Black In Tech

Issa Rae Poised To Grace Stage as Keynote Speaker at Black Tech Week


Multi-talented writer, producer, and entrepreneur Issa Rae is the keynote speaker at this week’s Black Tech Week, a yearly event focused on equity in tech.

Rae, who is best known for her work as the creator of the hit HBO series “Insecure, will grace the stage as the keynote on the final day of the conference on Thursday.

A staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion, Rae continues to use her writing and her platform to amplify Black and female voices in the media space.

A long-time advocate of equity in Black business ownership, in 2021, Rae partnered with American Express and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. to expand their ByBlack initiative program, expanding their national certification program exclusively for Black-owned businesses.

“We’re looking forward to hosting Issa Rae as our keynote speaker for Black Tech Week 2023,” said Candice Matthews Brackeen, CEO, of Lightship Foundation.”Her dedication to promoting diversity in the tech industry along with her remarkable achievements in entertainment, truly embody the spirits of solidarity and success so central to the Black Tech Week experience. It’s going to be an inspiring and unforgettable event!”

With more than 3000 anticipated attendees, the Black Tech Week conference, from 18-20 July, drives innovation and collaboration across Black tech culture. Described as “where the Black people in tech will be,” the event attracts talent and entrepreneurs of color from across the country.

With a combination of growth-focused content, social events, and startup programming, Black Tech Week covers various areas, including small-business law, marketing, Web3, and board selection, while spotlighting successful Black entrepreneurs who often remain unrecognized outside of Black tech ecosystems.

Last Year Black Tech Week Generated Over $ 7.8 Million In Revenue

The inaugural edition of BizDev Day happens at this year’s Black Tech Week, a day providing corporations with the opportunity to connect with Black suppliers.

Founded in Miami over a decade ago, Black Tech Week was acquired by Lightship Central in 2022 and moved to Cincinnati. Fortune 55 companies including Protector and Gamble, Kroger, American Financial and Western and Southern all call Cincinnati home.

Last year, the event generated over $ 7.8 million in revenue for the Greater Cincinnati region. Speaking about this year’s conference, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said “This kind of programming is exactly what our city needs more of to foster a thriving, diverse ecosystem, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Black Tech Week back for 2023.”

Speakers include the likes of Candice Matthews Brackeen, CEO of the Lightship Foundation; Everette Taylor, CEO of Kickstarter; Aisha Bowe, CEO of STEMBoard; Detavio Samuels, CEO of REVOLT; Felecia Hatcher, CEO of Black Ambition Opportunity Fund, Adam Philis, Managing Director of Techstars; and Lindsay Simms, Digital Coach at Google, among others.

This year’s talks will cover a range of topics from legal questions to branding. Ensuring attendees are engaging with the most meaningful, useful content, every touch point for founders and tech professionals is covered.

Last year’s keynote address was given by international tennis superstar Serena Williams, founder and CEO of Serena Ventures. Representing her $ 111 million venture capital fund, Williams explained her journey as an investor, from her childhood ventures to creating space in the VC world for black-female founders.

To learn more about Black Tech Week and secure tickets, click here.

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