Black Tech Week is an inclusive ecosystem-building experience driven by community and corporate collaboration. BTW connects investors, entrepreneurs, tech professionals and creatives across several days of curated content, social events and incredible energy.

By Andria Y. Carter

Herald Digital News

CINCINNATI – Issa Rae, writer, producer, entrepreneur, and founder of HOORAE is the first keynote speaker to appear at Black Tech Week to be held in Cincinnati from July 18 to 20. The tech conference is thrilled Rae will share her energy, experiences and insights and advocacy for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

Issa Rae is best known for her work as creator and star of the hit HBO series “Insecure.”

“We’re looking forward to hosting Issa Rae as our keynote speaker for Black Tech Week 2023,” said Candice Matthews Brackeen, CEO, Lightship Foundation. “Her dedication to promoting diversity in the tech industry along with her remarkable achievements in entertainment, truly embody the spirits of solidarity and success so central to the Black Tech Week experience. It’s going to be an inspiring and unforgettable event!”

Black Tech Week is returning to Cincinnati July 18 thru July 20, 2023, combines growth-focused content with strategic amplification and advocacy for tech entrepreneurs of color. The event hosts curated social events and startup growth-focused programming, which includes session led by professionals specializing in small-business law, marketing, Web3, board selection, and more – while promoting the work and businesses of highly successful entrepreneurs and innovators of color who operate largely unrecognized outside of the Black tech ecosystem.

“Black Tech Week is a celebration of the Black excellence we see everyday in our work with startup founders of color, while also serving as a meaningful catalyst for their enrichment and growth,” said Brackeen. “Our journeys as entrepreneurs, investors, professionals and creatives within the innovation economy, while highly individual and personal, are all confronted with similar challenges – so Lightship works hard to make Black Tech Week a space and time for our community to connect, recharge and reset.”

The tech conference, acquired by the Lightship Foundation in 2022, featured tennis star and entrepreneur Serena Williams and drew nearly 1,500 startup founders, investors, creatives and trendspotters. Last year, the conference contributed an estimated economic impact of $7.8 million to the Greater Cincinnati region.

“Last year’s Black Tech Week was an extraordinary moment for Cincinnati, with pioneering Black innovators coming together from around the country to build exciting momentum for the future,” reflected Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval. “This kind of programming is exactly what our city needs more of to foster a thriving, diverse ecosystem, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Black Tech Week back for 2023.”

Get more information about Black Tech Week 2023 or purchase tickets at

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