Black Women Talk Tech’s “Roadmap to Billions” annual conference, “designed by Black women founders for Black women founders,” is one we look forward to for its wealth of information delivered by some of the leading voices in the tech space today.
Taking place this year from Feb 27 through Feb 29 in New York City, the conference is comprised of panels, workshops and speakers that help Black women founders make the connections they need to spark funding opportunities for their businesses. There’s a pitch competition as well.
We recently caught up with the enterprising ladies of BWTT who are Regina Gwynn, co-founder of TressNoire; Esosa Ighodaro, co-founder of COSIGN; and Lauren Washington, CEO and co-founder of KeepUp to get the scoop on this year’s event.
TNJ.com: What are some highlights that attendees can look forward to at this year’s BWTT conference?
BWTT: This conference is built from the perspective of women, and the goal has always been to showcase the brilliance of Black women in tech, create a stage shared experiences, foster deep connections and create realistic funding opportunities. This is the ONLY annual tech conference created exclusively by Black women founders for Black female founders and their supporters.
TNJ.com: Who will be some of the speakers?
BWTT: We are still finalizing a few speakers, but we have a great lineup so far. Here’s who attendees can expect to hear from:
Courtney Adeyele – Founder of the Mane Choice & $30M Generational Advantage Fund
Crystal Etienne- Founder & CEO, Ruby Love
Maria Velissaris- Managing Partner, SteelSky Ventures
Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon, Founder & CEO, Founder Gym
TNJ.com: Are there any current trends in the Tech space that affect BWTT and the way you run the company compared to when you first launched it?
BWTT: As the tech ecosystem continues to expand with more entrepreneurs & technologists of color, and more events and experiences have emerged to address and support our needs. It’s reconfirmed the purpose and mission of BWTT in focusing on and resourcing our unique segment of black women who have scalable startups ready for next level, billion-dollar market opportunities.
TNJ.com: Are you working on any short to long terms goals for BWTT?
BWTT: Outside of ensuring that our 4th Roadmap to Billions Conference is successful and impactful, we are identifying ways to support and encourage black women to build the next billion-dollar business. We would like to get more companies founded by black women in the short term and women funded in the long term.
TNJ.com: What do you most enjoy about being the founders of BWTT?
BWTT: The impact that we are making across the country. We truly enjoy learning from each other as founders and women in technology.
TNJ.com: How has BWTT grown since its launch? Has any expansion taken place?
BWTT: We’ve seen phenomenal growth since our launch less than 4 years ago. Demand from attendees prompted us to create our nonprofit arm, Talk Tech Association, which supports the growth of our chapters globally (launched our first international outpost in London last Fall). We’ve rapidly grown to 10 chapters so far with plans to add at least 3 more this year. In addition, we’ve launched the Black Men Talk Tech’s Unicorn Ambition conference in Miami – stay tuned for updates there as well!