Issa Rae and Timbaland to Speak at 2023 AfroTech Conference

AfroTech, an annual tech-based conference for Black startups, entrepreneurs, and business leaders, made its Austin debut in 2022, and is returning to the Capital City November 1 – 5, for AfroTech 2023 with a stacked roster.

With their latest speaker lineup announcement, Emmy-nominated actress, producer, and writer Issa Rae, iconic producer, artist, and entrepreneur Timbaland, U.S Representative Maxine Waters, Time CMO Sade Muhammad, and more amazing Black leaders and icons have been added to the conference’s schedule.

One of the main purposes of AfroTech is to connect thousands of Black professionals with inclusive tech companies and innovators who are dedicated to shaping DEI initiatives at some of America’s most impactful corporations. Some companies you can expect to see present this year are Google, Meta, Microsoft, Apple, TikTok, Estée Lauder, Disney, Salesforce, and Silicon Valley Bank, who will all be utilizing the AfroTech Conference to support DEI commitments and hiring inclusivity best practices.

Don’t be misled, though. While this conference is about furthering your professional interests, it’s not all work and no play. AfroTech consists of panels, fireside chats, Q&A’s, summits, marketplaces, and more during the day with happy hours, meetups, networking events, movie screenings, etc., afterward.

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AfroTech Music, for example, will deliver world-renowned entertainment through live musical performances featuring award-winning artists and hands-on activities that amplify Black joy. Hip-hop artist, business mogul, and headliner Rick Ross will perform, as will DJ Spinderella, Soulection’s Joe Kay, Andre Power, Jadaboo, Riders Against The Storm, DJ Hunnybee, Jasmine Solano, and Jae Murphy. Plus, following AfroTech Music, there will be an official after-party with an exclusive performance by hip-hop veteran Jadakiss.

This year’s Summits will focus on women, sports, and health, along with product development, engineering, and technology innovation programming. More than 100 speakers will participate in this year’s AfroTech Conference, which will cover such timely topics as Harnessing Inclusivity for Responsible AI, Changing The Game: Sports + Tech, Closing the Equity Gap, The New Rules of Leadership in a Remote World, Marketing and Organizational Change via DEI, VC trends and looking ahead to 2024.

In support of Austin-based Black-owned brands, Culture Park will host a small business marketplace featuring 10-15 local businesses in collaboration with Black Makers Market. Attendees can explore offerings and services from these Black businesses in Culture Park that align with AfroTech’s values. The conference has also partnered with several local venues such as RichesArt Gallery, the Sunset Room, Empire Garage, Electric Shuffle, and more.

Having conferences and events like these choose Austin is a big boost to the economy. Last year’s AfroTech Conference made its Austin, TX, debut with more than 300 brands and thousands of Black professionals in attendance. The 2022 event had a major economic impact on Texas’ capital city, totaling $18.2M over the six-day conference, and supported 148 jobs in Austin.

Tickets are available here for the 2023 conference, with badges ranging from general admission to all access. Follow this link to discover all the speakers currently announced and for the full schedule of events. 


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