Plug In South LA Presents

Urban Tech Connect


Conference 2022

Premier Tech Conference for Black & Brown Founders

live event
october 20

UTC 2022 Metamorphosis: The tech industry is constantly evolving. The question is: are you?

The premiere tech conference for Black and Brown entrepreneurs is back! Urban Tech Connect welcomes the next generation of tech professionals and early-stage entrepreneurs to join industry leaders for a day of keynotes, panels, interactive workshops, and next-level networking.

Founders and entrepreneurs require lot of support and insight, from idea creation to capital raising, and beyond.

At UTC 2022, you’ll gain insight on how the industry is evolving and the latest technologies being used by the industry’s best. Together, we will explore how each of us can and must go through our own metamorphosis to ensure we are able to adapt, compete, and succeed while riding the waves of the tech industry and its ongoing evolution.


Intimate masterminds, keynotes, and panels on stage.

What is your niche? Is it Gaming? Sustainability? Consumer Web? Big Tech? Your next career goals depend on action and community. If you’re raising money and growing a startup, or seeking faster career growth through added skills and strategy, the Plug In community has your back at UTC. Our line up of professionals, VCs, mentors and mentees alike, forms an opportunity to turbo charge your METAMORPHOSIS through this meaningful conference. Sometimes the catalyst to your growth is, drum roll….simply showing up.



It’s one thing to listen as part of an audience, but for real connection and serendipitous relationships to form, we created Breakout Sessions and expanded conference networking. This is where we go from learning to collaborating to finding perfect partnerships.

PANELS you care about

Curated keynotes and panels into specific career tracks for you. Student? Looking for a gig? Have a business? Need funding? Looking for talent? Looking to invest? We have speakers and agenda blocks catered to you.

keynote speaker.

Kimberly Bryant

Founder, Black Girls Code & Founder/CEO, Ascend Ventures

Kimberly Bryant embodies what Plug In and Urban Tech Connect are all about: community, innovation, and entrepreneurship. A champion of change, Kimberly is nationally recognized as a thought leader in tech and its impact on communities. Through her work, she is changing the world one code at a time.

Kimberly is the founder of Black Girls CODE, an organization dedicated to “changing the face of technology” by introducing girls of color to the field of technology and computer science with a concentration on entrepreneurial concepts. Under Kimberly's leadership, Black Girls CODE grew from a local grassroots initiative serving only the Bay Area to an international organization with fifteen chapters across the U.S. and in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kimberly's new endeavor — ASCEND Ventures and its flagship Black Innovation Lab (“The Lab”) builds upon her trailblazing work by helping marginalized founders build pathways to ownership with an incubator and investment firm (C3Ventures) that supports founders who are building sustainable companies in Web3, FemTech, Healthtech, and other emerging industries.

confirmed moderators + speakers.

Abraham Baca

Senior Manager,
Impact Fund,

Aileen Kim

Platform Analyst,
Slauson & Co.

Bertrand Saint-Preux

Product Manager,
Snap Inc.

Bonnie Oliva-Porter

CEO & Founder,

Chuka Ikokwu

Co-Founder & ceo,

Crystal Adesanya

Kiira Health

Daniel Turner-Lloveras

latino coalition
against covid-19

Debbie Rumbo

OMNST Consulting &
Summer Associate at
Cap Table Coalition  

Eric T. Elder

Founder & Executive Producer,
Online Worlds Entertainment

Jakson Alvarez

Co-Founder, Co-CEO & CFO,

Jasper Brand


Jesse Draper

Founding Partner,
Halogen Ventures

Joe Blau


Kameale Terry


Kimberley Nixon

Managing Partner,
Open Venture Capital

Kyle Hill

Playa Ventures

Leila Lee

Director of Economic Policy,
LA Mayor's Office of Economic Development

Leonard Tatum

tatum games

Lindsey Heisser

Global Philanthropy Program Manager,
Snap Inc.

Dr. Nana Afoh-Manin

Shared Harvest Fund

Natalie King

Founder & CEO,

Paul Francis

CEO & Co-Founder,

Ryan Johnson

founder & ceo,

Serge Amouzou


Steven Moyo

founder & ceo,

Taylor McPartland


Tiya Gordon

co-founder & coo,

Valeria Martinez


Zef Neemuchwala

be a maker club

Zip Gould

Gaia Green Earth




9:00am - 9:10AM

Coffee & Informal Networking

9:10AM - 9:15AM

Opening ceremonies and UTC kickoff

9:15AM - 10:15AM

Founder Showcase

During this session, companies from the Plug In South La accelerator's 2022 cohort will demo their products and discuss advancements made since completing the program earlier this year. If you are an investor looking for deal flow or a company looking to fill an internal innovation gap, you should attend this session.

10:20Am - 11:00am

Growing Consumer Companies and Raising Capital when Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity are at Stake

How do BIPOC founders build, fund, and successfully scale consumer businesses on inclusion and equity? This conversation addresses the challenges and opportunities in serving marginalized customers in the digital market. Discover how these Founders are solving massive structural and social issues and disrupting the status quo.

11:05AM - 11:25AM

Uploading Web 3: Wealth, Access, and Ownership in a Virtual World

This conversation unpacks the challenges and opportunities in building a Web 3 business. Join us to discover ways founders and developers can increase access to this multi-trillion dollar industry and explore new solutions for serving Black and Brown communities through blockchain technology. Learn how people like you can act now to ensure an equitable future for all.

11:30Am - 12:10PM

Electrify Everything: EVs, Sustainability, and Entrepreneurship

The future of electric vehicles has arrived and we want to know: Are We Ready? Join us for a panel discussion where founders and executives will lead the way in exploring how their companies are leading the charge and providing innovative, inclusive and accessible solutions to some of the world's biggest problems.

12:10PM - 1:10PM

Networking Lunch / Exhibitor Hall

1:15pM - 1:35pM

Gaming & Esports Unlocked: Opportunities for Talent and Businesses

Gaming is more than just a hobby. Gaming has become part of our culture, and the industry is paving the way for new opportunities in technology, entertainment, and beyond. Discover how to access investment opportunities, build successful startups that leverage gaming technologies, and engage emerging audiences.

1:40pm - 2:20PM

Building Health Tech for Health Equity

It's no secret — health disparities are real. As medical technology continues to advance, quality healthcare is becoming more accessible for all. HealthTech is empowering marginalized communities with medical innovations. Join this panel of founders to learn how they're using technology to build accessible solutions for everyone.

2:30pm - 3:30Pm

Breakout Sessions

2:30pm - 3:30PM

Pitch Practice Session
Powered by LACI

Give your three-minute pitch to a panel of experts from the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. Get feedback to strengthen your pitch and prepare for future competitions, funding or investor meetings, and more. Not ready to present? Join as an observer and take notes on how to craft the perfect pitch of your own. Sign-up in advance to reserve your spot – spaces are limited!

2:30pm - 3:30PM

Breaking Into LA Venture: How You Can Become a Tech Investor
Powered by PledgeLA

The face of venture capital is changing, and people from all over LA are finding ways to jump on the tech investing bandwagon. Join three alumni from PledgeLA’s VC Internship program for an interactive workshop where you’ll learn how investors decide which companies to fund and how you can break into tech investing yourself.

2:30pm - 3:30PM

Reinventing the Camera for All: Inclusive Camera with SNAP Inc.

Historically, cameras haven’t captured darker complexions well, which is why Snap is building a more inclusive Camera that works for every Snapchatter regardless of their skin tone. Come hear from Bertrand Saint-Preux, Snap Inc. Product Manager, Inclusive Camera, share about his career journey and his current work focused on Snap's opportunity to reinvent the camera in a way that works perfectly for everyone - regardless of their skin tone, culture, beauty standards, or ability.

3:35PM — 4:00PM

Keynote: Kimberly Bryant — Grace in the Valley

As leaders we are often tasked to celebrate our wins and keep our hearts and minds focused solely on "the mountaintops". However Kimberly believes we experience our greatest lessons and opportunities for growth when we travel through our valleys. Remember that every experience, even the painful ones, can lead to ever greater freedom, both for you and those you choose to serve with the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired as leaders and survivors. There is both grace and triumph in the valleys and above all true lessons in resilient leadership.

sponsors + partners

about plug in.

Plug In brings together entrepreneurs, founders, VCs, innovators and emerging talent for conversations and networking focused on creating a community and hub for innovation in South LA and beyond.

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