1. Spotify’s Opening Act HBCU Conference, Oct 6-7th – New York
The first conference kicking off the fall season is the Spotify Opening Act HBCU Conference. This conference is specifically for current HBCU students interested in music-tech and media industries. The conference is held Oct 6th – 7th in New York. Travel and lodging accommodations are provided for those who apply and are accepted. From the website, “We strongly believe that diversity of experience, perspectives, and background will lead to a better workplace for our employees and a better product for our users and our creators. This is something we value deeply and we encourage everyone to come be a part of changing the way the world listens to music.” If you are a current HBCU student interested in music, media, and tech — apply to attend their conference on their website. Applications close Monday, September 19th.
2. Black Enterprise TechConnext Summit, Oct 10-11th, Burlingame, CA
Our favorite business media publication is back in the bay area for a second year. This year, the conference promises to be better than last. Confirmed speakers include famed record producer and tech entrepreneur Ryan Leslie, tech entrepreneur Tristan Walker (founder and CEO of Bevel), and Facebook’s Director of Global Partnerships Ime Archibong. Registration for the conference can be found here. In addition, students from HBCUs can enter the ‘Rep Your HBCU’ competition and win an all-expense paid trip to the conference. Details can be found here.
3. Tech Inclusion 2016, Oct 26-27th, San Francisco, CA
Tech Inclusion is the only conference that focuses on making the tech industry more diverse. The conference offers tracks for its attendees in the categories of workplace, education, policy, and entrepreneurship. In addition, there’s a career fair included with companies such as Google, Github, Facebook, and Snapchat. If you are currently looking for a job in tech – this is the conference you want to attend. Registration for the conference costs $299, which is a good value for a tech conference of this magnitude. The career fair is free to attend. However, if $299 is not in the budget and you still would like to attend, you can sign up to volunteer for the conference. Registration and more details about the conference can be found on their website.
4. AfroTech, Nov 11-12th, San Francisco, CA
AfroTech is a conference that brings together founders, techies, and makers. As you can infer by the conference title, the conference is unapologetically designed for black folks. The conference is produced by Blavity and confirmed speakers include comedian Quinta B and venture capitalist Monique Woodard. Early bird tickets just went on sale at $200. Visit their website to learn more about the conference and to purchase your tickets.
5. HBCU Innovation Summit, Nov 17 – 18, Silicon Valley, CA
The HBCU Innovation Summit is a conference ran by the UNCF. The conference aims to build productive innovative HBCU ecosystems and connect them to Silicon Valley and other tech hubs. The conference is for current HBCU students with technical majors. Students that apply and are admitted become HBCU Innovation Summit Fellows. Previous fellows have been able to secure internships at companies such as Twitter, Adobe, Pandora, and Intel. More information about the program can be found on their website. We’re told that applications to apply to be a fellow will open up shortly, so check back frequently.