Black entrepreneurial ecosystems at Empower 2021
Building strong vibrant ecosystems is complex and difficult, but the benefits are undeniable. Greenwood District of Tulsa, OK, referred to as Black Wall Street, was one of the most vibrant and self-sufficient African-American communities in the US. Recent events commemorating the 100-year anniversary of its destruction were the first time that many people heard the story.
An objective of Empower 2021 is to support the work being done around the country to build (or rebuild) a strong Black entrepreneurial ecosystem. On Friday Sept 24th there will be two sessions at Empower discussing this work.
At 2:30 pm, Randy Wiggins, Managing Director of Build in Tulsa, will be in conversation with Chinedu Echeruo, serial entrepreneur and Co-Founder of The Greenwood Company, about the efforts, challenges, and successes in building (or rebuilding) a strong Black entrepreneurial ecosystem. Their discussion will include how they plan to activate ecosystems and build communities, and the impact their missions will have on creating Black wealth and opportunity. Laurence Latimer, Princeton Alumni Angels of Greater New York Co-Founder and Co-Chair, will introduce them.
At 3:15 pm, three Black founders of startups will discuss their experiences and learnings as they founded and funded their companies. Jaisa Minor of HBCUvc will moderate the discussion, drawing from her work in supporting early-stage companies founded by women of color to secure capital. Cullen Buie, Co-Founder of Kytopen Corp., Tshaka Cunningham, Co-Founder of Polaris Genomics, and Jen Nwankwo, Founder of 1910 Genetics will discuss their experiences as Black founders and reflect on how they have dealt with implicit bias.