Black Tech Week kicks off July 18 with a three-day event in Cincinnati designed to link thousands of entrepreneurs to investors and other experts to spark the next technology launch. This year’s event, sponsored by Kroger, P&G, the City of Cincinnati, and others, is based at Cincinnati Music Hall and is designed, in part, to match founders with investors.

Started in Miami, Florida in 2013, Black Tech Week moved to Cincinnati in 2022 when Lightship Foundation founder and CEO Candice Matthews Brackeen wanted to extend her mission to shrink funding barriers for diverse startup founders. 

Brackeen also serves as a general partner of Lightship Capital, and some of its companies will be on hand during the event to talk about their journey. These include Kare Mobile founder Kwane Watson whose company brings mobile dental care to people’s doors, AI startup Vyrill, an analytics company that can help brands discover fan videos in minutes, and Proov, a P&G Ventures finalist, which makes progesterone-based fertility kits. 

Keynoting the event is Issa Rae, who will talk less about her work as an actor and more about her production company Hoorae. Rae will also focus on her work as a producer — a point that P&G’s Maurice Coffey says is intentional.

“The story is not their Hollywood story, but how technology has helped them build their own enterprises,” says Coffey, Executive in Residence, Procter & Gamble with startup incubator Cintrifuse. “This is about hearing founders tell their stories.”

Black Tech Week also serves as an anchor event that leads into Cincinnati Music Festival, a celebration of music starting July 20, presented by P&G. With more than 3,000 people coming to Black Tech Week to hear leaders, venture capitalists, and founders share about their business journey, many are expected to stay to hear Al Green, Doug E. Fresh, Snoop Dogg and others who will play at the three-day event.

As for Black Tech Week, you can check out more about the event, speakers, and sessions to learn and connect.