[TechConneXt Summit] Day 1: Investing and Ascending

(Image: Black Enterprise)

Welcome to the very first Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit kicking off today in Silicon Valley, at the Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, California. Students, engineers, professionals, executives, and tech pioneers have gathered for two days of collaboration, forward thinking, learning, and networking as a means to present a unique occasion to make connections among the brightest of the African American tech community and offer a space for ideas and opportunities to flourish.

Check out what’s on the agenda today:

    • From 2:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. PDT Capital One will be hosting a BE SMART Hackathon where teams of four college students representing Howard University, Johnson C. Smith, Southern University, and Spelman College, will use their creativity to develop apps that will enable users to create budgets, manage expenses, track spending, and develop a savings and investment plan, and more. The teams will be judged on the viability and utility of the app.
    • BE Tech Talk: A Conversation with a Silicon Valley Powerhouse will also begin at 2:00 p.m., featuring speaker David Drummond, senior vice president of Corporate Development at Alphabet and interviewer Carlos Watson, co-founder and CEO of Ozy media. The two will discuss how Drummond has used his vision and legal expertise to help Google transform the world.
    • At 3:00 p.m., AT&T will be presenting a Corporate Showcase with remarks by AT&T Senior Vice President – Compensation, Benefits, and Policy, Tom Moore, presented by Ken McNeely, president of AT&T Services.
    • The corporate showcase will be followed by BE Tech Talk: Investing in Millennial Tech Stars. This exciting conversation features billionaire venture capitalist Tim Draper, co-founder of DFJ and founder of Draper University, and Sequoia Blodgett, entrepreneur-in-residence at Draper University and founder of 7AM. The speakers will discuss Startup U, a Shark Tank-styled reality show for millennial entrepreneurs on ABC Family.
    • TechConneXt attendees may receive direct insight from angel and venture investors on principles used to create pitch presentations that engage investors. How to Deliver a Powerful Pitch to Investors will feature CEO, VC Taskforce, June Riley; Partner, SoftTechVC, Charles Hudson; and Founder, Castleberry & Co., Donray Von. This session will be moderated by Carol Sands, founder and managing member of Angels’ Forum, and begins at 4:20 p.m.
    • COO of TaskRabbit, Stacy Brown-Philpot, and Director, Product Management, Yahoo, Erin Teague will host BE Tech Talk: Ascending to the C-Suite in Silicon Valley, a guide to moving into senior management and making the leap to the executive level. This session begins at 5:25 p.m.

A previous Black Enterprise hackathon in progress

  • Black Enterprise will recognize the exceptional achievements and contributions of Kenneth and Caretha Coleman, and the godfather of Silicon Valley, Roy Clay Sr., at the Trailblazers Awards Dinner, hosted by Intel. The dinner will begin at 7:30 p.m.


  • After dinner, it’s back to hacking with the BE SMART Hackathon, from 10:00 p.m. til midnight.

In addition to the above sessions, there will be an Innovation Showcase and Tech Lounge, hosted by AT&T, where you can stop by throughout the day to preview the newest gadgets and devices while receiving one-on-one consultations. Also, don’t’ forget to check out the Corporate Tours featuring AT&T Foundry and Google, from 8:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

An imperative attribute to TechConneXt is networking. At 4:00 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. attendees may meet in the Terra Courtyard for the ConneXt Reception where you may connect with your fellow techies. This is the perfect opportunity to build relationships and exchange ideas. Take advantage.

If you haven’t done so already, you may still register for the event on-site at Lobby West.

For live BE TechConneXt updates, be sure to check out @BlackEnterprise via Twitter and Instagram. Use #TECHCNXT on your social media channels to share your TechConneXt experience. Also, don’t forget to download the BE Events App, available on iOS, Android and other smartphones. You may use this app to connect with other attendees, check the day’s schedule, network, learn about the speakers, and more.

For a live stream of today’s sessions visit www.blackenterprise.com/techconnext/techconnext/livestream-schedule​.

*Please note that the schedule is subject to change.