Roadmap to Billions (RTB), created by Black Women Talk Tech, is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at providing guidance, resources, and networking opportunities for Black women entrepreneurs striving to build billion-dollar businesses.
The event, scheduled from May 18th to 20th, at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is set to provide guidance, resources, and networking opportunities for Black women entrepreneurs striving to build billion-dollar businesses.
To learn more about RTB’s inception and its mission, we caught up with the event’s founder, Esosa Ighodaro to shed light on the inspiration behind the event and the motivations that drove her to create such a transformative platform for Black women entrepreneurs.
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Roadmap to Billions and what motivated you to create it?
Black Women Talk Tech wanted to design an event to provide guidance, resources, and networking opportunities for Black women entrepreneurs seeking to build billion-dollar businesses. The inspiration was rooted in the underrepresentation of Black women in the technology and startup sectors, as well as the broader challenges and systemic barriers they face in accessing funding, mentorship, and support.
Roadmap to Billions empowers and uplifts Black women entrepreneurs, providing them with the knowledge, tools, and connections necessary to scale their businesses and reach significant milestones, including achieving billion-dollar valuations.
How has the event evolved over the years, and what new features can attendees expect from this year’s conference?
This is our 7th annual Roadmap to Billions Conference. It will be bigger, better, and full of intentional impact for founders, investors, and tech professionals. Each year we grow our reach and expect 1,500 founders who will leave feeling powerful, motivated, and ready to take the next steps on their journey. There will be four content tracks, 2 keynote sessions, expert speakers, $20K in cash prizes, live crowdfunding, meetups, and breakouts, recruiting, networking opportunities, and more.
What kind of networking opportunities can attendees expect at the event, and how do you ensure that they are valuable and effective?
From our opening mixer at Rollerwave, VIP Investor Reception, to the Rise Up-Moring Dance Party, Meditation and Stretch, to the booth visits, to the Post-Conference Networking event there is ample opportunity to catch up with new tech friends and business besties. Also, titans of technology will be mingling for live interactions with attendees.
What are some of the biggest challenges facing Black women in the tech industry today, and how does this event address those challenges?
The biggest challenges facing Black women in the tech industry today are Underrepresentation, bias and discrimination, lack of support networks, and limited access to funding. Roadmap to Billions tackles those challenges by creating a supportive community, amplifying visibility, providing mentorship and guidance, sharing knowledge and skill building, and most importantly providing access to funding and investors.
What advice would you give to someone who is attending Roadmap to Billions for the first time and wants to make the most of their experience?
It is an excellent opportunity to network, gain insights, and gather inspiration for your entrepreneurial journey. You should set clear goals about what you want to achieve by attending RTB, network strategically, attend sessions that cover topics relevant to your interests, and explore the exhibition areas to discover new technologies, products, and services. Take notes and reflect and after the conference follow up!
Looking to the future, how do you see Roadmap to Billions evolving over the next few years?
This year the RTB conference will be debuting in Toronto and London as well. With greater reach and international influences, RTB aims to become a global collaboration, ever expanding diversity. We anticipate increased efforts to promote inclusivity, diversity, and representation across our events, involving speakers and panelists from different backgrounds and regions, as well as facilitating cross-cultural collaboration and knowledge exchange.
We’ll continue to have an emphasis on continuous learning as technological advancements necessitate keeping up for entrepreneurs to stay relevant. Also, there will be more concentration on sustainability and social impact, as concerns about climate change and social responsibility grow.
Showing attendees how technology can contribute to environmental conservation, renewable energy, ethical practices, and addressing social changes.