by Manny Larcher
There were several moments about my experience in San Francisco and AfroTech '17 that I'll never forget. Seeing so many bright minds of color, in the same room, was so inspiring! My perspective on the opportunity that I had in front of me was renewed.
Bozoma Saint John was fantastic! Sharing her incredible story, ground-breaking career, she had the entire room in laughter, while dropping knowledge throughout the way. To never to settle for less or take no for an answer, stuck with me.
One of the tech's top disruptors happens to be my home state, Ohio, Rodney Williams, CEO of LISNR. The man's confidence is contagious. He came out in all white outfit with the song 'Glow' by Drake and Kanye. He then went on and shared his vision behind creating one of the most innovative companies, dropping more gems than my writing could keep up with.
Then to be able to have a casual conversation with someone that I've loved as a rapper, and now a well-known tech investor, Chamillionaire. I'm not going to lie, I did most of the taking with here, but not only was Chamillionaire listening, but he also gave me some advice that I needed to hear, and his email, which was cool.
I can go on and on for days about how special attending AfroTech in San Francisco in 2017 helped my entrepreneurship journey. From Jesse Williams launching his new app, Anwar Bey-Taylor's sharing a glimpse into his creative process and mind, Kehlani and Arlan Hamilton amazing and intimate talk, to just walks around the beautiful city of San Francisco, AfroTech has everything that you would want in a conference!
In the year since AfroTech in San Francisco, I forged stronger partnerships which led to a major Global partner, re-brand a media platform which now has interns, helped open a minority-owned innovation center in Columbus, and launched a collaborative platform designed to add value to entrepreneurs, and I can give a significant credit to AfroTech.
I'm unable to attend this year because I'm in Belgrade, Serbia at the Project Management Institute Region 8 Leadership Meeting, but I do have some advice for the attendees who may be in a similar position like I was a year ago. Listen and absorb the knowledge shared. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
I'd love to connect and share tips! Connect with me on Linkedin or email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org - cheers!