The annual Black Tech Week conference brought its flagship brand Detroit, introducing Black Tech to a region already married in a tech ecosystem that is revolutionizing industries.
Black Tech Weekend was held at the Book Depository on the Michigan Central mobility campus, now home to NewLab.
The conference held October 12th – 14th aimed to bring the content, connection and energy in which similarly signifies the Black Tech Week brand.
“The city’s growth in early-stage funding and investor activity makes it a great fit for BTW,” says Candice Matthews Brackeen, Founder and CEO of Lightship Foundation.
“When a startup ecosystem is so rapidly emerging, especially in a city so rich with Black entrepreneurial and professional talent, it’s really important that we are intentional about acknowledging and including resources specifically created and curated for those builders. We’ve worked in Detroit in the past and are thrilled to be back to share Black Tech Weekend with the city’s remarkable innovation community.”
Black Tech Weekend was held in partnership Michigan Tech Week, including support from title sponsors Venture 313 and the Song Foundation.
“When you have the energy and the movement behind Black Tech Week coming to our city, bringing together the strength and creativity of Black tech founders, thought-leaders and investors, it’s crucial that Detroit’s contribution to the conversation has the strongest possible base of support,” said Song Foundation’s Executive Director Khalilah Burt Gaston.
Song Foundation’s mission set is aimed in ideas, people, and organizations that amplify equity, power, prosperity, and joy throughout Southeast Michigan.
“Black Tech Weekend Detroit aligns perfectly with Song Foundation’s commitment to fostering a tech ecosystem where emergent leadership and inclusive technology come together to move our communities forward in the most equitable manner possible. We know that these are conversations that matter, that these ideas will create change, and that this weekend will bring together the people and the projects that can help make this a reality.”
Detroit has really been thriving for years in the tech ecosystem, Black Tech Weekend acted as a great facilitator to help elevate tech entrepreneurs who converged in Corktown Detroit last weekend.
“This event impacts us in a great way,” said Cinnamon Ashford, Project Developer at Apple Developer Academy. “People of color need this experience and need this exposure. The tech industry is doing nothing but growing and growing.”
Ashford believes the tech conference has a way of opening doors who never would have known existed.
“This is an economy of the future,” Ashford says. “This industry will help create generational wealth and you can be creative. They need our culture, our ideas, and it’s simply awesome.”
Black Tech Weekend collaborated with ecosystems across the country to offer meaningful, actionable content and connection to Black entrepreneurs and innovators.
“As Detroit continues to cement itself as the premier technology hub, it’s critical to highlight and lift up our Black talent and entrepreneurs who have made Detroit into the destination it is,” said James Feagin, founder of Venture 313. “Venture 313 is proud of its ongoing commitment to Black disrupters and support in bringing events like Black Tech Weekend to Detroit, and we’re excited to work with the Lightship Foundation, Song Foundation and others on an impactful event.”
Lightship Foundation is an impact-driven organization serving remarkable entrepreneurs and ecosystems across the U.S. By leveraging corporate partnerships, specialized programming and capital investments, Lightship drives sustainable growth within the minority innovation economy.