UrbanGeekz’s UG Tech Talkz: Where Media Meets Diversity in Tech inaugural signature event was nothing short of amazing. From the candid panel discussion and inspirational fireside chat to the meaningful connections made, last month’s conference far exceeded our expectations.
The evening kicked off with a red carpet reception, where guests were offered access to the Mixle app to interact and network in real-time. The soirée served as a celebratory springboard for the action-packed event.
First up was the high-powered leadership panel that was moderated by 11Alive anchor and reporter Natisha Lance. All the panel-discussion speakers offered nuggets of wisdom and lessons learned in the entrepreneurial journey.
Christian Zimmerman, Co-Founder & CEO of Qoins, talked about the importance of perseverance and dogged determination to have any chance of success.
“It’s been a learning process,” said Zimmerman. “The biggest thing is to be able to persevere and be persistent and kind of be able to iterate. You are going to get a lot of noes, a lot of noes. Once you get a yes it feels great but you have got to be persistent to keep on going.”
Candace Mitchell, Co-founder/CEO of Techturized Inc., said oftentimes founders have to keep a lot of balls in the air but the trick is to figure it all out and keep things going.
“It’s hard to get to building your product, have your business model, your marketing strategy, who you need on your team – and do all of that at the same time consistently every day. That’s the part that takes a while to ramp up but once you hit that you have to figure out how to sustain it.”
“I’m just a regular guy,” said Amari Ruff, CEO at Sudu, which has raised over $2 million in investment funding. “I just grind, utilize my network, leverage certain relationships, and I guess that where were we are today.”
“I want UrbanGeekz to be as big as TechCrunch, Wired, or Mashable. I want UrbanGeekz to offer what those brands offer but for underrepresented communities. I see UrbanGeekz as not just a national but also a global multimedia brand. That’s the vision I have for the brand.”
Still, Burunda Prince-Jones, Managing Director, The Farm accelerator, touched on the need for startup founders to have a strategic plan which isn’t solely based on fundraising: “Do you know how many founders have raised money and they are no longer in existence because they didn’t know what to do with that money.”
The highlight of the evening was an inspirational fireside chat moderated by Quinetha Frasier, in conversation with UrbanGeekz founder Kunbi Tinuoye. The former BBC trained journalist turned techpreneur talked about her ambitious goals for the brand.
“I want UrbanGeekz to be as big as TechCrunch, Wired, or Mashable,” said Tinuoye. “I want UrbanGeekz to offer what those brands offer but for underrepresented communities. I see UrbanGeekz as not just a national but also a global multimedia brand. That’s the vision I have for the brand.”
Sponsors and partners for the event were SalesLoft, Kompass, Calendly, Geekz Watch, HonorCode, MHR International, Bevisible Latinx, and Social Impact Advisor. Media partners are Atlanta Tribune, ALYintheATL, and Black Enterprise, among others.
Video edited by Kennedy Crenshaw, follow Kennedy on Twitter @kennedy_crensha