Black Tech Week hosted its annual gathering of tech entrepreneurs, founders, and investors in recent days and welcomed Issa Rae as their keynote speaker.
Rae, a writer, producer, entrepreneur and founder of HOORAE shared her experiences and insights in a One-on-One panel as attendees filled the Cincinnati Music Hall. Best known for her groundbreaking work as the creator and star of the hit HBO series “Insecure,” Issa Rae is also a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry with a commitment to supporting and amplifying Black and female voices in the space.
“As a storyteller myself, there’s a section that starts with me and the stories I want to tell and the stories I want to get off my chest,” Rae said. Rae’s company has been instrumental in bringing stories of Black culture to the forefront. In the room of full of tech entrepreneurs she shared how she selects her projects and the criteria she looks for when deciding what stories to tell.
“We’re consistently asking ourselves what’s missing, what void can we fill, and what stories haven’t been told that we specifically can tell, and what creators are out there, what speakers are out there who we admire and respect and who we think their stories need to be on screen and who we can amplify.”
Rae created HOORAE in 2020, serving as an umbrella company of her film and television other projects.
Rae found that television had a very limited scope and view on people of color. She aimed to give an alternative perspective through her own lived life experiences and creative lens by launching The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. The comedy series was launched in 2011 and sprung into a second season thanks to Kickstarter, a crowdfunding source Rae used to financially support the project.
The One-on-One keynote conversation with Issa Rae, encouraging Black tech innovators and entrepreneurs who seek to elevate an industry which hasn’t also look liked them and be inspired to launch tech systems and products by smartly pitching and tapping into financial resources available, from crowdfunding to investors.
“Her dedication to promoting diversity in the tech industry along with her remarkable achievements in entertainment, truly embody the spirit of solidarity and success so central to the Black Tech Week experience,” said Candice Matthews Brackeen, CEO, Lightship Foundation.
Black Tech Week is an annual conference driving innovation, connection, and collaboration across Black tech culture. Guests attend and participate in panel discussions, workshops and presentations led by industry professionals, brand experts, and more.