Rick Ross headlines music showcase in Austin for 'global' AfroTech conference
The AfroTech Conference is back for its second year in Austin — out of its eight total in various cities — and now it's bigger than ever. Taking place November 1-5 in downtown Austin, the gathering brings together thousands of Black tech professionals, students, and innovators to network, share ideas, and access career opportunities.
Hip-hop legend Rick Ross will headline the event’s second annual AfroTech Music experience on Saturday, November 4. Ross is known musically for an assertive, bombastic presence; Following his more than two decades of success in the music industry, he is now often associated with images of wealth and business savvy.
"Music is at the heart of Black culture, so we felt we needed to integrate it as much as possible into the conference," said Ross in a press release.
Attendees will also see performances by DJ Spinderella, Soulection’s Joe Kay, Andre Power, and Jadab0o.
Founded in 2016 by Blavity Inc., AfroTech has become one of the largest tech conferences dedicated to African Americans in tech and startup communities. Blavity's mission to highlight Black culture, news, and voices carries through the conference programming.
"Our intention around creating AfroTech has always been to connect Black professionals with inclusive tech companies and innovators to expand job opportunities," says Jeff Nelson, Co-Founder and COO of Blavity Inc.
New for 2023 is Culture Park, an immersive space blending music, community, and diverse programming. The park will host a small business marketplace featuring local Austin-based Black-owned brands, in partnership with Black Makers Market.
Reflecting on the impact of past AfroTech conferences, Nelson noted the event has become a national hub for major companies like Disney, Microsoft, Uber, and Netflix to recruit and hire diverse talent. "We’ve seen attending talent leave the conference with multiple six-figure job offers," he says.
For attendees, Nelson's advice was straightforward: Network. "Say hello and connect with as many people as possible; Building relationships is critical to building your personal network," he advises. He also encouraged attendees to show up authentically and consider the types of opportunities they are interested in exploring.
Registration is open for the 2023 AfroTech Conference. Sign up at afrotech.com