The AfroTech Conference, one of the nation’s most prominent Black tech gatherings, will touch down in Austin on November 13 for its first in-person event since 2019.
The event is put on annually by the publication AfroTech, with this year’s theme being web3. High-profile speakers for the conference include NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, billionaire Mark Cuban and “venture rapitivist” — VC and rapper — Chamillionaire, who will speak about brand building and investments. Other speakers include 15 Percent Pledge founder Aurora James, Career Karma CEO Ruben Harris and Backstage Capital founder Arlan Hamilton.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Morgan DeBaun, the co-founder and CEO of AfroTech’s parent company, Blavity, said this year’s event aims to bridge the gap between music, culture, technology and fintech. It’s added new sessions and programming to help build the skills of attendees in various technical positions and will host workshops on how to find mentors and advisers.
“Tech continues to be the fastest-growing industry in the world,” DeBaun told TechCrunch. “We want to make sure that our community is not just getting the early career jobs, but actually making it all the way through the career ladder.”
Unlike many other tech conferences, culture and music play a central role at AfroTech. DeBaun said her goal was to make the event as entertaining as possible, and music is a defining feature of African American culture. There will be live musical performances from artists like Bia, Wale and Zaytoven, and Disney will premiere “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”