11 Things I Learned From the 2nd Annual Black Women Talk Tech

On February 28th, Black Women Talk Tech kicked off their 2nd Annual Black Women Talk Tech Conference at Microsoft Times Square in New York. When I first learned of the event, I knew I had to be. In. that. room. 

Why?

  1. The theme was Roadmap to Billions. (and that’s where I’m trying to go.)
  2. It’s the ONLY tech conference focused on Black women founders. 

Therefore - it was a no-brainer. So I sent the details over to my Co-Founder, Natina, and we both signed up. 

Walking into Microsoft in Times Square was exciting enough but then to see all these Black women founders in one room, ahh, it was a dream. I already enjoy meeting new people so to have a chance to meet more women of color dedicated to building something big felt like being at home. 

The conference kicked off with a conversation between the Inc.com Editor-at-Large and Richelieu Dennis, Co-Founder and CEO of Sundial Brands: Home of Shea Moisture. (His attendance at the conference was what really sold me!) 

While the conference was two days, we were only able to attend the first day because of the winter storm headed for New York that Thursday night. Nonetheless, I learned a ton and engaged in necessary conversations that could only have happened in that room. 

Here’s 11 things I learned:

  1. When times are tough, stay focused on your North Star and generating high returns for yourself and your investors. (if you have them.) - Richelieu Dennis, Sundial Brands
  2. You must reinvest your profits back into the communities where you generate profits. - Richelieu Dennis, Sundial Brands
  3. This world is built on monetizing our culture so we must control the economics by monetizing our culture which helps us OWN our culture. - Richelieu Dennis, Sundial Brands
  4. Do not be afraid to ask people for help. 
  5. Raising a million dollars requires the mindset, heavy preparation, an understanding of the market, and proof of traction. 
  6. Always support your “why” with data. Data can’t be argued against. 
  7. The people that excel are the people that have simply done their homework better. 
  8. To find the right product-market fit, do customer discovery, develop customer personas and go out into the market to test it. 
  9. Fail fast. Talk less. Listen more. 
  10. Consistently pay attention to what people are talking about online and use that as inspiration for your content strategy.
  11. Show up. Always show up. Because so much happens when we simply to decide to show up.

I’m forever indebted to this organization for believing in us enough to create something for us. 

Until next year.

My First Time at SXSW

The Screenwriter Dedicated to Elevating the Stories of Women and Minorities