LEXINGTON, Ky. — The 19th Annual Lexington Bluegrass Area Minority Business Virtual Expo, set for Aug. 5 and 6, will feature high-tech startups and help budding entrepreneurs turn their ideas into scalable companies.
The Aug. 6 morning session will be moderated by Taunya Phillips, director of the Office of Technology Commercialization at the University of Kentucky. Featured innovators are Mo Sloan, founder of EZ-Chow, an online restaurant ordering system that increases digital customer engagement; Ricky Mason, founder of BrainSTEM, an ed-tech startup offering STEAM-based education for Pre-K students through adults; and Jocari Beattie, founder of JoBe Products, a consumer products company.
“Technology is an area where we need to continue to grow as entrepreneurs of color,” said Darlene Barber, expo co-chair. “Having this session featuring successful tech startups shows other entrepreneurs what is possible.”
African American startup founders receive only 1% of available venture capital, “yet they continue to innovate,” Phillips said. “They possess unique cultural perspectives and skills that allow them to create solutions to problems (new and old) that impact the world. It is very important that we find ways to nurture and support these entrepreneurs, as well as grow the number of African Americans who participate in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Scalable, technology-based startups are a way to lessen the wealth gap in communities of color and create economic opportunities. Our economic future is intertwined with the ability of these entrepreneurs to succeed.”
Registration for the virtual conference is open at www.Lexingtonmbe.com.
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