See you at the Summit!
Principal and CEO
Collab Capital + Google for Startups
Michael Johnson Performance
Founder & President
Atlanta Airlines Terminal Company
President & CEO
Valence & Upfront Ventures
Co-Founder & Partner
Gay Gaming Professionals
President / CEO
Transformative Tech Lab
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Top Dawg Entertainment
Super Heroic ™, Trilicon Valley
CEO & CoFounder
Founder & Managing Partner
Head of SVB Private Banking, Wealth Advisory & Wine
Silicon Valley Bank
Director, Talent Acquisition: Inclusion & Diversity
Builder Capitalist, Investor, Podcast Host
Angela Rye is Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm in the nation’s capital. She is a CNN Political Commentator and NPR Political Analyst. She has been featured as an influential politico, lawyer, and advocate by several publications and outlets from Marie Claire to Ebony and the Washington Post, Rye has an unwavering commitment to ensuring positive change in the political process.
Rye is a prominent strategist who has offered on-air commentary for several media outlets including BET, CNN, NBC, HBO, ABC, MSNBC and TV One. The depth of her dialogue ranges from political campaigns to more complex legislation and administration policies that have long-term implications nationally and internationally.
She currently serves on the boards of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee (CBCPAC), the Seattle University School of Law Alumni, Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network, Inclusv, and Wilberforce University. She is a member of The Links, Incorporated, National Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the Washington Government Relations Group.
Rye served as the Executive Director and General Counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus for the 112th Congress. In her role as Executive Director, Rye was tasked with developing the overall legislative and political strategy for the Caucus. Prior to working for the CBC, she served as Senior Advisor and Counsel to the House Committee on Homeland Security under the leadership of Congressman Bennie G. Thompson.
Upon moving to the Nation’s Capital, Rye co-founded IMPACT, a nonprofit organization that seeks to encourage young professionals in three core areas: economic empowerment, civic engagement, and political involvement. Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Rye learned the importance of advocacy through her family’s political and community activism. She is a proud graduate of the University of Washington and Seattle University School of Law.
As Head of Google for Startups in the United States, Jewel Burks Solomon works to level the playing field for diverse startup founders and communities by connecting them with the best that Google’s products, skills, and people have to offer.
In addition to her role at Google, Jewel is an advocate for representation in and access to the technology industry. She currently serves as Managing Partner at Collab Capital, an investment fund to connect Black founders to the financial and social capital they need to build profitable businesses. From 2013 to 2016 Jewel was CEO and co-founder of Partpic, a startup that was acquired by Amazon, which streamlines the purchase of maintenance and repair parts using computer vision. Before founding Partpic, Jewel served in management, enterprise sales, and strategic diversity roles at McMaster-Carr Industrial Supply and Google, Inc.
Jewel is a native of Nashville, TN and graduate of Howard University. She is a member of the 2019 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
Arlan Hamilton is a remarkable entrepreneur who built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. Started in 2015, Backstage has now invested nearly $12M into 130 startups led by underestimated founders and has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Quartz.
Arlan made history by making the cover of Fast Company as the first Black woman non-celebrity to do so, and her book “It’s About Damn Time” is out on Penguin Random House’s business imprint Currency. She and Backstage Studio were also the subjects of Season 7 of the popular Gimlet Media podcast, StartUp. Arlan now hosts "Your First Million", a weekly podcast featuring in-depth conversations with how the world's most successful people finessed their first million dollars, customers, or downloads.
Arlan entered the venture investing world from an unconventional path. Before launching Backstage Capital, she authored the groundbreaking blog "Your Daily Lesbian Moment", which she grew to a monthly readership of 50,000 fans worldwide. She has written for AOL, SuicideGirls, and Curve Magazine, and founded and published the internationally distributed indie magazine Interlude. Arlan was also a live music production professional, having served as a tour coordinator to numerous international artists including Toni Braxton, and Jason Derulo. Most recently she worked with Atlantic Records recording artist Janine.
In 2018, Arlan co-founded, along with Investment Partner Christie Pitts, Backstage Studio, a new venture studio designed to build products, services, and initiatives that serve the mission of eliminating underrepresentation in tech by empowering founders and their teams to succeed. Also in 2018, Backstage Studio announced the launch of four accelerator programs, in Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, and London, UK. Called the Backstage Accelerator, this three month program is designed to give founders the support they need to reach their next critical milestone, through mentorship, investment capital, and access to resources and networks. Arlan was recently named on Fortune magazine’s 40 under 40 list, as well as, Vanity Fair magazine’s The 2018 New Establishment List.
Michael Johnson is nothing short of a legend. Michael was a part of the USA Olympic team in Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996, and Sydney in 2000. He established a record of 13 Olympic and World Championship gold medals during his 11-year career.
Michael broke world records in the 200 meter, 400 meter and the 4 X 400-meter relay. He completed the historic 200/400-meter Olympic double in 1996, giving him the title of the “Fastest Man in the World.” He was clocked running 23mph en route to his historic 200-meter performance of 19.32 seconds. He added the 400-meter world record in 1999, clocking in 43.18 seconds, securing his place in history.
Michael founded Michael Johnson Performance® in 2007 with a passion to help athletes of all ages, in any sport, reach their full potential. Every MJP program uses the same fundamentals and techniques that brought Michael record-breaking success.
Michael is renowned for his incredible focus and work ethic, and brings that same dedication to his role as president at MJP. He has a passion to help athletes and enable them to have the same opportunities he had, so they can become their best self. Since his retirement as an athlete, Michael Johnson has also established himself as a motivational speaker and sports commentator.
Dr. Smith serves as the President & CEO of the Atlanta Airlines Terminal Company (AATC), which is responsible for managing an operational and capital budget around $170M annually and approximately 7.2 million square feet of facility operations for the world’s most traveled airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. In 2011 at the age of 35, Dr. Smith was promoted to the chief executive position becoming the youngest person to hold this role since the corporation’s inception back in 1979. Since Dr. Smith’s arrival, AATC has grown its employee base by 114%, creating more positions and employment opportunities for Atlanta residents. Under Dr. Smith’s leadership, AATC has been recognized as one of the Top 20 “Best Places to Work” in Atlanta for medium size companies by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Dr. Smith began his professional career at Milliken & Company, where he was the recipient of the “2002 Manager of the Year Award” for the Floor Covering Division. That same year, his department won the “2002 Team of the Year Award.” Prior to joining AATC, Dr. Smith worked for Linc Facility Services from 2007 to 2010. The teams led by Dr. Smith received the following awards: “2007 Best Mechanical Plant Award,” “2007 Hall Fame Award for Customer Service,” and “2008 Most Improved Mechanical Plant Award.”
In 2012, Dr. Smith was named to the Atlanta Business League’s “2012 Men of Influence”. In 2014, Dr. Smith was named Atlanta’s 40-Under-40 list for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. In 2015, Dr. Smith was named one of Georgia’s recipients for the Georgia Trend’s 40-under-40 and was also a graduate of the 2015 Class of Leadership Atlanta. Dr. Smith is also a graduate of the 2016 Class of the Regional Leadership Institute. In 2018, Dr. Smith was the recipient of 100 Black Men of North Metro’s Image Award, the Atlanta Business League’s 2018 Trailblazer Award and the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Most Admired CEO Award. In 2019, Dr. Smith graduated from Leadership Georgia.
Dr. Smith has served on a research panel in Washington, DC evaluating the airline and airport industries under the Airport Cooperative Research Program of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and National Academies. He currently serves on the board for the National Black Child Development Institute as the Board’s First Vice-Chair and the Board Secretary for Goodwill of North Georgia. Dr. Smith also serves on the Children’s Sports Network Corporate Board for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, the Board of Directors for the City of Refuge, and the Georgia Tech Advisory Board (GTAB). He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta where he serves as a Trustee for the Youth Service Fund Foundation.
As it pertains to philanthropy, Dr. Smith has raised over $210,000 for Children’s Health Care of Atlanta in just seven nonconsecutive months over the past 7 years.
Dr. Smith received his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999 and went on to receive an Executive MBA in Global Business at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business in 2009. In 2018, Dr. Smith received his Doctorate in Business Administration from the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University.
Dr. Smith, his wife Nicole and their sons (Kole and Kyler) are members of Buckhead Church in Atlanta Georgia and reside in Lithonia Georgia.
Quddus (aka Q) is an acclaimed TV host, creator of The Media Mastery Method™ and the founder of AllyNow.
Quddus’ new podcast Breakthrough with Q is the first project from AllyNow Media and its first season features interviews with industry leaders who have inspired us into action.
Quddus’ first breakthrough hosting MTV’s hit show Total Request Live led to a Teen Choice Award nomination for “Favorite Personality” and artists like Beyoncé to request Q as their interviewer of choice. Q’s next chapter included hosting record breaking livestreams like the world premiere of Avatar and the red carpet of the GRAMMY Awards. Q also hosted Access Hollywood (NBC), Duets (ABC) and The Insider (CBS). The Associated Press called Q “the coolest guy on television.”
Quddus leveraged his success on camera to make an impact off camera. He was inducted to the 1804 List by the Haitian Roundtable for his work building clean water wells in his father’s homeland of Haiti. He’s also hosted for the inaugural Global Citizen Festival and the United Nations.
Q’s love for storytelling led to executive producing projects with Yahoo, AOL and YouTube, inspiring Chris Rock to say, “If Oprah and Ryan Seacrest had a love child, the kid would end up being like Quddus.”
Sherrell Dorsey is an American data journalist and entrepreneur.
She is the founder and CEO of The Plug—a distinctive, Black tech news and insights platform covering Black innovators in tech, venture capital, future of work policy, and more. Sherrell has grown the new media startup to thousands of subscribers, several hundred paid members and raised over $500,000 in equity-free capital.
A Seattle-native, Sherrell attended a computer and technical training program where she was mentored by Black computer scientists and informatics experts like Trish Milines Dziko, Zithri Saleem. The program helped her land consecutive summer internships at Microsoft throughout her high school career.
After graduating and working for designers and content marketing firms working at the intersection of commerce and social media, Sherrell made her transition back to the tech world. She began her foray into journalism shortly after leaving college, as a contributing writer for Fast Company, The Atlantic’s CityLab, The Root, Next City, Charlotte Observer, and many others.
Prior to launching The Plug in 2016, Sherrell worked as a marketing manager for Uber and in sales as a contractor for Google Fiber. She founded BLKTECH Interactive in 2016, an award-winning hub that has supported over 2,000 entrepreneurs and technologists of color throughout the city of Charlotte.
As a speaker and presenter, she has graced stages and inspired inclusive ecosystem builders and leaders at SXSW, Amazon, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Brookings Institution, and more. In 2018, Sherrell was named one of CNET's most inspiring women.
Sherrell holds a Master’s in Data Journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in International Trade and Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Kobie has been a partner at Upfront since 2016, with a core investing focus in SaaS, marketing technology, and emerging technologies including VR and AR. His notable Upfront investments include Bevy, Wave, Cordial and MetaCX. While at Upfront, Kobie also founded and incubated Valence, a platform to unlock economic opportunity, investment and community for Black professionals; he is also on the Advisory Board for PledgeLA, an organization working to increase diversity and equity in tech. Prior to Upfront, Kobie was an investor at Accel, helped found OpenView Venture Partners, and was an investor at Insight Venture Partners, with early investments including Exact Target and Oculus. He was also the Chief Marketing Officer at LA-based REVOLVE, one of the largest global fashion e-commerce players. Kobie graduated from Harvard College.
Gordon Bellamy is a Visiting Scholar at the USC Games and head of the USC Bridge incubator program, helping to cultivate the next generation of leaders in our craft. He has played key business and product leadership roles at Tencent, Electronic Arts, as a designer on Madden NFL Football, and MTV, and consulted for numerous companies in the industry.
He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 at GDC and was featured on Nickelodeon for Black History Month for his 25 years of contributions to the game industry and culture.
Gordon serves as the President / CEO of the Gay Gaming Professionals and on the Board of Directors of TheWaveVR and has served as Executive Director of both the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences and the International Game Developers Association. He is a graduate of Harvard College with a BA in Engineering, and resides with his husband Joe Heally, and their dog, Colby Janet, in Los Angeles, California.
My purpose is to weave wellbeing, technology and science into new ground and practical possibilities for all of us. My mission is to empower humans to grow and expand by creating or curating new visions, opportunities, and tech enabled tools for all. I do this by investing in founders who build wellbeing tech through a global non-profit.
I co-founded and built Transformative Tech.org, a global ecosystem dedicated to educating, gathering, and activating wellbeing tech founders, investors, and innovators. Today, we have members in 72 countries and 450 cities and our tentpole events online or in person attract 1K+ attendees. We help founders leveraging exponential tech for mental and emotional wellbeing, social and emotional wellness, and human potential and performance find feedback, funding, and friends. We help investors find the best wellbeing tech founders and companies. I help corporate innovators understand and apply these powerful tools.
Prior to Transformative Tech, I served as senior interactive entertainment executive with responsibility for strategy, operations and marketing for major brands that include: Activision Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi. Highlights included operating World of Warcraft and all of Blizzard Entertainment’s properties in China as well as holding a key role on the Vivendi Games team responsible for the Activision-Blizzard merger -- an $18B deal and an industry defining event. I believe these worlds will merge and one day games will become powerful tools of human transformation -- and I am working towards this goal today.
I speak extensively on Human Transformation, Transformative Tech, the Future of Health, Work, and Human Excellence, and Flourishing Cities. I am a lecturer at Stanford University, have an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, and attended Singularity University’s Global Solutions program. I am a novelist and have written The Sisterhood, a work of transformative Afro-futuristic fiction. Outside of work, my two favorite activities are meditation and combat sports.
Derek Ali popularly known as MixedbyAli is a Grammy Award-winning mix engineer. His career began in Los Angeles in the late 2000s recording and mixing for Top Dawg Entertainment artists Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, SZA and more recently Bas, Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg and many others.
In 2018, he invented an online mixing program and community for mixing engineers called EngineEars which is aimed at teaching upcoming engineers techniques that will improve the quality of mixes they create and provide a world class mixing access to artists remotely.
Mignon L. Clyburn served as Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, following her appointment by President Barack Obama on May 20, 2013. As Commissioner, she is serving a second term as a Democrat on the Commission, for which she was sworn in on February 19, 2013 following her re-nomination by the President and confirmation by the United States Senate.
Clyburn began her service at the FCC in August, 2009, after spending 11 years as a member of the sixth district on the Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Carolina. She served as its chair from July 2002 through June 2004.
Prior to her service on the PSC, Clyburn was the publisher and general manager of The Coastal Times, a Charleston-based weekly newspaper that focused primarily on issues affecting the African American community. She co-owned and operated the family-founded newspaper for 14 years.
A longtime champion of consumers and a defender of the public interest, Commissioner Clyburn considers every Commission proceeding with an eye toward how it will affect each and every American. She is a strong advocate for enhanced accessibility in communications for disabled citizens, and works closely with representative groups for the deaf and hard of hearing. She has fought to promote strong competition across all communications platforms, believing that the more robust and competitive the marketplace, the less need there is for regulation. However, when the market is not adequately addressing consumer concerns, Clyburn is an outspoken champion for smart, targeted regulatory action. She has pushed for media ownership rules that reflect the demographics of America, affordable universal telephone and high-speed internet access, greater broadband deployment and adoption throughout the nation, and transparency in regulation. Commissioner Clyburn is a member of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, Federal-State Joint Board on Separations, and the Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Services, all of which she chaired for three years during her first term at the FCC.
Clyburn is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Banking, Finance and Economics.
Hamet Watt is a serial founder and investor. He has been part of Upfront Ventures and True Ventures, two top quartile venture capital firms, and has cofounded and exited three venture capital-backed companies. Re-imagination has been a common thread throughout his career - reimagining advertising and media with NextMedium, wellness with bLife, movie-going with Movie Pass, and the entrepreneurial model itself, today with Share Ventures.
Share Ventures is a venture studio - efficiently building venture scale businesses focused on human performance in the future of living and working. At Share, Hamet and team are creating new business concepts, enabling traction, providing seed funding and driving acceleration through strategic partnerships with top influencers, corporations and investors.
Additionally, Hamet serves as a Board Partner at Upfront Ventures and as a Senior Advisor at Boston Consulting Group’s Digital Ventures.
Have you ever noticed that Jason Mayden and Batman have never been seen in the same room together, at the same time? Suspicious, right? He has a lot in common with Batman too, both men have their own national day (Mayden’s is March 17th, in Austin, TX – if you want to add it to your calendar) and both consider themselves “a regular guy”, yet both work incredibly hard to make the world a better place for future generations, and both are making history.
Mayden’s mission has always been to share his superpowers, to use them for good and to help today’s youth discover their own. Featuring on multiple ‘most inspiring lists’, including Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business and EBONY Power 100, Mayden’s being celebrated as one of the most inspiring and influential leaders of color who is impacting our world today.
Before graduating from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, Mayden relentlessly pursued an opportunity to work at Nike, ultimately becoming the first African-American to become a design intern at Nike’s Beaverton, OR, headquarters. Whilst working at Nike for 13 years, Mayden designed iconic footwear for athletes like Michael Jordan, working as both Nike’s Senior Global Design Director and Director of Innovation for Nike's Digital Sport division. To add to his list of accomplishments during those Nike years, Mayden also pursued an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business at the same time.
Most recently, Mayden made his mark as the man behind the generation-shaping enterprise, Super Heroic, where he is CEO and Co-Founder of the company. A company that wore a lightning bolt ⚡as their Bat Symbol. Inspired by the struggles in confidence of his own children, Mayden has been the first to win multiple awards for designing the exclusive TMBLR sneaker, footwear designed and built specifically to “empower kids to unleash their full potential through
creative play”. Mayden uses his creativity and talent to make a difference for a generation who needs it most. Combining his years of experience and knowledge with cutting edge technology, Mayden created the world’s first-ever performance shoe designed specifically for the playground, one that responds to kids’ unique movements. Over the past four years, Super Heroic was awarded two official city proclamations in Stockton, CA – December 2nd, and in East Palo Alto, CA – August 26th. Both becoming “Super Heroic Day” and another set of dates for your calendar.
Mayden regularly speaks at conferences and on stages around the world, such as the Adobe 99U Conference, TEDx and Impact Theory, where he continues to spread his important message and vision: to empower kids rather than restrict them, to build stronger children, and to show them AND the world what they’re capable of.
Jarred is COO at Wave--an entertainment technology company that has created the world’s first multi-channel virtual entertainment platform for live concerts. He has two decades of experience building businesses at the intersection of technology and entertainment. Prior to joining Wave, Jarred spent 7 years at Riot Games where he was a member of the executive team and led a diverse set of businesses and functions including Global Esports, Consumer Products, TV/Animation, and Business Development. Prior to Riot, Jarred was an executive at Factual (acq by Foursquare), Encompass Digital Media (acq by Court Square Capital) and Sony Pictures Entertainment. He began his professional career at Mckinsey & Company and holds an A.B. and M.B.A from Harvard.
Valerie is a diversity champion and community builder with over fourteen years of experience advocating for fairness and equity across industries. She is founder & managing partner of Converge, a boutique diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) advisory firm specializing in building authentic, data informed, and stage-appropriate DEI strategies and fostering bold conversation in the workplace. Prior to Converge, she served as Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) at Stripe leading both internal diversity efforts and external programming around global economic access through entrepreneurship. Valerie also helped create the foundational internal Diversity and Belonging (D&B) programs at Airbnb and advised on strategy for preventing discrimination on the platform and promoting access to communities of color. Valerie has extensive executive, business and technical recruiting experience at Google, Airbnb, and Russell Reynolds, as well as four years of supply chain and operations experience at Hewlett Packard.
Yvette S. Butler, CEO of Silicon Valley Bank Wealth Advisory, LLC, brings more than 25 years of experience to the tech industry’s top innovators and investors seeking wealth advisory, banking, and financial planning solutions for their dynamic balance sheets.
Ms. Butler has spent her career at the intersection of wealth management and technology in various strategy development and rapid growth execution roles, pursuing new segments and new consumer trends and leveraging modern technologies and platforms.
A graduate of the Stanford University MBA program with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and management information systems from the University of Virginia, Yvette demonstrated her skills as a strategist and leader in early career positions with McKinsey, Charles Schwab, Merrill Lynch, E*Trade, Wells Fargo and Capital One.
Monique Hollingsworth is Director of Talent Acquisition, Inclusion & Diversity, for Silicon Valley Bank, a member of SVB Financial Group. Monique is responsible for advancing the organization’s inclusion and diversity objectives as part of its employee recruitment activities and leads a team of dedicated recruiting professionals.
Monique joined SVB Financial Group in 2005, following recruiting experience in retail banking for Bank of America and educational staffing for Kelly Services. After a short break from SVB in 2018 to explore the tech industry, Monique rejoined SVB to leverage her passion for creating opportunities and environments rich in diverse abilities, experiences, hues and perspectives.
Having entered the workforce with a non-traditional educational background, Monique knows firsthand the challenges of being an outlier. After obtaining a two-year degree from a vocational school, she attended adult learning courses at Saint Mary’s College. Through hard work, successful networking and proven dedication, her career continues to flourish. Today Monique shares her experiences about overcoming adversity as a frequent speaker at local high schools, and finds that mentoring others is the most rewarding aspect of her career.
Gayle Jennings-O'Byrne is a builder capitalist, investor and podcast host. She works with both entrepreneurs to help them build and grow successful companies and with investors /allies who are investing in diverse/inclusive companies. She hosts" VCs off the Record", a podcast that provides real talk by real investors for both entrepreneurs and investors.
With over 20+ years of wall street, technology, and philanthropic experience, Gayle (Gay-lä) trains entrepreneurs on investor pitches and accessing the RIGHT capital at the RIGHT time. She also works with groups to demystify how to invest wisely and with impact.
Gayle invests in women of color entrepreneurs (“WOCstars”) and diverse teams through the WOCstar Fund , an early stage venture fund that she co-founded. Black entrepreneurs and people of color are solving large market problems in a post- COVID-19 world. These companies span media, healthcare, supply chain, ed-tech, fin- tech, smart city infrastructure, clean energy, food-tech, and agriculture tech.
She is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, the University of Michigan and attendee of the National University of Singapore and City of London Polytechnic.
Board service includes Women.NYC and BE NYC, both NYC Small Business Services organizations, a Nazarian Social Innovator-in-Residence at Wharton Social Impact Initiative, Tribeca Disruptor Fellow and The Nantucket Project Academy.