The Speakers

Beatriz Acevedo

SUMA Wealth, CEO & Co-founder

Beatriz Acevedo is one of the leading inspirational voices and Latina entrepreneurs in the United States. She has dedicated her career to empowering and opening doors for the next generation of Latino leaders.

Beatriz started her career in media at a young age, first on radio and later on television. Her work earned her three Emmys, one MTV Music Award, and a Media Correspondent Award, among others. She later became a tech media entrepreneur as the Co-Founder and President of mitú, the leading digital media brand for young Latinos in the U.S.

Beatriz is a passionate and sought after speaker who enjoys discussions around diversity as good business, female leadership, and the economic impact of Latinos in America. Additionally, she sits on numerous boards and advisory committees.

Beatriz recently co-founded and co-chairs LA Collab, a Hollywood initiative aimed at doubling Latino representation in Hollywood, both in front and behind the camera by 2030.

Her latest startup SUMA Wealth was founded with the vision of closing the Latinx wealth gap by providing financial education via in-culture content, fintech tools, and digital experiences, all in a highly engaging wealth-building digital platform.

David Hall

Revolution Ventures, Managing Partner

David Hall is the Managing Partner at Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund and is responsible for investment sourcing, execution, and oversight of the Fund’s portfolio companies. David began his career with Revolution in 2006, serving as an investment professional across the firm, including as an investor with Revolution Growth and Revolution Ventures. David has worked closely with and served as a Board director and observer for a number of Revolution’s portfolio companies, including Revolution Money (acquired by American Express), Booker (Acquired by MindBody), BenchPrep, FreightWaves, Foxtrot, and Understory.

Prior to Revolution, David was an executive with The Washington Post Company as Director of Planning and Development. In this capacity, he managed corporate M&A and investments and launched new print and digital publications. Earlier in his career, David held positions at Akamai Technologies, Inc. and was a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.

David received a B.A. in Economics from Morehouse College and a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Erika Chestnut

Calendly, Head of QA

Funky. Quirky. Clever. Sassy. Erika’s leadership style starts and stops with relationships. With over 20 years of experience in the tech industry – from application development to spinning up new quality departments – Erika has learned to lead with grace, patience and a little bit of snarky humor. Her mission is to help people lead – in business and life – from a more compassionate space to build-up teams and people that are engaged, empowered and excited.

Morgan DeBaun

Blavity, Founder

Morgan DeBaun is the Founder & CEO of Blavity Inc., the leading media company for Black culture and millennials.

Since launching Blavity Inc. in 2014, Morgan has led the company to successfully acquire Travel Noire, a travel platform for Black millennials and Shadow And Act, a Black entertainment news site. Under her leadership, Blavity has launched several leading consumer summits including Summit 21 for Black women creators and Bay Area’s AfroTech, the largest tech conference for Black innovators and founders. While scaling the company, Morgan has raised 11 million dollars from top Silicon Valley venture firms such as GV and Comcast.

Morgan is a passionate small business advocate and advises early stage entrepreneurs on how to scale their business in her Signature WorkSmart Advising program.

Morgan is a St. Louis native and a graduate of Washington University in St.Louis.

Ayinde Alakoye

nedl, Founder

Ayinde’s the CEO of nēdl (as in, ‘the haystack’), served as an Executive Board Member of the Developers Alliance, and created iheartradio’s original app. Appearances include, CNBC Powerlunch, CBS TV & Radio, Clear Channel Radio, BravoTV, as well as panels for the National Association of Broadcasters, Marshall School of Business, Anderson School of Management, and delivered a keynote speech for the Virginia Association of Broadcasters. In addition to the above, Ayinde served as a Speechwriter, Staffer, and Message Advisor for Presidential Candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign.

Maria Salamanca

Unshackled Ventures, Investor

Maria Salamanca is a venture capitalist at Unshackled Ventures, a fund that fills a unique space in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, funding teams with immigrant founders at the earliest stage of pre-seed and seed. Maria joined the fund in 2015, during her time she has been involved in 50+ investments and has evaluated more than 6,000 deals. In 2018, she was first Latina named Forbes 30 Under 30 for Venture Capital and Business Insider’s Under 30 Rising Stars. Her support for the Latinx community also won her the the 2017 California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Shark of Year.

Previous to joining Unshackled, Maria worked at FWD.us an immigration lobbying group founded by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Ron Conway, Reid Hoffman and other tech leaders. She attended UC Berkeley where she studied Government and Legal Studies.

Arabian Prince

Arabian Prince – A songwriter, rapper, producer, DJ, technologist Pro Gamer and futurist, Arabian is best known for being a founding member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted rap group N.W.A., west coast electro music pioneer and producer of the Grammy nominated #1 hit song Supersonic. Founder of iNov8 Next Open Labs, Partner at Covitech and president of LAFTC – The Los Angeles First Tech Challenge robotics competition.

His passion for technology led to him create a 3D animation and special effects studio in the 90’s working with companies like Saban Entertainment and Fox, including 100+ video game, film and TV titles for Fox interactive and Vivendi Universal. As a consultant, Arabian has advised many companies on bridging the gap between technology and the youth, while bringing new product innovations to market. He is currently working with his tech partners to bring Open Labs to communities across the country in support of youth, women, diversity, veterans and anyone else who wants to explore the future of technology.

Eric Osiakwan

Chanzo Capital, Managing Partner

MIT, Stanford and Harvard fellow. He is an investor and developer of new businesses with 20 years’ experience spanning across 32 countries in Africa gained through a number of successful tech start-ups. Eric is a leading pioneer of internet in Africa having worked in multiple countries building internet service providers (“ISP”) and ICT businesses. Some of his successful exits include iBurst in South Africa, One2Net in Uganda, BusyInternet in Ghana, etc. Eric also founded and ran the Africa ISP Association for eight years, during which the ISP industry grew by almost 120%. He then moved onto leading efforts to build submarine cables on the continent. Eric was part of a public-private partnership in Kenya that built and launched the TEAMS submarine fiber cable, the first to connect East Africa to the rest of the world. He subsequently contributed to the building of terrestrial fiber networks in Ghana and Nigeria.

Eric has been seeding and investing early stage tech ventures across the continent. In 2013, he co-founded www.angelafrica.net, an Africa wide network of angel investors, and then www.angelfairafrica.com which brings select entrepreneurs to present to potential investors. Over the 7 years of organizing the event, we have realized US$23m of investment and one exit in 2019. He was an ICT Consultant for the WorldBank, Soros Foundations, UNDP, USAID, USDoJ, USDoS as well as African governments and private firms.

He authored “The KINGS of Africa’s Digital Economy”, co-authored the “Open Access Model”, adopted globally by the telecommunications industry, “Negotiating the Net” – the politics of Internet Diffusion in Africa and “The Internet in Ghana” with the Mosaic Group. He was invited to contribute ideas to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa.

Abbey Wemimo

Esusu, Co-Founder

Abbey Wemimo is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Esusu, a financial technology platform that reports rental data to build tenant’s credit scores while helping property owners increase revenue and lower evictions powered by differentiated data and insights. Prior to Esusu, Abbey founded Clean Water for Everyone, a global social venture providing affordable access to clean water for 250,000+ people in six countries. He also founded a data analytics company designed to gather machine-readable data on NGOs operating in Africa which was acquired in 2014. Previously, Abbey was a mergers and acquisitions consultant at PwC, where he worked on more than 20 buy and sell-side deals valued at over $50 billion. He also gained valuable experience working with Accenture, European Commission, and Goldman Sachs.

Abbey and his work have been recognized in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Quartz, Fortune, Teen Vogue, Vice, Black Enterprise, and Cheddar. Abbey was selected by Queen Elizabeth II as a Queen Young Leader. He was inducted into The Royal Commonwealth Society in 2017 and named to the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He speaks at global conferences and has presented at the United Nations, the Vatican, the World Food Prize, and Clinton Global Initiative among others. Abbey graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School School of Public Service and a Leading Change Scholar from The University of Cambridge.

Isaac Hayes III

Fanbase, CEO

Isaac Hayes III has definitely made all the right moves. From songwriter and producer, brand manager to tech founder, to being an integral part of electing Atlanta’s Keisha Lance Bottoms as Mayor, his business, social and political activism is on a steep rise making him a pillar of Atlanta’s African American community.

Isaac began a multi-ventured 21 year career as a songwriter-producer that transitioned into scoring music for TV networks and movies. His songwriting-producing credits include 6x’s platinum T-Pain’s – “Buy You A Drank” to music in films such as “Pitch Perfect 2”, “Think Like A Man Too” and Kevin Hart’s “About Last Night”. Isaac is also credited with scoring for numerous TV networks and shows on MTV, FOX, Bravo, ESPN, TNT, VH1, NBC and countless others.

Isaac’s next career venture in 2013 took him into the family business as President and C.E.O of Isaac Hayes Enterprises. Managing the name, image, likeness, brand, masters and publishing catalog
of his soul icon father, Isaac Hayes.

His passion for his community and his hometown of Atlanta, GA. propelled him into the political arena in 2017, where he championed and served to help elect Atlanta’s 60th Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. His fearless and savvy use of social media and deep knowledge of Atlanta politics ignited the spark that created a social media and political movement of citizens, activists and entertainment community leaders that brought the election and it’s urgent importance directly to voters which changed the trajectory of a closely contested race.

Isaac is now on a new path as a first time founder and CEO of tech start up Fanbase, which raised 2.7 Million Dollars in seed funding on StartEngine in November, 2020. Fanbase is 2nd all time for the most money raised in one day for a Reg CF on the platform at $766,000. Isaac is also the 2nd Black man on StartEngine and 3rd black man ever to raise 1 Million Dollars in a Reg CF campaign.

Kai Bond

Courtside Ventures, Partner

Kai Bond is a Partner at Courtside Ventures, the leading venture capital fund focused on early-stage sports, fitness, and gaming companies. The fund is backed by Dan Gilbert (Founder, Quicken Loans / Cleveland Cavaliers), Tony Ressler (Ares / Atlanta Hawks), John Burbank (Passport Capital / Golden State Warriors) and WPP, the world’s leading advertising services company.

Kai has two decades of experience working across venture funds, Fortune 100 enterprises and early stage startups. Most recently, he was an Investor at Comcast Ventures, leading the gaming/esports investments for their flagship fund and also ran their Catalyst Fund ($20M fund focused on underrepresented founders).

Prior, Kai has held product roles at Microsoft in mobile and gaming, corporate development at IAC and was an early member of the team at Gerson Lehrman Group. Kai is a repeat founder with deep expertise in gaming and interactive media. He was co-founder of SwitchGames, a marketplace for used video games. His second startup was incubated at Hatch Labs, where he held the dual role of General Manger for Hatch and was CEO of CashPlay Games. CashPlay was a gaming platform that matched chance-based games like slots, dice and roulette to a sweepstakes engine where users could win cash prizes. Hatch Labs was responsible for launching 6 mobile startups in gaming and media, including Tinder. His third startup, pixietv, was an interactive streaming platform that delivered custom content overlays to Smart TVs. pixietv was acquired by Samsung in 2014 where he then led the successful productization of pixietv globally.

Kai is a guest lecturer at Wesleyan University (Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship) and at Stanford GSB (Building Diverse and Inclusive Organizations). In addition to these roles, Kai is a mentor at Sports Tech Tokyo, Techstars, Rough Draft Ventures, and Dorm Room Fund.

Kai is a graduate of Wesleyan University. He lives in Brooklyn, NY and in his spare time, Kai can be found in the kitchen or in front of the grill, experimenting with new recipes.

Cheryl Contee

The Impact Seat, Chief Innovation Officer

Cheryl Contee is The Impact Seat’s Chief Innovation Officer and award-winning Founder & Chair of the mission-driven digital agency Do Big Things. Cheryl is the Amazon bestselling author of Mechanical Bull: How You Can Achieve Startup Success. Passionate about creating new tech and new narrative for a new era, Cheryl uses her vast experience in startup entrepreneurship and community engagement to lead our portfolio companies and fund investments to success. Previously, Cheryl was CEO of Fission Strategy, which brought Silicon Valley startup culture to the world’s leading causes and campaigns. She’s the co-founder of Attentive.ly, the first tech startup with a black female founder to be acquired by a NASDAQ company, the National Board Chair for Netroots Nation, a Senior Advisor for Astia and the first portfolio company board member of New Media Ventures.

Mamuna Oladipo

Kickstarter, Senior Vice President Product, Design & Engineering

As a product executive with over 10 years of overseeing global teams, Mamuna has diverse experience leading product management, product marketing, product design and strategy development in the B2B and B2C markets. She has demonstrated success in building and executing strategic plans for product organizations that generate growth and transform user experiences. Mamuna is currently the Senior Vice President of Product, Design and Engineering, at Kickstarter, where she drives product vision and strategy to ensure constant delivery of value to the creative community.

Prior to her role at Kickstarter, Mamuna was VP of Product at SeamlessDocs and then VP of Product Marketing & Design at The Orchard, a division of Sony Music. She built the product marketing and product design teams from the ground up, formalizing go-to-market strategies across functions. She earned her MBA from the University of Maryland while working full time for Bloomberg Government where she not only gained her product foundation but played an integral role in build out the new Bloomberg vertical company.

With a deep focus on the client journey, Mamuna prides herself on aligning organizations to a vision and is passionate about building products that provide compelling and delightful experiences for users.

Jessica Salinas

New Media Ventures, VP of Investments

Jessica Salinas sits at the intersection of tech, impact, and venture capital and has dedicated her career to disrupting traditional systems and centering marginalized communities.

Currently, she is Vice President of Investments at New Media Ventures, an early stage seed fund that invests in activists and entrepreneurs wrestling with democracy’s biggest challenges. As VP of Investments, Jess is responsible for the cultivation of early-stage deal flow and portfolio management, building mission-driven partnerships, and leading the growth and direction of the investment team.

Previously, she was Partner at an impact fund moving the world towards zero poverty, zero disease and zero pollution. Jessica was also the founding Social Impact Lead at Headspace, where she developed their social impact strategy to integrate mindfulness in K-12 institutions and other nonprofits in an accessible, relevant, scalable manner.

As part of the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI), Jessica co-authored the first “State of US Latino Entrepreneurship” research report and established its prestigious executive education program, SLEI-Ed, for Latinx entrepreneurs to scale their businesses.

Jessica serves on the Board of Words Uncaged, which provides programming for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals in LA, and Plug in South LA, a mission-focused organization focused on creating a community for innovation in South LA. Jessica also serves as the Impact Expert for UNLEASH+, a global pre-accelerator under the auspices of the UNDP.

Jessica received her BA in Communication from Stanford and her MS in Social Entrepreneurship from USC Marshall School of Business.

Charles Hudson

Precursor Ventures, Managing Partner

Charles Hudson is the Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor Ventures, an early­ stage venture capital firm focused on investing in the first institutional round of investment for the most promising software and hardware companies.

Prior to founding Precursor Ventures, Charles was a Partner at Uncork Capital (formerly known as SoftTech VC). In this role, he focused on identifying investment opportunities in mobile infrastructure, mobile applications, and marketplaces. In addition to his investment activities, he supported SoftTech portfolio companies on business and corporate development matters. He was also the Co­Founder and CEO of Bionic Panda Games, an Android­-focused mobile games startup based in San Francisco, CA.

Prior to joining SoftTech VC and co-­founding Bionic Panda Games, Charles Hudson was the VP of Business Development for Serious Business until the company was acquired by Zynga in February 2010. Prior to Serious Business, he was the Sr. Director for Business Development at Gaia Interactive, an online hangout and virtual world for teens. Prior to Gaia, Charles worked in New Business Development at Google and focused on new partnership opportunities for early ­stage products in the advertising, mobile, and e-­commerce markets. Prior to joining Google, he was a Product Manager for IronPort Systems, a leading provider of anti-­spam hardware appliances that was acquired by Cisco Systems for $830 million in 2007. Before IronPort Systems, Charles worked at In-Q-Tel, the venture capital fund backed by the Central Intelligence Agency, where he invested in early-stage hardware and software companies.

Charles graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Economics and Spanish. Charles holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

About Plug In South LA

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. Come join our kick off Tech Summit & Digital Media program in our movement to identify and accelerate the beautiful in tech and digital media.

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