RIDE Labs talk tech and finance at Jesse Jackson’s annual Economic Summit

RIDE Labs recently presented two panel discussions at Jesse Jackson’s 21st Wall Street Project Economic Summit. Each panel featured thought leaders in the area of tech and finance.

The CEO of Steed Media, Munson Steed, served as moderator for both panels. The first panel, “Tech Innovation in Social Media, Advertising, and Marketing,” featured Monique Nelson (CEO Uniworld); Daniel Cherry III (chief strategy officer Translation, LLC); Joel Anthony (CEO, Hero Group); and Steve Cobb (co-founder, Hashtag Sports).

During the discussion, each panelist shared how technology has changed the media space.

“Ultimately, anyone with a product must be concerned about how the product is being delivered,” Nelson said. “Everything is happening on mobile. I started my career at Motorola in 1998. I was in the room when they said everyone will have one of these [cell phones]. We weren’t thinking big enough. Tech has always been a game changer. Our community is late and we need to jump the curve and get involved in how were are engaging with technology. Mobile is our digital divide buster. We have to capitalize more so we can play equally.”

The second panel, “Finding Early Stage Capital, Loans, and Alternative Financing to Fund Your Business,” featured Ron Busby (CEO, U.S. Black Chambers); Ita Ekpoudom (CEO, Tigress Ventures); Michael Lythcott (Uplift Equity Partners); Tony Thomas (Syncom Venture Management); and Greg Walker (Venture Capital)

“I think raising money is hard,” Ekpoudom said. “The true unicorn in the investing space is Black women raising money. There is a report that said less than 1 percent of Black women raised more than 1 million. Only 15 Black women have raised 1 million or more. It’s crazy to me. You can count on three hands the Black women who have raised 1 million. Our male peers make private investments early. Women aren’t being engaged. Women want to back other women. I left public market and went to the private markets. I encourage women to talk about their business. If you have capital, start to invest that capital.”

Rolling out’s RIDE Conference will take place in Atlanta in September 2018.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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