ROADMAP TO BILLIONS LONDON
October 5th – 6th 2023
We’re bringing 7 years of international business expertise across the pond for our 1st annual Roadmap to Billions London. Join 250 of your tech and business colleagues for instrumental insights on building and scaling your business with resources and actionable steps.
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF
Pitch your way to £5K in cash + prizes!
Register now to enter for a chance win.
About Roadmap to Billions
This October, Black Women Talk Tech’s UK-based community will present Roadmap to Billions, the award-winning, immersive tech conference for Black women entrepreneurs. Roadmap to Billions London will bring the Black Girl Magic of #RTB across the pond to London, England! For the last 7 years, Roadmap to Billions has provided education, inspiration and opportunity for over 7,500 attendees, facilitated vital conversations between founders and investors, and created funding pipelines for 15 pitch winners to receive nearly $30M in VC funding. Our London edition will feature 2 days of valuable conversations, educational workshops, and unique local community moments designed to change the landscape of impact for UK women entrepreneurs.
The Royal Agricultural Hall was originally built to house the growing Smithfield Club Cattle Show. 160 years later, the now Business Design Centre, is still a place where business comes to grow.
Since opening, the BDC has welcomed an incredible variety of events. From conferences, awards and galas, to exhibitions, launches, and fundraisers. Tech has become a strong focus in the portfolio of conferences, including the large scale Devoxx UK and Droidcon events that have been hosted annually at the venue for many years.
The Black-Owned Hackney is all about celebrating Black business owners! What a perfect way to set the tone for RTB London – tech, food, vendors, music & a product market with 30+ Black-owned businesses hosted by Black Eats London.
Get locked in with UK-based Black entrepreneurs and submit to pitch your business live during our first Pitch Competition
July 28, 2023 6pm -10pm / Oct. 5 – 6, 2023
Bohemia Place, EA 1DU, Hackney
Your ticket gives you access to
It’s our 1st year in London and we’ve pulled out all the stops
Roadmap to Billions London 2023 is designed for you, by women like you. Full of exciting, engaging, and enlightening experiences, you’ll leave the conference feeling powerful, motivated and ready to take the next steps on your journey.
£ 5K Pitch Competiton
AMA w/ RTB Founders
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm2023-10-05 All
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm2023-10-05 All
Host, BWTT and Sponsor WelcomeEsosa I. Johnson, Amber Shand
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm2023-10-05 All
Relationship Science: Fireside chat with Paul Brunson
A good relationship is one where both partners feel loved, supported, and valued based on trust and mutual respect. It's the cornerstone of happiness and living a full life. Let's explore how to identify the right life partner to maximize your wealth, success, and happiness.Paul C. Brunson, Esosa I. Johnson
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm2023-10-05 All
Host and BWTT Closing AddressAmber Shand, Esosa I. Johnson, Regina Gwynn
8:00 pm - 8:30 pm2023-10-05 All
Welcome Reception: Networking at Black Eats London
Join your fellow Roadmap to Billions attendees at the Black Girl Magic Night Market at Black Eats London this evening. We can't wait to see you as we prepare to kickoff content for our first-ever Roadmap to Billions London at UK Black Business Show!N/A
9:00 am - 9:45 am2023-10-06 All
Registration & Check InN/A
9:45 am - 10:00 am2023-10-06 All
BWTT Welcome and Host IntroductionEsosa I. Johnson, Regina Gwynn, Esther Alade
10:00 am - 10:30 am2023-10-06 All
Journey to a Billion
Oliver Kent-Braham, Regina Gwynn
10:30 am - 11:10 am2023-10-06 All
Life's a Pitch: Nail Your Story with Every Audience
Business storytelling is sharing relatable stories instead of facts and figures with your audience. Your prospects, investor, and customers are tired of being sold to. These people are looking for a real connection with brands like yours.Rashada Harry
11:10 am - 11:20 am2023-10-06 All
11:20 am - 12:00 pm2023-10-06 All
Workshop: AI in Business & Entrepreneurship
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) reshapes the business landscape, the entrepreneurial sector isn't left out. This talk uncovers the transformative power of AI in business productivity, and shares how to leverage tech to work smarter, not harder.Amber Aziza
12:00 pm - 12:40 pm2023-10-06 All
Workshop: Finding a Technical Co-Founder
Choosing a partner is one of the essential decisions you will make as a founder. Most venture capitalists will only consider investing in a startup if one of its founding partners are technical. This skill is critical to a startups' early success. Hear how two successful entrepreneurs learned this lesson and recruited their technical co-founders.Charlene Hunter, Gabrielle Patrick
12:40 pm - 1:25 pm2023-10-06 All
Sponsored Lunch and Award PresentationsTBA
1:30 pm - 2:05 pm2023-10-06 All
Sponsor Moment with Accenture
Hear from Accenture about their new program for London-based founders and entrepreneurs and how it will help diverse founders grow and scale their business.Dujon Smith
2:05 pm - 2:30 pm2023-10-06 All
AMA w/BWTT: Ask Me Anything with Black Women Talk Tech
This is your chance to hear from two serial entrepreneurs, investors, and mompreneurs what it's like to build and scale a tech-focused business. Come ready with your questions on what it takes to scale a startup, position yourself in the market, build a team, prepare for investment, and strategies for alternative funding.Regina Gwynn, Esosa I. Johnson
2:30 pm - 3:10 pm2023-10-06 All
From 0 to Your First £1M
Going from 0 to your first £1 million is an incredible achievement in business. Don't let social media tell you any different. Your first £1 million will be the hardest and will require you to build new approaches, new tools, and new ways of thinking to get your venture from the ground up. In this session, we'll explore the strategies, insights, and actionable steps an early-stage venture can take to scale a new business. Whether you're a budding start-up founder or you're in the early stages of growth, we'll navigate the path to a million-pound venture together.Izzy Obeng
3:10 pm - 3:15 pm2023-10-06 All
3:15 pm - 3:55 pm2023-10-06 All
Workshop: How to Fundraise From U.S and UK Investors
We know the importance of raising money to build and scale the business, but how do we know when we're ready? This expert panel of investors will share key factors you should consider before kicking off your seed round.Chenelle Ansah, Candice Matthews Brackeen
3:55 pm - 4:05 pm2023-10-06 All
4:05 pm - 4:35 pm2023-10-06 All
Four founders showcase their businesses pitch-style. Watch the real-time implementation of 'Life's a Pitch - Nailing Your Story with Every Audience.'Esosa I. Johnson
4:35 pm - 4:55 pm2023-10-06 All
4:55 pm - 5:05 pm2023-10-06 All
Pitch Prize PresentationTBA
5:05 pm - 5:15 pm2023-10-06 All
Closing AddressEsosa I. Johnson, Regina Gwynn
5:15 pm - 7:45 pm2023-10-06 All
After the conference, come network and mingle with your fellow RTB attendees.
Esosa I. Johnson
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Meet Our 2023 Speakers
Esther Alade is an alumni of the National Film and Television School and has a wealth of experience crossing from Media, Banking and Broadcasting. Her infectious personality and ability to engage corporate stakeholders have landed her several high profile contracts within the UK Black Entertainment Industry.
Esther Alade has hosted shows like “With BB”, “Mama Africa”, ABN weekly radio talk show “The Discourse”, “Africa On The Square” sponsored and organised by the Mayor of London. Esther is also a firm favourite on Yanga TV’s flagship talk show “Noni”. So it came as no surprise when she was then picked to be the new host of Naija Bites, a Nigerian cuisine cooking show which had celebrity guests like Oscar award winner Mo’nique, award-winning actress Tasha Smith and other delectable guests. Naija Bites aired on OHTV, DSTV Africa Magic Urban and The Africa Channel in America.
Most recently Esther presented and produced her own show titled “My Story with Esther” an informative entertaining talk show with first and second-generation African’s based in the UK, in the world of media talking about their journey in the industry to date. The show is available to watch on her YouTube page MsEsther09.
Esther was also named one of the Most Influential People of African Descent under the age of 40. An initiative in support of the United Nations.
You can follow Esther and find out more via these social media platforms
Instagram – @estheralade1
Twitter – @estheralade
Facebook @Esther Abimbola Alade
YouTube – MsEsther09
Dujon is the Global Co-Lead for Accenture’s Black Founder’s Development Program. Led by Accenture Ventures, the new initiative will help improve Black communities’ ability to create wealth for those who previously did not have a seat at the table and enable the next generation of innovation. Formerly, he acted as the Midwest Lead for Accenture Open Innovation, forming bridges between Global 2000 companies and the startup ecosystem. Dujon has traveled, worked, and studied in 55 countries and is passionate about connecting technology, culture, and education within communities. Dujon operates professionally and personally at the intersection of his passion and purpose to create space for BIPOC entrepreneurs, creatives, and academics to thrive and grow. Currently, he serves on the Global Inclusivity Board for Soho House (NYSE: MCG) and the University of Birmingham’s Business School Advisory Board in the United Kingdom. He is a member of the Scenemaker’s Board of the Goodman Theater and the YPC Board of Camp One Step and an active mentor in Chicago’s startup community. Additionally, he is the Director of Development for Definition Theatre.
Candice Matthews is a General Partner at Lightship Capital, where she finds and funds high growth, minority-led companies operating in underserved ecosystems throughout the Midwest. Launched in 2020, Lightship Capital is raising a $50MM fund for investment into underrepresented founders operating in the CPG, E-Commerce, Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, and Healthcare spaces. Candice is also the Founder and CEO at Lightship Foundation, the inclusion-focused entrepreneur enrichment program guiding minority founders with instruction in product development, brand building, leveraging artificial intelligence for business and fundraising.
Candice expands upon her work driving representation in innovation with her role on the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium for NASA, where she leads diversity of thought as new cultures and economies are developed. She also sits on the advisory committee and selection committees for technology for the Ohio State University and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center; ensuring that as technology is commercialized from these entities, diversity is at the forefront of decision making.
Oliver Kent-Braham is the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Marshmallow, an insurance company powered by technology that supports communities often ignored by traditional insurers. It has been recognised as one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe and was last valued at over $1bn. Before Marshmallow, Oliver was part of the founding team at Yoti.
Izzy Obeng is an entrepreneur and business coach. She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Foundervine and sits as a Non-Executive Director for Capital Enterprise.
At Foundervine, Izzy leads a consultancy for creating systemic change in entrepreneurship. Foundervine has launched accelerators in the UK that support early stage companies, providing entrepreneurs from under-represented communities with mentorship, training and financial support. By 2022, Foundervine had helped over 5,000 leaders build new skills, supported over 300 entrepreneurs start and scale new businesses and raise capital.
Izzy is a Member of the Investment Advisory Committee for the £25m Growth Impact Fund launched in 2022 by Big Issue Invest and a scout for Ada Ventures. In 2021, Izzy joined the Hamilton Commission, a commission appointed by seven-time world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton to increase the representation of Black people in U.K. motorsport. She currently acts as an Advisor to Lloyds Banking Group and is a member of the Race Equality Commission. Izzy has been featured in the BBC, The Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and in 2022, Izzy was listed in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Social Impact.
Amber Aziza is the Founder and CEO of AAE Corporation, RecruitAid Agency, 5-Figure Speech, Ltd, and Phare Recruiting, Ltd. An Entrepreneur many times over, Amber has built businesses that have thrived in the B2B corporate space in both the US and the UK with offices in NYC, Nashville, and London. Amber Aziza’s companies have corporate clients located all over the world and range from startups to Fortune 500 organizations.
With almost 20 years in the Organizational Development industry, Amber dedicated the past 5 years to perfecting the OD/HR strategy to fit the needs of small businesses worldwide. Amber is certified in Human Resources, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace, Ethical and Inclusive Leadership, Talent Development and Advancement, and Instructional Design.
A 5-time award-winning Certified Master Trainer, Instructional Designer, and Speaker, Amber speaks to audiences worldwide about Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion, and Business Acceleration in the B2B space. She currently lives London, UK with her cavapoo, Chloe.
Rashada Harry is recognised as one of the UK’s Top 100 Ethnic Minority Leaders (Empower and Yahoo, June 2019).
Rashada is known in particular for her thoughts on diversity in the workplace, employee engagement and helping the next generation of talent reach their potential.
Rashada is an enterprise technologist at Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the UK as well as being a STEM ambassador and volunteer charity worker, having dedicated her time to projects in both Europe and Africa. Prior to AWS, she spent nine years with Cisco, joining them as the only black female on their highly competitive Europe-wide sales academy programme, where she realised that there was a need for more diverse talent in the technology industry.
She co-founded and launched the award-winning Your Future, Your Ambition STEM initiative in 2012 to help organisations and students connect and to help bridge the diversity gap. Over 6,000 students are involved to date.
Rashada has been recognised by the UK Prime Minister for her volunteer work and for helping the next generation, and was awarded the UK’s 1,026th Point of Light award in 2018. She was winner of the 2017 Woman In Technology Award from Women4Africa, and was also chosen as winner of the Top 50 rising star in Technology Award by WeAreTheCity as well as being highlighted as a top 30 Future Leader in the Financial Times, May 2017. Recently she has been named as a finalist in the WinTrade Awards 2019.
Rashada presently sits on the board of the UK’s first black theatre company TALAWA. In addition Rashada also mentors women who are wishing to return to work after a career break and those wanting to break into the industry.
Paul Carrick Brunson is a serial entrepreneur, television host, and columnist whose specialty lies in teaching others. An internationally recognized expert in interpersonal relationships, personal development, and entrepreneurship, he currently serves as a featured business columnist for USA Today, co-host of UK’s Celebs Go Dating television show, co-host of UK’s Married at First Sight, and host of the Better with Paul LIVE podcast.
Major media outlets throughout the world, such as Good Morning America and The New York Times in the U.S., The Guardian and Sunday Brunch in the UK, and The Jamaican Observer and TVJ in Jamaica have sought Paul’s insights on everything from finding love to pursuing entrepreneurial passion. Named as a Top Voice on LinkedIn and the world’s most influential matchmaker by the Matchmaking Institute, Oprah Winfrey said herself that, “Paul is much more than a matchmaker.”
The heart of his work is centered on impacting lives through mentorship and developing a new generation of servant-leaders with a desire to change the world. Paul is the founder and chair of “Give Love, Build Hope” – a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming schools in rural areas of the Caribbean. A proud second-generation son of Jamaica, Paul’s greatest achievements are in his roles of husband and father. When he’s not serving the world, he’s serving his family – likely with a Red Stripe beer in one hand and a good book in the other.
Software Engineer, Skyscanner
Amber Shand is an award-winning Software Engineer, keynote speaker, consultant, and content creator. She delivers motivational webinars and workshops to companies and communities including PwC, Salesforce, and Stemettes.
Gabrielle is a US/UK lawyer with over 22 years experience in law, regulations, banking, and fintech. She leads Knabu, a UK fintech specialising in transaction security, clearing, and settlement, in the process to be a UK clearing bank.
Dayo is the Founder and CEO of Wisdom, a venture-backed social audio app on a mission to leave the world a little bit wiser than we found it. Wisdom connects you for live one-to-one conversations and Q&A, centered on knowledge-sharing and self-discovery. Within a year of launch, Wisdom was awarded Apple’s App Store ‘App of the Day’ twice and TechRadar’s ‘Best Android Apps of 2022’.
Dayo was included in the Financial Times ‘Top 100 Most Influential Ethnic Minority Leaders in Tech’ and in the 2022 TechWomen100 Awards. She began her career in tech as an IT Management Consultant at Accenture and Deloitte and holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Manchester and a M.Sc. in Technology from University College London.
Charlene Hunter MBE is the CEO & founder of Coding Black Females. Charlene has a strong academic background with a BSc in Mathematical Sciences and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Birmingham. She has over 15 years of professional experience as a software developer and technical architect.
She has a strong passion to increase and showcase the skills and talents of Black women in tech and is determined to diversify the tech sector.
Charlene set up Coding Black Females because, in her years as a Software Developer, she discovered black women were heavily underrepresented in tech. She wanted this to change, and ensure that black women were able to discover role models and see familiar faces within the industry.
Charlene has received multiple awards and recognition work she does to support Black women in tech.
Esosa Ighodaro is the co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech, the organization that aims to identify, support and encourage black women to build the next billion-dollar business. Black Women Talk Tech is the largest collective of black women tech founders therefore bringing a unique understanding of the challenges Black women face and the advantages they bring to the tech industry. As co-founder, Esosa co-leads business strategy and strategic partnership development and leads the organization’s marketing endeavors.
Esosa has more than 15 years of entrepreneurial experience including founding two influencer marketing businesses. Additionally, she has more than 12 years of marketing and operation experience as a serial entrepreneur, and as a former bank executive at Citigroup where she developed high-performing growth strategies and oversaw implementation for key lines of business.
Her achievements at her past companies led to several articles and past awards, including being named 100 Most Powerful Women by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2019 and one of the 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2017, and Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch by Paste Magazine. This ultimately lands her features in ELLE, Forbes, NBC, The Huffington Post, USA Today, and many more. Esosa graduated with a bachelor of science in finance from the Fox School of Business at Temple University. She and her husband now live in Puerto Rico, and enjoy fashion, travel, and food.
Regina Gwynn is the co-founder of Black Women Talk Tech, the organization that aims to identify, support and encourage black women to build the next billion-dollar business. Black Women Talk Tech is the largest collective of black women tech founders therefore bringing a unique understanding of the challenges Black women face and the advantages they bring to the tech industry. As co-founder, Regina co-leads business strategy and strategic partnership development and leads sponsor relations.
Regina Gwynn launched her first tech startup in 2014 with TresseNoire, a platform that empowers women of color to celebrate their textured hair with a personalized beauty routine that works. Its virtual beauty coach takes the guesswork out of finding the right natural hair products & services by matching your individual hair profile to a beauty regimen designed by experts (so you can get the best twist out or the perfect wash n go style the first time, every time!). This innovative product is currently in private beta.
Regina started her career in the Product Development Executive Training program at Federated Department Stores (now Macy’s Inc.), and successfully launched three exclusive brands during her tenure. After graduating from the Kellogg School of Management with her MBA, Regina was a management consultant with the Monitor Group (now Monitor/Deloitte Consulting) and worked with clients within the beauty, media and healthcare industries. She was then tapped to lead marketing at The Apparel Group, where she built the department from scratch and launched the company’s first ecommerce site for its signature brand, Foxcroft Collection.
Regina has served on the Board of Directors for BRAG, a nonprofit for diverse retail professionals & Rising Tide Capital, an entrepreneur development program based in Jersey City, NJ. Regina loves to travel, dance and watch football (Go Giants!).
“A girl should be two things: Classy & Fabulous.” – Coco Chanel
Recognised as one of the UK’s leading female investors in Venture Capital, Ansah was recently awarded Innovate Finance’s Standout Women in Fintech on Innovate UK’s Fintech Power list for being a Top Female Investor in 2022 and 2021. Investing in Climate Tech and Fintech in Europe and Africa, she holds a number of NED and Board Advisor positions and previously founded Nell Consulting, a boutique consulting firm specialising in building Neo-banks. Her passion for creating access to capital lends to her role as Partner at Cornerstone Partners, the UK’s first black-owned investment firm. She is also Chair of the Investment Committee and Board Advisor at Crisis Venture Studio and has been featured in Forbes, The Sunday Times, BBC News and on BBC Radio 4.
Esosa Ighodaro, Co-founder
Regina Gwynn, Co-founder
We have a unique understanding of the challenges Black women founders face and the advantages we bring in the industry. We’re here to identify, support and encourage Black women to build the next billion dollar business.
We’re unapologetic in our support because we believe Black is worth the investment. It’s time we are heard and seen because we know different perspectives bring new opportunities. We’re building community and profitable, scalable businesses for self-identified Black women in tech, together.