May 18-20, 2023
Join tech founders, investors, professionals, and enthusiasts for our 7th Annual Roadmap to Billions!
You could win $20K for your business in the Roadmap To Billions 2023 Pitch Competition.
Deadline extended: May 5th!
About Roadmap to Billions
Roadmap to Billions 2023 returns to Brooklyn, NY – May 18th – 20th.
Come kick it with Black Women Talk Tech and 1,500 founders at the Brooklyn Navy Yard! Join us for the only annual tech conference created exclusively by Black women founders for Black female founders and their supporters.
A conference built from the perspective of women, the goal is to showcase the brilliance of Black women in tech, create a stage for our experiences, foster deep connections, and create real funding opportunities. We believe in learning from those who are paving the way. Through their successes, (and failures), gain insight and valuable lessons to inspire and guide you on your path to success.
Join investors, tech evangelists, and founders who are just starting out and those who have been in the game for years at the largest gathering of black women tech founders in the world.
See what you’ve been missing at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Building 303 | 399 Sands St. | 9th floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
With 50,000 square feet of space, you already know we’re pulling out all the stops for you at Roadmap to Billions. You’ll be blown away by picturesque views overlooking Downtown Brooklyn and have your edges snatched by the content we’re bringing you live and direct this year. Come ready with lots of paper, a backup pen to your backup and make sure your devices are charged. We’re making sure the information you leave with will have you ready-to-launch.
Celebrate your style at Aloft New York Brooklyn, steps from Metrotech, Borough Hall, and the courthouse. Breeze into one of our Aloft rooms, featuring our ultra-comfortable signature bed, walk-in shower, custom amenities by Bliss® Spa, and more. Our plug & play connectivity station charges all your electronics and links to the 42” LCD TV to maximize work and play.
Your ticket gives you access to
It’s our 7th year and we’re only getting better!
Roadmap to Billions 2023 is designed for you, by women like you. Full of exciting, engaging, and enlightening experiences, you’ll leave the conference feeling powerful, motivated and ready to take the next steps on your journey.
2 KEYNOTE SESSIONS
20K CASH PRIZES
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm2023-05-18 All
Opening Mixer at RollerWave
Join us as we kick off the 7th Annual Roadmap to Billions conference at RollerWave NYC! Grab your skates and join your fellow female founders in the rink for an opening party the way only we can do it. Get ready to have a great time!
625 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217—
8:30 am2023-05-19 All
9:00 am - 9:10 am2023-05-19 All
Welcome Address from BWTT Team and HostRegina Gwynn, Esosa Ighodaro Johnson, DeDe McGuire
9:10 am - 9:25 am2023-05-19 All
Rise Up - Morning Dance Party—
9:30 am - 10:10 am2023-05-19 All
Its Givin' Boss - Opening Keynote
A celebrity founder shares their journey to success and their companies they have built over the years.—
10:10am -10:30am2023-05-19 All
Reshaping the Wealth Management Ecosystem
Morgan Stanley Sponsor MomentTasha García, Jeffery Kennerly
10:30 am - 11:10 am2023-05-19 All
About Damn Time
A conversation with Arlan Hamilton and her mother on how they came from humble beginnings including homelessness to now building multiple businesses.Arlan Hamilton, Earline Sims
10:30 am - 11:10 am2023-05-19 All
11:20 am - 12:00 pm2023-05-19 All
Big Energy: Boosting Productivity and Work-Life Flow
Are you looking to level up your productivity within your business, achieve a better work-life flow, and hit your professional and personal self-care goals? In this workshop, Alice will explore enhancing productivity and balancing work and personal life. She will discuss strategies and tools for maximizing efficiency, reducing stress, and achieving your goals. From time management and task automation to virtual assistants and self-care apps, this talk will provide valuable insights and tips for leveraging tools to boost your Big Energy and achieve your full potential both professionally and personally.Alice Foy
12:10 pm - 12:50 pm2023-05-19 All
Bet on Yourself
Join Andrea Donkor, SVP of Global Regulatory Relations and Consumer Practices at PayPal, and Mandy Bowman, Founder, and CEO of Official Black Wall Street, to discuss how to create a network of mentors and allies that can support you in your journey to take ownership of your career – and to recognize and leverage your potential. Whether you’re in the corporate world or an entrepreneur, learn these skillsets that will help you follow your passions and pursue any career path.Andrea Donkor, Mandy Bowman
12:10 pm - 12:50 pm2023-05-19 All
Fuel your startup's growth with a masterful fundraising strategy!
Develop a solid fundraising strategy by creating a timeline, identifying target investors, and creating a plan to reach them. Research each target investor to understand their criteria and tailor your pitch accordingly. Focus on building relationships through networking and personalized communication. Increase chances of securing investment and scaling your business with a well-crafted fundraising strategy.Katleen Francois, Yemi Adewunmi, Tani Chambers, Kelauni Jasmyn Cook
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm2023-05-19 All
Lunch & Expo Booths
Grab a bite to eat with a new colleague and learn about the products and offerings at our corporate partner booths. Join us back promptly at 2 pm to kick off the afternoon sessions!—
2:00 pm - 2:30 pm2023-05-19 All
Keynote: Journey to a Billion
The Black Unicorns have arrived! We all know that becoming a Unicorn startup is rare and what's even more rare is a black unicorn. How did they do it? What are the challenges? How do they overcome everyday obstacles? What's their favorite food? Join us for a conversation with Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins Founder & CEO of Promise, Beatrice Dixon Founder of Honeypot, and Selena Hill Deputy Digital Editor of Black Enterprise and learn about their Journey to a Billion.Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Beatrice Dixon, Selena Hill
2:40 pm - 3:20 pm2023-05-19 All
Why Civic Tech with Presidential Innovation FellowsNatasha Bansgopaul, Elise Nelson Leary, Regina Green
2:40 pm - 3:20 pm2023-05-19 All
Founder Power: Funding Beyond VC
Did you know there are a variety of ways to get funded beyond traditional banks and investors? This panel will share where and how you can secure alternative funding startup funding to kick-start your business. Whether you are just starting out with your business or looking to take it to the next level, this session can provide valuable insights and support to help you secure the funding you need to succeed.Kalish Nesbitt, Oliver Libby, Pat Keegan, Kelly Ifill
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm2023-05-19 All
Vetting and Evaluating Startup Ideas - A Framework for Success at any Stage
Are you considering starting a company, or have you already started and want to ensure that your idea is on the right track? This panel discussion, will provide a comprehensive framework for evaluating and vetting startup ideas. Participants will hear real-life examples of that have turned innovative ideas into billion-dollar businesses. Whether you're just starting out or looking to pivot your existing idea, this talk will give you the tools and insights you need to validate your concept and set yourself up for success.Cordelro Brown, Ekwutozia Nwabuzor, Charlotte Newman, Michaela Keady, Spectra Asala
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm2023-05-19 All
The AI Advantage: Unraveling the Benefits and Challenges for Tech Entrepreneurs
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a ubiquitous technology in the world of business, and particularly in the tech industry. This panel discussion will examine the current state of AI and its impact on tech companies. Experts will debate the question, "Can a tech company be built today without using some form of AI?" They will explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of building a tech company without AI, and whether it is even possible to do so in today's technology-driven landscape. The panel will also discuss the implications of this for startups, established tech companies, and the future of technology.Michael Brown, Corey White, Mutale Nkonde, Ariel Lopez
4:00pm - 4:05pm2023-05-19 All
Audible Sponsor Moment—
4:05 pm - 5:10 pm2023-05-19 All
Pitch Competition Sponsored by Walmart Connect
Watch as 4 startup founders Pitch their businesses to established investors for a chance to win $20,000 in cash and prizes for their startups.Deidra Suber, Simone Jordan, Kofi Ampadu, Brenda Darden Wilkerson, Benjamin Keith
5:10 pm - 6:00 pm2023-05-19 All
Closing Keynote: Build & Scale: Scaling Brand Partnerships for Growth
Brand partnerships are a crucial aspect of growing a business, but scaling them can be a challenging process. In this panel discussion, experts will share their insights and strategies for effectively scaling brand partnerships to drive growth. From understanding target audiences to clear communication and adaptability, the panelists will explore the key factors that are essential for success. Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your brand partnerships to the next level, this talk will provide valuable insights and tips for building and scaling relationships that drive business results.Bonin Bough, Esosa Ighodaro Johnson
6:05 pm - 6:15 pm2023-05-19 All
Closing Address from BWTT TeamRegina Gwynn, Esosa Ighodaro Johnson
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm2023-05-19 All
Stick around for a post-conference drink or two with your fellow colleagues and conference attendees.—
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm2023-05-19 All
Investor Reception hosted by New York Ventures
Private post-conference mixer. Invite only.—
11:00 am - 11:10 am2023-05-20 All
Welcome AddressEsosa Ighodaro Johnson, Regina Gwynn
11:10 am - 11:40 am2023-05-20 All
Opening Keynote: Amplifying Our Voice: Elevating Diverse Talent Within in the Tech Industry
Bias, micro-aggressions, and lack of advancement are no mystery to diverse talent. These challenges can create unnecessary barriers to success for ambitious & goal-oriented professionals across industries. Thankfully, alongside any obstacle, there is opportunity: Brenda Wilkerson (President, anitab.org) and Shannon Morales (Founder, tribaja.co) are dedicated to the mission of closing the gap between opportunities and qualified talent in the tech industry. Join us in conversation with two trailblazing leaders in talent acquisition and learn about the importance of advocating & supporting diverse talent in the workplace.Brenda Darden Wilkerson, Shannon Morales
11:45 am - 12:30 pm2023-05-20 All
Your Roadmap IntuitTanisha Barnett
12:35 pm - 1:25 pm2023-05-20 All
Rising up the Ranks Panel
Are you a technical professional looking to take your career to the next level? Whether you are a software developer, data analyst, or cybersecurity expert, we’ll be dropping valuable knowledge for mid-level technical talent across all sectors. Join us to learn from industry leaders and gain insights into what it takes to advance to a leadership position.
Our panel of experts will discuss topics such as the skills and qualities required to move up the career ladder, strategies for building a strong professional network, and tips for navigating the recruitment process. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions and network with other mid-level technical professionals.
1:30 pm - 4:00 pm2023-05-20 All
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Join us in Brooklyn!
Upgrade to VIP for Membership Access + a Swag Bag
Join us in Brooklyn!
Upgrade to VIP for Membership Access + a Swag Bag
Join us in Brooklyn!
Felecia is the CEO of Pharrell William’s Black Ambition Opportunity Fund. Felecia is an innovative
powerhouse, personal transformation speaker, entrepreneur and author, who’s work shapes the way
individuals show up, are valued, and financially benefit from playing full out in the innovation
economy. Companies like, Google, Spotify, Door Dash, Target, Samsung, and Etsy call on Felecia to help them empower their teams and shape their inclusive innovation strategies and empower their team to step into their Zone of Genius. Felecia has been featured on the NBC Today Show, MSNBC, The Cooking Channel, Wall Street Journal, and White House Champion of Change Honoree.
Kofi Ampadu is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz where he leads the Talent x Opportunity Initiative (TxO). TxO aims to identify entrepreneurs who have the talent, drive, and ideas to build great businesses, but lack the typical network and resources to do so. Prior to joining a16z, Kofi founded SKU’d Ventures, a venture fund focused on investing in consumer packaged goods companies, and also served as a venture advisor with Yale University’s Tsai Center of Innovative Thinking. Before getting into the world of venture capital and entrepreneurship, he was a strategy consultant and engineer. Kofi earned a BS from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. Kofi was born in Ghana, so in his spare time he stays in tune with how innovation can drastically improve the continent of Africa.
Mandy Bowman is the Founder and CEO of Official Black Wall Street. After studying Entrepreneurship and Global Business Management at Babson College, she set out to empower the Black community through economics and ownership. Since 2014 Mandy has been at the forefront of the #BuyBlack movement, making it easier for others to find and support Black-owned businesses through her digital platform and global Black business directory, Official Black Wall Street. In 2017 Mandy was invited to TEDx Dover, the first TED event held at an HBCU, to give a TED talk on ownership and long-term wealth in the Black community. She was also chosen to present her business pitch to a panel of celebrity entrepreneur judges on BET’s series ‘Queen Boss.’
The highly anticipated app version of Official Black Wall Street launched in October of 2017 and made headlines as the first app to alert users when they are near a Black business. During her professional career, Mandy has worked at Atlantic Records, Complex Magazine, and Essence Magazine in social media and digital marketing. When she isn’t working to fuel Black businesses, she is volunteering as a mentor to inner-city students and creating social strategies for small businesses.
Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is an American social justice advocate and businesswoman. Phaedra is the founder and CEO of Promise, a payment technology platform that simplifies government debt. Prior to Promise, Phaedra ran revenue and operations at Honor, a home care technology company. Before Honor, Phaedra worked with the musician Prince and led the effort to secure ownership of his masters. She is a labor and community organizer by trade who is committed to making measurable change.
Earlier in her career, Phaedra was the Executive Officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, an organized labor federation representing more than 100 unions and more than 110,000 members in California. She was also Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, a coalition of community groups, and labor and faith organizations working to address economic disparities in California’s Silicon Valley. She also served as the CEO of the anti-poverty organization Green For All.
Over the course of her career, Phaedra has been recognized for her leadership. She was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, Essence for their 25 Most Influential African Americans, Ebony for their Power 150, The Grio for their 100 History Makers in the Making, Black Enterprise for their 40 Next: Emerging Leaders for Our Future and San Jose Magazine named her one of the 100 most powerful people in Silicon Valley. Phaedra serves on the boards of Honor and Tipping Point.
Arlan Hamilton, founder at Backstage Capital and Runner, is a serial entrepreneur, author and master multi-tasker.
She founded Backstage Capital in 2015 to invest in founders who are people of color, women and/or LGBTQ. Since its founding, Backstage has raised nearly $30 million and invested in 200 startups led by underestimated founders. Arlan is also the founder of Runner, a startup that connects outstanding operations talent with inclusive companies.
Arlan published her book, “It’s About Damn Time,” in 2020, detailing her journey from homelessness to venture capital. Arlan also hosts podcasts “Your First Million” and “Demystifying Faith,” and is the executive producer on “The Valley,” a daily soap opera that is like “General Hospital” but for the tech industry.
Arlan is a big proponent of paying it forward and supporting other underestimated people in the tech industry and beyond. She’s a limited partner in funds at Collab Capital, Ganas Ventures, Lightship Capital, RareBreed Ventures and several others. Meanwhile, Arlan and her mother, Mrs. Earline Butler-Sims, founded a scholarship program for Black students at Oxford University and HBCU Dillard University.
Brenda Darden Wilkerson is a pioneering thought leader and an advocate for access, opportunity, and social justice for underrepresented communities in technology. She currently serves as the President and CEO of AnitaB.org, a global organization that connects, inspires, and strives for greater equality for women technologists in business, academia, and government. Her work includes connecting communities worldwide to enable women and non-binary technologists to advance and succeed in tech as well as the organizations where they learn, work, invest and gain funding to create cultures conducive to mutual success. Having a passion for education equity, she founded the original Computer Science for All program, building computer science classes into the curriculum for every student in the Chicago Public Schools, and served as the inspiration for the Obama administration’s national CS For All initiatives.
Bonin Bough is co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Group Black, and co-founder of Lockstep Ventures. His work aims to dramatically transform the face of investment and media ownership through his commitment to diversity and inclusion. Bough is one of the foremost-awarded marketing executives in the industry. As one of the youngest C-suite executives at a Fortune 50 company, he has worked for billion-dollar CPG brands including Mondelez and PepsiCo. He has been responsible for some of the most successful organization transformations and the rapid growth of some of the world’s most-loved billion-dollar brands including Oreo, Cadbury’s, Gatorade and Frito-Lay. He has been inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement. He can also be found in lists such as Fortune’s “40 under 40”, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, Ebony’s Power 100, and The Internationalist’s Internationalists of the Year. He is also an author and a CNBC television host.
Beatrice Dixon is the CEO, Co-Founder, and Chief Innovation Officer of The Honey Pot Company, the vulva and vaginal wellness brand “made by humans with vaginas, for humans with vaginas.” Beatrice created The Honey Pot Company in 2014 out of great personal need during an eight month battle with bacterial vaginosis. The constant symptoms and fruitless search for solutions led her to formulate what became The Honey Pot Company’s first product, a vulva-safe wash. From that product, Beatrice has grown The Honey Pot Company into a plant-derived feminine hygiene powerhouse, intent on providing humans with vaginas a healthy alternative to feminine care made with powerful and efficacious ingredients.
Cordelro Brown is the Investment Analyst, Techstars NYC Powered by J.P. Morgan. Since 2006, Techstars has invested in more than 3,100 companies and today has a market cap of $97 Billion. Previously, he managed operations and marketing at Founder Gym, overseeing the FG Fundraising Cohort and partnering with organizations such as Google for Startups and Sequoia Capital. Cordelro also served as a Venture Scout for Republic, a platform for investing in startups, real estate, video games, and crypto. He holds a BA in Political Science and Criminal Justice from The University of Alabama.
Selena Hill is an award-winning multimedia journalist, respected media leader, public speaker, content strategist, and on-air talent. She currently serves as the Deputy Digital Editor of BLACK ENTERPRISE, the no. 1 Black digital media outlet. She has interviewed the biggest names in politics, business, and Hollywood, including VP Kamala Harris, Kevin Hart, Ciara, Stacey Abrams, and Wendy Williams. Selena partnered with ADWeek/Social Media Week to launch “Branding in the Age of Black Lives Matter,” a virtual interview series that served to inform and educate marketers on how to effectively communicate, engage, and support conscious consumers of color. In addition, she is a keynote speaker and expert moderator who has spoken at and hosted live events across the nation.
Niani is a marketer-turned-tech recruiter-turned founder of the #HIREBLACK. #HIREBLACK started as a viral LinkedIn post requesting help in offering 19 Black women receive resume feedback on Juneteenth and grew into an initiative whose goal is to help 10,000 Black womxn get trained, hired, and promoted in corporate positions. #HIREBLACK is now a network of 30,000 people and counting featured on Forbes, ESSENCE, CNBC, Business Insider, LinkedIn News, theSkimm, and more. Since its inception, #HIREBLACK has worked with companies like Amazon, Disney, Conde Nast, Niantic, Spotify, Uber, and more. Their resources have reportedly increased the total compensation of the HIREBLACK members by over $2 million. Niani has led workshops at Advertising Week, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and NYU Stern School of Business. Her work with HIREBLACK has been recognized with being the recipient of the 2022 NAACP Powershift Grant in 2022 and the Essence x Pine-Sol Build Your Legacy Contest in 2021. In 2020, Niani won the Future of Work grant by Create & Cultivate, was an honoree of the Future is Female award by Advertising Week, and was an honoree of the Diversity and Inclusion Award from the Women’s Empowerment Institute in 2020.
DeDe McGuire is the hardest-working woman in radio! A trailblazer and industry leader who has been entertaining radio audiences for years. Entertaining, empowering, and enlightening are just a few words that describe this powerhouse media mogul. Her talent, work ethic, and personality are the reasons why she is one of only a few women nationwide to have her very own nationally syndicated morning show.
Ekwutozia advises clients on the structuring, development, and marketing of alternative investment products, including hedge funds, fund of funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds, liquid alternatives funds, and separately managed accounts. In both private practice at international law firms and as in-house counsel for a leading asset manager, Ekwutozia provided counsel on all aspects of management company formation, fund formation, structuring and restructuring, business development, and investor relations for domestic and offshore private equity and hedge funds (including co-investment vehicles). As a former Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for J.P. Morgan Asset Management, she gained extensive experience in anticipating the needs of institutional investors and funds and in communicating pertinent analysis. Ekwutozia is committed to supporting traditionally underrepresented investment managers by expanding access to top-quality legal counsel.
Shannon Morales is a proud Afro Latina, mother of 3 daughters, and social entrepreneur. She started her first company, Tribaja, after experiencing bias in the workplace and set out to create a better way to connect professionals with inclusive brands.
By combining “tribe” and trabaja, the Spanish word for “work,” Tribaja is a name that reflects the business’ shift into a “community” of people with an interest in tech & startup careers, including an active Slack group. Shannon realized that other recruiting platforms are built exclusively upon acquiring clients. Instead, she focused on Tribaja’s ability to develop & upskill the community before all else.
Shannon has successfully scaled Tribaja to a global tech talent network that propels the growth of companies such as Lyft, Microsoft, Comcast, and many more. Her most notable accomplishments to date include being named Hispanic Business of the Year in Philadelphia, making Forbes Next 1000 small businesses list, and expanding to her second sales office in Richmond.
@techcareerplug – IG, Twitter, TikTok
CEO and Founder of Tribaja
Alice Foy is a Chicago native with 10+ years of experience in social impact and brand related events and activations. In 2018, Alice launched The Digital Jane driven by her passion for supporting the advancement Black women founders with team operations, systems, and workflow efficiencies. To date, The Digital Jane has served more than 30 women founders and their growing teams across varying industries. Alice strongly advocates for proactivity among women in their business pursuits and she exemplifies these ideals through her creative process and commitment to her own journey.
Pat has been with M&T Bank for the last 12 years, holding leadership roles in Consumer Banking, Strategy, and Business Banking. Pat is currently the head of M&T Bank’s New York City Small Business Banking Group. Pat received his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Rochester and his MBA from the Robert H. Smith School at the University of Maryland. Pat is on the leadership committee of the NY Small Business Funders Collective.
Tanisha Barnett is a Senior Director of Engineering. She has over 20 years of management experience in the IT industry. Tanisha started her career as an engineer and quickly realized that her passion was in growing people and organizations while continuing to stay in the IT industry. She is committed to diversity and inclusion and the impact it has on organizations. Tanisha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems from The University of Georgia.
Ty’Lisha Summers is a woman of faith, wife and mother of two beautiful girls. She is a Chemical Engineer, entrepreneur and champion for equity and inclusion for black and brown founders. Her and her husband are the co-founders of SpenDebt, a financial technology company whose mission is to save one million people from financial fatalities every time they swipe their debit card or have a banking transaction. SpenDebt’s app launched in 2018 and they have helped consumers pay off credit cards, student loans, auto loans, medical debt and the like. Her care and love for others and her community are demonstrated through her volunteerism with organizations that focus on STEM, mentorship and teaching youth. Such organizations include Girl Scouts, Junior Achievement and Black Girls Code. She currently serves as a board member of HenRose Cares, a nonprofit organization focused on reducing college related expenses for students from underserved communities.
As a transformative, servant leader I am a proven entrepreneur focused on innovating and creating new paradigms in the security industry and life. My leadership style is focused on an employee-first approach because I have seen the positive impact of happy employees in a great culture on customers. I have chosen to take a people-centric approach to life and to let all outcomes be driven by that philosophy. Over twenty-five years of experience in the security industry has seasoned me to create the next exponential evolution.
Simone Jordan is the Global Head of Purpose and Brand Partnerships for Sundial Brands, and oversees global corporate social responsibility, advising executive leadership on long-term strategy in creating sustainable impact for underserved communities in its supply chain, and consumer territories. “My purpose is super-focused on improving the livelihoods of Black communities,” says Jordan who has managed $10 million in investments for SheaMoisture throughout the U.S. and Africa. “This also provides me an opportunity to work directly with those businesses supported by SheaMoisture community investments. I not only get to know them, but I learn about their families, staff, and their communities that also benefit from SheaMoisture purchases.” She also leads her team in digital strategy and designing community-driven programs, particularly focused on women’s entrepreneurship, education and empowerment.
Rashida is a Brooklyn native and is very excited to be back in her hometown to attend the Roadmap to Billions Conference. Rashida is a brand & product marketing manager with experience in both the fintech and consumer packaged goods industries. She is currently leading the pricing & monetization strategy for TurboTax at Intuit, but has also worked on popular household brands such as OxiClean, Nair, and Foster Farms chicken.
Oliver B. Libby is co-founding Managing Partner of H/L Ventures and CityRock Venture Partners. The H/L family of companies represents a new kind of venture firm, dedicated to building high-growth businesses that add value to society, with a strong preference for diverse founding teams. Mr. Libby is also Chair & Co-Founder of The Resolution Project, Inc., a non-profit which works with undergraduate students launching new socially-responsible ventures. Resolution supports hundreds of young social entrepreneurs in more than 85 countries and across the United States. Resolution Fellows have helped nearly 5 million people. Mr. Libby is a Presidential Leadership Scholar, a Milken Young Leader, a Tech:NYC Board Member, and a Fast Company Impact Council Member. Mr. Libby’s work has been covered in publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Venture Capital Journal, Crains NY Business (including being names a Notable Leader in Sustainability in 2023), Fast Company, Reuters, and television appearances including CNBC.
Ben Keith (they/them) is working in the Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion space to elevate and uplift historically excluded communities to reflect the world around us. They are licensed and certified in DE&I in the Workplace, Unconscious Bias, Cultivating Culture Competence, Skills for Inclusive Conversation and HR Foundations. Currently they lead and develop strategies for Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Walmart Connect. CDEI is a big passion for them, and it is something they take in and out of the workplace.
Mical Jeanlys-White is the CEO and Founder of WealthMore, a Philadelphia based wealth tech. WealthMore re-images the way we build wealth with a human powered, tech enabled investing and financial planning service and community. Think “private banking” for the rest of us. With over 20 years of financial services experience, Mical has held senior executive positions at JPMorgan Chase, American Express, Nestle, and Accenture. Mical holds an undergraduate degree from Villanova University and an MBA from Columbia University.
Taking her love, enthusiasm, and integrity for journalism Katleen Francois views the realm of tech through the lens of an avid “data gatherer”. Katleen has always been an individual who has taken pride in her ability to delve deep into a subject and pull at all tangible angles of a story, presenting it in a manner that is enthralling for all. As an AP award-winning producer Katleen has shown she isn’t one to shy away from the diligence needed to create at a “peer-recognized” higher caliber. Through her use of this skillset, she has ingratiated herself with others in the landscape of startups and VC, which more recently has resulted in her being named an Operating Partner at Chloe Capital. Katleen strives to be a champion for women seeking to enter into both the founder and investor space and, knows that she can truly elicit change.
Yemi Adewunmi is a tech entrepreneur and designer with over 12 years of experience at the intersection of product design, public policy, and strategic operations. She’s Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Plural (fka Civic Eagle), a technology company that’s built a legislative intelligence software and global public policy data hub. A former public policy analyst, Yemi is also self-taught in product design, which led her to cofound Plural; the company recently raised a $10M Series A venture capital round. As a designer, Yemi has worked with startups, nonprofits, universities, small business owners, and corporations to develop strong brand identities and user-focused product strategies.
Andrea serves as SVP, Head of PayPal’s Global Regulatory Relations and Customer Practices organization. She leads the development and oversight of PayPal’s regulatory strategy and the company’s programs relating to fair access and equitable treatment of PayPal’s customers. Since joining in 2017, Andrea has been a leader in building PayPal’s regulatory strategy and fortifying relationships globally. In 2021, Andrea incorporated the customer practices within her organization and has been leading the global transformation of this program. Through active engagement in industry forums, she advocates for PayPal’s mission to democratize financial services. Andrea also serves on the steering committee for Amplify, PayPal’s community group for Black employees and allies.
Andrea brings fifteen years of experience across compliance, risk management, regulatory engagement, and Anti-Money Laundering. Prior to joining PayPal, Andrea worked at American Express, most recently as Vice President of its enterprise Compliance Risk Management Program. She previously led several compliance functions, including consent order management and regulatory engagement with various state and federal regulators. Earlier in her career, Andrea worked at J.P. Morgan Chase and Bear Stearns Co., where she supported AML programming.
Andrea proudly serves on the board of the New York Urban League. She received a B.A. from New York University and a J.D. / L.L.M. from Cornell Law School.
Michael Brown is the Founder and CEO of CloudNine AI and was inspired by the untapped opportunities for human-centered AI. As the Founder and CEO, Michael has developed and deployed our human-centered AI for enterprises positioning the organization to leverage the transformative opportunities that human-center design presents.
Responsible for the processes, tools, and controls necessary to meet the complex information handling requirements, enabling use while ensuring data protection.
With over 25 years of experience assisting company innovations with business-enabling technologies while managing related risks. The experience helps focus on the management of information in order to make information privacy and confidentiality part of the organization’s culture.
Also, a dedicated philanthropist supporting a number of charities that focus on children, inclusion, economic equality, food security, and serving the last billion. Human-centered AI should Predict, Prevent & Cure Diseases. #aiforthelastbillion
Dr. Lauren Vivian is passionate about health equity, innovation, and how it can be responsibly deployed to meet the needs of disempowered communities, specifically Black and Latine. Dr. Vivian studied medicine at the Universidad de Autonoma, Guadalajara, in Mexico and later returned to the U.S. to complete her clinical training. She quickly pivoted her focus to health technology and worked as the Chief Health Information Officer for Pacific Medical Group while simultaneously completing her certification in health coaching and an MBA from Regent University. In 2021, after a traumatic birthing experience, she co-founded and assumed the role of CEO at WePair Health, a digital career marketplace harnessing the power of community health workers to assist organizations with delivering trusted and culturally competent care. Dr. Vivian’s most significant title is mommy, and on any given weekend, you will probably find her out with her family, hiking, cycling, or enjoying the outdoors.
Mrs. Earline Sims is an eyewear curator, entrepreneur, and author based in Rockwell, Texas. Prior to retirement, she spent 35 years in the telecommunications industry. She was born and raised in Jackson, MS, and attended HBCU Dillard University, earning a degree in Psychology. She helped establish her family’s scholarship foundation, where she has scholarships at Dillard, Oxford University, and Harvard Law, among others. She is the proud mother of Arlan Hamilton and Alfred ‘Rook’ Hamilton, entrepreneurs in their own right.
Kalish Nesbitt is a 2x Founder, owner of Well-Run Retail, and Community Operations Manager at IFundWomen. She started her entrepreneurial journey in 2017 when she found The POSE Box, a self-care subscription box for women which was inspired by a love for yoga, mindfulness, and passion for empowering others. At Well-Run Retail, Kalish’s holistic approach combines mindset coaching and consulting to streamline the day-to-day processes that increase clients’ peace of mind and profitability. Kalish is also the host of the Proactively Present Podcast and a certified yoga teacher.
30+ year banking executive, Director and Treasury Product manager for Global Foreign Exchange in Global Transaction Services at Bank of America, focused on providing foreign exchange solutions, allowing our global corporate clients to conduct business in more than 140 currencies with in over 200 global markets. Across 25 years at Bank of America managed multibillion portfolio of commercial clients as the relationship executive for governmental agencies, including White House, Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Information Systems and the Air Force. Actively engaged in leading the bank’s efforts in advancing racial equality and economic opportunity, including organizing and appearing in enterprise-wide hour long program focused on her family’s historical involvement in addressing racial inequality. A member of Global Transaction Services Social Economic Action Council focused on driving economic opportunity, health care initiatives and minority business development with a focus on creating opportunity for people and communities of color. Recently recognized globally as a recipient of 2023 Global Diversity and Inclusion Award for her commitment to DEI initiatives. Executive committee member of Bank of America Breakthrough Lab, an impact accelerator program that provides economic opportunity and capital access to Black, Hispanic-Latino, Native American and other underrepresented entrepreneurs. Maryland native with a Bachelor’s degree from Hampton University and Masters of Business Administration from Queens University.
Regina Gwynn is the co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech, the organization that aims to identify, support and encourage black women to build the next billion-dollar business. Black Women Talk Tech is the largest collective of black women tech founders therefore bringing a unique understanding of the challenges Black women face and the advantages they bring to the tech industry. As co-founder, Regina co-leads business strategy and strategic partnership development and leads sponsor relations.
Regina Gwynn launched her first tech startup in 2014 with TresseNoire, a platform that empowers women of color to celebrate their textured hair with a personalized beauty routine that works. Its virtual beauty coach takes the guesswork out of finding the right natural hair products & services by matching your individual hair profile to a beauty regimen designed by experts (so you can get the best twist out or the perfect wash n go style the first time, every time!). This innovative product is currently in private beta.
Regina started her career in the Product Development Executive Training program at Federated Department Stores (now Macy’s Inc.), and successfully launched three exclusive brands during her tenure. After graduating from the Kellogg School of Management with her MBA, Regina was a management consultant with the Monitor Group (now Monitor/Deloitte Consulting) and worked with clients within the beauty, media and healthcare industries. She was then tapped to lead marketing at The Apparel Group, where she built the department from scratch and launched the company’s first ecommerce site for its signature brand, Foxcroft Collection.
Regina has served on the Board of Directors for BRAG, a nonprofit for diverse retail professionals & Rising Tide Capital, an entrepreneur development program based in Jersey City, NJ. Regina loves to travel, dance and watch football (Go Giants!).
“A girl should be two things: Classy & Fabulous.” – Coco Chanel
Esosa Ighodaro is the co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech, the organization that aims to identify, support and encourage black women to build the next billion-dollar business. Black Women Talk Tech is the largest collective of black women tech founders therefore bringing a unique understanding of the challenges Black women face and the advantages they bring to the tech industry. As co-founder, Esosa co-leads business strategy and strategic partnership development and leads the organization’s marketing endeavors.
Esosa has more than 15 years of entrepreneurial experience including founding two influencer marketing businesses. Additionally, she has more than 12 years of marketing and operation experience as a serial entrepreneur, and as a former bank executive at Citigroup where she developed high-performing growth strategies and oversaw implementation for key lines of business.
Her achievements at her past companies led to several articles and past awards, including being named 100 Most Powerful Women by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2019 and one of the 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017, and Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch by Paste Magazine. This ultimately lands her features in ELLE, Forbes, NBC, The Huffington Post, USA Today, and many more. Esosa graduated with a bachelor of science in finance from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. She and her husband now live in New York, NY, and enjoy fashion, travel, and food.
Kelly Ifill is the founder and CEO of Guava, a neo-bank and community platform designed to serve Black entrepreneurs and small business owners. As a first-generation American, raised in an immigrant family of entrepreneurs in Brooklyn, NY, Kelly’s personal and professional journeys have informed her passion to help create wealth for our communities.
Prior to founding Guava, Kelly co-founded Seneca Network, a nonprofit organization that connects Black and Latinx founders at the earliest stages of their businesses with angel investors, mentors, and industry experts. She previously held roles in EdTech investing, where she saw firsthand the challenges Black founders face in securing funding. Kelly began her career in education, on the founding team of a public high school in central Brooklyn. She has also led math departments in Brazil and Dubai.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Baruch College, an MA in education in mathematics from St. John’s University, and an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Charlotte is the Global Head of Underrepresented Founder and Investor Startup Business Development
for Amazon Web Services. In this position, she directs a global team in developing partnerships and
programs to enable startup founders and investors globally. She also sits on the investment committee for
Amazon Catalytic Capital, a $150 million fund of funds with a mission to increase the capital available to
underrepresented founders. Charlotte is a former entrepreneur, who co-founded an online sports media
platform and formerly served on the board of Startup Atlanta. She previously led the financial services
policy strategy for a multi-billion dollar business unit within Amazon Web Services. In this capacity, she
served as a financial services policy subject matter expert in over ten key markets, including Argentina,
Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
Charlotte’s professional experiences span both the public and private sectors. She advised United States
Senator Cory Booker on entrepreneurship and other policy matters for the U.S. Committee on Small
Business & Entrepreneurship. She also drove the Senator’s efforts to spur the development of small
business accelerator programs and increase the impact of the Small Business Investment Company
(SBIC) program. Prior to joining Senator Booker’s team, she advised three Members of the U.S. House of
Representatives on small business and other economic policy issues.
Charlotte holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from Wellesley College. She is a
former Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Elise serves as the Director of Federal Partnerships and Customer Success at the Presidential Innovation Fellows where she is focused on expanding digital transformation across government. Elise has over 10 years of policy and government relations experience and has a background focused on science and technology. She has worked for NASA, a technology start-up, nonprofit, and local government. Elise is a big-picture thinker who’s passionate about civic innovation and social justice. In her free time, she is often consuming international crime dramas, afrobeats, and sparkling wine. She holds an undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College and an MPA from the University of Pennsylvania
Kelauni Jasmyn is Founder and Executive Director of Black Tech Nation (//BTN) – a national network of 2000+ Black technologists, innovators, entrepreneurs and allies looking to build a #DigitalWakanda that supports the growth of Black opportunity and wealth through tech. She is also the co-founder and one of three General Partners at Black Tech Nation Ventures (BTN.vc), a $50 million, national fund to support Black entrepreneurs and seed-stage startups led by Black and diverse founders. Kelauni is a native of Chicago and a summa cum laude graduate of Howard University with a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry.
Ariel Lopez is an entrepreneur, career coach, speaker, and innovator in Tech. She’s the Founder and CEO of Knac, a hiring platform that reduces bias in the application process and improves the candidate experience. She also works with the City of ATL and Invest Atlanta on Technology and Innovation. She has over a decade of experience helping startups and brands like Nike, Google, Spotify, Uber, eBay, Bumble, and more build great teams.
She’s been featured in publications like CNBC, Forbes, FastCompany, Refinery29, and Business Insider. She’s also done campaigns with T-Mobile for Business.
She’s passionate about the future of work and making the job search more human.
Mutale Nkonde is the CEO of AI for the People, a communications firm combating algorithmic bias in Black communities. As an AI Policy Analyst, and works with companies, governments and media entities to improve understanding on issues around algorithmic bias. In 2022 she joined a conversation at the Aspen Institute held by VCs and CEO in the policing tech space about the impact their technologies have on Black communities and the need to find alternative use cases for achieving public safety. In 2023 Nasdaq named her one of the 10 Women to Watch in AI and she works closely with a number of UN Entities
Nicole Pierre-Louis is an Associate Manager, Early Talent Acquisition at PepsiCo in New York. In this role, Nicole executes the short and long-term campus recruiting strategy for corporate functions. Nicole is passionate about early careers recruitment, diversity recruitment and employer branding. Nicole’s career has primarily been in the financial services industry, with over 10 years in both Human Resources and Talent Acquisition roles. Most recently Nicole was a VP, Senior Campus Recruiter at BNY Mellon. Nicole has a BBA in Business Management Concentration Human Resources from Pace University and an MS in Human Resources Management & Organizational Effectiveness from Manhattanville College.
Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, husband, Blaise & children, Blaise II & Riley. In her spare time, Nicole loves her Peloton, especially bike, barre, yoga & mediation classes. She is also a bibliophile, golfer and loves to travel, favorite destinations being Napa Valley, Martha’s Vineyard and the South of France.
Natasha Bansgopaul is a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow (PIF) and Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) where she leads key research initiatives centered on trustworthy and responsible artificial intelligence. She is also an experienced FinTech entrepreneur focused on alternative investments, blockchain, and digital assets.
Want to help build and diversify the Black tech ecosystem and provide resources to more than 1,500 Black women?
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Esosa Ighodaro, Co-founder
Regina Gwynn, Co-founder
We have a unique understanding of the challenges Black women founders face and the advantages we bring in the industry. We’re here to identify, support and encourage Black women to build the next billion dollar business.
We’re unapologetic in our support because we believe Black is worth the investment. It’s time we are heard and seen because we know different perspectives bring new opportunities. We’re building community and profitable, scalable businesses for self-identified Black women in tech, together.