside of access to the networks necessary to scale. Her motivation to make change in this space was originally inspired by her own experiences as a woman and tech founder of color determined to find support in her local ecosystem and continues to be driven by her desire to create structures for the support of minority innovators. 

Candice’s approach to building an inclusive ecosystem in Cincinnati began as a small weekly meet-up including several of her peers facing similar difficulties and quickly led to her challenging small business funding inequities across the state of Ohio. Candice’s efforts ultimately influenced legislation around an ongoing, dedicated allocation of Ohio’s Small Business Administration (SBA) funds to minority-led businesses across the state. She also led local corporations and universities including Kroger, Procter and Gamble, and the University of Cincinnati to meaningful engagement with the startup community, creating opportunities for innovators to access their labs, technologies, and other key resources. 

Candice’s local weekly meetups became the catalyst for Lightship Foundation, where she now shares entrepreneurship education programming and ecosystem-building guidance across a dozen US cities and has led tech founders to more than $100 million in funding. Her journey continues to represent the truth that social impact can be both measurable and profitable.


How underserved founders can and do build high-growth companies. Navigating the challenges inherent to minority entrepreneurship including access to networks and capital.

Venture Capital

The pandemic, social unrest and their influence on minority-led funds, How disproportionate access to capital inhibits overall economic growth in minority communities.




  • Candice's knowledge and experience on topics related to venture capital, entrepreneurship, and ecosystem building are second to none. She also made time after the event to engage our community, which was extremely appreciated. Karlos L. Marshall Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Dayton Metro Library