We're thrilled to be hosting not one but four amazing sessions in honor of Black Leaders Month. Join us for two hours of content about funding Black founders, building companies all over the country, creating meaningful connections within the startup ecosystem, and inspiring stories from founders, leaders, and investors.
*Scroll down to view speakers, agenda, and conversation topics*
Head of Google for Startups, US
Founder and Managing Director
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, connections, and best practice has 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.
Mckeever (Mac) Conwell, II is the Founder and Managing Director of RareBreed Ventures, a pre-seed stage venture fund based in Baltimore, MD. It is a Pre-seed Fund that is investing in exceptional founders outside of the large tech eco-systems earlier than everyone else. With early meaningful cash upfront, wraparound services to increase capacity, and institutional knowledge from the additions of an executive RareBreed Ventures accelerates a companies' growth at the earliest stages
Before starting Rarebreed Mac worked at the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) as the Portfolio manager. There his role was to find, help make investment decisions on, and help build Maryland-based startups. Mac works closely with many TEDCO portfolio companies to help them secure customers, partnerships, and funding. Mac also conducts extensive outreach to all of the tech communities and ecosystems in Maryland and does a lot of work supporting founders who consider themselves to be economically or socially disadvantaged. In 2017 Mac helped launch the Minority Business Pre-seed Fund and what was later transitioned to the Builder Fund which is the first state-backed pre-seed fund for women and minority-led startups.
Everette Taylor is Chief Marketing Officer for Artsy, the leading global marketplace for buying and selling art by the world's leading artists.
A respected marketer, entrepreneur, and digital art-world leader, he joined Artsy in 2019 from ET Enterprises, which he founded in 2013 and where he has served as CEO. At ET Enterprises—the parent company of six businesses—Everette drove 3X growth of the company during 2018 and was recognized as a Forbes 30 under 30 All-Star Alumni.
A creative and accomplished marketing executive, Everette has also served as CMO for Skurt and Head of Marketing at Qualaroo, companies he helped lead to successful acquisitions. Everette has also overseen growth for new mobile apps at Microsoft China, as Interim Head of Marketing, and as CMO for e-commerce company StickerMule where he led unprecedented growth for the company as their youngest-ever executive. In addition, Everette is an established public speaker and digital influencer.
Paige Hendrix Buckner is the Program Director at Founder Gym, an online training center that helps underrepresented founders build successful tech startups. Since launching, Founder Gym has trained over 500 entrepreneurs across 23 countries, who've gone on to raise over $57 million for their companies. Throughout her career, Paige has operated at the intersection of education, entrepreneurship, and social justice. She is a well-respected leader in the Portland startup scene and has helped cultivate their ecosystem, including teaching entrepreneurship with the TiE Young Entrepreneurs Oregon Program, serving on the board of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, and co-founding the Xxcelerate Fund for women entrepreneurs.
Jakita O. Thomas, Ph.D., is the co-founder of Pharaoh's Conclave (PCX), a tech company that prepares youth for eSports careers. Dr. Thomas is also co-founder of PCX’s non-profit arm, PCX GO!, which builds on PCX’s mission of pioneering eSports education through capacity building around eSports career pathways. Dr. Thomas is a graduate of digitalundivided's BIG Incubator as well as the YC Startup School, and she is currently in the inaugural cohort of the Google for Startups Atlanta Founder's Academy. PCX is also a Microsoft Startup.
Staat centralizes code and project data into one, easy-to-understand place. A tool built for engineering leaders that helps inform and direct through the product development lifecycle. Save time on meeting prep, and easy track progress from anywhere. Save $$$ with better "flow."
Previously Founder & CEO of Partnr, a tool using AI to help creatives get credit for their work, manage their business, build the teams to execute work, and curate a community of likeminded people. No, this story doesn't end with an acquisition or IPO. But instead, how product evolution into a new space (HR - a space where our team had no perspective or experience) can cause failure. So we shut down our doors, and went to tackle new problems. We learned a ton!
Derek Andersen is the founder and CEO of Startup Grind, a global community that is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs designed to educate, mentor, and connect entrepreneurs. Founded in 2010 from humble beginnings with only 9 people attending his first event, 4 years later Start up Grind has grown to more than 200 cities, in 85 countries around the world.
After founding Vaporware Labs in 2009, he incubated many products (most of which failed spectacularly) including Startup Grind and professional social network Commonred. In 2012 Commonred was sold to Income.com.
He is also Ex-Electronic Arts where he worked on games like Burnout, Mirror's Edge, The Sims, and Need For Speed. Having spent 8-years living outside the United States, he currently lives in Palo Alto California with his wife and three children.
Derek has been featured on Forbes, Tech Crunch, and The Wall St Journal.
Phin is on a mission to help startups succeed, having experienced first hand the challenges and hardship that came with his startup, HOMESPLACE, failing. He is Startup Grind's Director of Partnership Success focused on creating successful outcomes for their Partners and their interactions with our startup program and global community. He previously served as SG's Senior Community Lead helping oversee the growth and management of Startup Grind's Chapters around the world and championing the local Chapter Directors to build incredibly helpful, dynamic and well-connected communities for their local startup ecosystems. His commitment to helping entrepreneurs was recognised in 2016 by the Centre for Entrepreneurs. He was listed on The Maserati 100, the annual list which recognises entrepreneurs who are generously giving their time and resources to support the next generation of young entrepreneurs. Phin is a alumni Fellow of the Centre for Entrepreneurs.