Black Women Talk Tech will be holding its fifth annual Roadmap to Billions conference this year. Even though the organization’s mission is to provide opportunities to black women, the event is open to all women who are allies of the Black community. Black Women Talk Tech was founded by both Esosa Ighodaro-Johnson and Regina Gwynn. This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the event will be virtual via a customized experience on August 12-13.
Roadmap to Billions is a conference built from the perspective of Black women that is organized by Black Women Talk Tech. The organization empowers black women who are driving innovation around the world, within untapped markets that can unlock billion-dollar opportunities.
This is the only tech conference created by Black female founders for Black female founders and supporters of the community. It showcases the brilliance of Black women building scalable companies while building deep connections and creating real funding opportunities. Attendees gain insight and learn valuable lessons from those that are paving the way to success.
This year’s keynote speakers include Mellody Hobson (Chairwoman of Starbucks Corporation and Co-CEO of Ariel Investments), Dr. Toyin Ajayi (Founder Cityblock Health), Songe LaRon, Dave Salvant (Founders of Squire) and more to be announced.
Join over 2,500 investors, tech evangelists, and founders for an exclusive virtual gathering of Black female founders in the tech world. What’s new for 2021 includes job recruiting, high-profile entertainment, and virtual tech activations with big brands.
2021 Sponsors of Black Women Talk Tech include Microsoft, Netflix, Roku, Visa, Davis Wright Tremaine, Google, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Balsamiq, and Sephora.
Purchase tickets for this year’s Black Women Talk Tech Conference here: https://www.
“This year we’re looking forward to bringing our audience a conference full of exciting, engaging, and enlightening experiences that will have our attendees feeling powerful, motivated, and ready to take the next steps on their entrepreneurial journey. The virtual event will have the production quality of a fully produced TV program, but with the same opportunities to engage as the traditional conference,” says Esosa Ighodaro-Johnson, Co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech.
Esosa Ighodaro-Johnson is the CEO & cofounder Nexstar. Nexstar is a marketplace that connects brands to the right influencers and helps them run influencer campaigns at scale. Nexstar allows brands to create bespoke influencer campaigns. Our platform handles end-to-end campaign management which includes influencer selection and outreach, campaign briefing, content scheduling, contracts, payments, and reporting. We also provide monetization tools for the influencers to leverage during the campaigns which will allow brands to drive e-commerce sales and track additional ROI metrics.
One of the few black women to raise over 1 million dollars in funding for her tech business. Formally, the Co-Founder and President of COSIGN. COSIGN is a tech platform that allows brands to create, distribute, and monetize visual content through social media influencers and brand advocates. Her role in heading up marketing and growth has resulted in a partnership with multinational brands, and features in ELLE, Forbes, NBC, The Huffington Post, USA Today, and many more. Her achievements at COSIGN led to several awards, including Top 20 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 by CIO, Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch by Paste Magazine, and one of the 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017 by Entrepreneur Magazine.
We Empower Magazine got an exclusive interview with Esosa.
Tammy: Please tell me how did Black Women Talk Tech formulate and how did you and Regina’s partnership come about?
Esosa: We both started out as founders and we both were creating technology companies in our own industries. We realized it was so hard to navigate some of the pieces of the ecosystem of technology, whether it’s access to capital or social capital, or understanding what a LAMP stack is.
Both Regina and I are non-technical founders so it was definitely the vision that we had and that we saw the world needs. We thought we’d create that vision, but we needed those technical partners to help us support and create that as a whole.
I met Regina randomly at an event line, we’re getting food and it was instant chemistry and connection. We exchanged our ideas of what we’re working on and kept in touch. Then we built this space for black woman tech founders randomly. It actually started out with three of us, my other co-founder, Lauren Washington, whom I met earlier than Regina at a pitch competition where I ended up winning.
We have learned a lot to apply to our business to really grow and scale billion-dollar opportunities and real business opportunities serving unmet needs in the marketplace. Five years later, we’re still doing it and much bigger.
Tammy: Congratulations on the fifth annual Roadmap To Billions conference! What do you want the attendees to take from this year’s event?
Esosa: The interesting thing about this time around is that it’s unique and different from every year. This is our fifth year, and we wanted to do something big. Unfortunately, we can’t meet in person because of the pandemic, but we’re hoping that changes over time. We didn’t think by August, it would. So we’re planning this really coveted event where it should feel like Saturday Night Live meets Essence Fest with a focus on entrepreneurship and technology.
It’s going to be a really great programmed event with amazing and powerhouse speakers. There will be some of the largest names you’ll ever hear from us like Mellody Hobson. We also have some great founders who are valued at a billion dollars that look like you and I, and folks who’ve earned hundreds of millions of dollars, and they’re very young, and they’re black.
Some other amazing opportunities too is that we’ll have unique activations at the conference this year that is all virtual. Then depending on the ticket you buy, you can also experience an at-home experience with different products we’ll be sending you to do while you’re interacting with the screen.
We love tech, and we love building experiences that are designed for black women to enjoy, to get inspired, and grow their businesses. So we’re super excited about what we have in store.
Tammy: What do you think are some misconceptions that may turn Black women away from wanting to dive into the tech industry?
Esosa: I am a big advocate of Black women winning. I think there’s just something incredibly unique about the opportunity that exists for Black women to become independently wealthy. That’s what our goal is, our mission is to help Black women build the next billion-dollar tech or scalable business.
What that means is that you can not only take care of yourself, but your family, community, and potentially the world with the products and services you’re able to develop in that genius mind of yours.
Not only are we the most educated group, but we are also literally leading in every industry there is when it comes to Black women taking leadership. Whether it’s political, saving political campaigns, or on the streets of any American corner where there’s injustice.
We’re in the technology revolution, where you can make money faster than you’ve ever made money in the past ever in history. With almost sometimes little to no capital. So why not Black women take lead in this industry? I always want to encourage women, Black women, especially to help them realize the opportunity because I think a lot of times people are afraid to get into the technology business because it’s daunting.
I hope that with Black Women Talk Tech, we can make technology a little bit more approachable. Because I think some people see big technology as this Green Giant in the closet.
We want to make sure we can empower future business owners beyond their wildest dreams to increase the quality of life for yourself, and increase the quality of life for your community, and then hopefully the world.
Tammy: What else would you want our readers to know about the conference and why they should be there?
Esosa: We have some really unique masterclass workshops and breakout sessions that you’re not going to want to miss because we’re talking from all different types of technology from 5g to cryptocurrency and Bitcoin to even product-based companies. Also on how to hire your first employee.
The great part is that you get a chance to also apply if you’re a founder for the $50,000 cash prize pitch competition this year. It’s a great opportunity to be able to pitch and win cash right there on the spot. We’ll have about 30 investors talking to different founders throughout the day.
All you have to do is sign up and you can get feedback on your pitch deck, advice, and ask whatever you wanted to ask an investor. We’re giving that access right then and there. It’s exciting, the topics this year are killer and the speakers this year are killer. It’s going to be incredible!
To learn more about Black Women Talk Tech please visit www.blackwomentalktech.com.
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.