Small Business and Emerging Technologies Conference and Tech Fair

Federal Communications Commission
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This event will focus on innovation by fledgling entrepreneurs in information technology and telecomm. The FCC will be highlighting small businesses, and particularly minority and women-owned tech start-ups. We will be examining some of the challenges that tech start-ups face, as well as some of the more specific issues that often preclude technical innovation in the minority business community.

This conference and tech fair will be an all-day event with panel discussions on entity formation and incubation, early stage investment strategies, and a showcase of app designers, software/hardware manufacturers, and internet based business owners.

In addition to panel discussions, the FCC hosting a “Fast Pitch” Program for the afternoon where tech entrepreneurs will have a unique opportunity to present their ideas/products to – and get feedback from – experts on launching and capitalizing new businesses. So far, luminaries from Springboard Enterprises, New Advantage Group, Silicon Harlem, the District of Columbia’s Office for Planning and Economic Development, and many others have already signed on to participate.


9:00-9:30am Opening Remarks

  • FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
  • The Honorable Bobby Rush (Illinois) (invited)
  • OCBO Director Thomas Reed

9:30-10:30am Panel 1: Who’s Investing in Minority Tech? Early Stage Investment Strategies.

  • Moderator: Alonzo Llorens, Esq., Gordon & Rees, LLP. Author of MBE’s Guide to Raising Capital


  • Tony Thomas, Managing Director, SCI Ventures
  • John May, Managing Partner, New Vantage Group
  • Terrence Thompson, Director Public Policy Americas, Credit Suisse
  • Bill Cunningham, Managing Partner, National Crowdfunding Services LLC.
  • Mark Rockefeller, Founder and CEO, Streetshares, Inc.
  • Erick Brimen, Chief Financial Officer, OneVest
  • Javier Saade, Associate Administrator, Office of Investment and Innovation, Small Business Administration

10:30-10:45am Break

10:45-11:45am Panel 2: How to Grow Your Idea Into a Business. Entity Formation and Incubation

  • Moderator: S. Jenell Trigg, Lerman, Senter PLLC


  • Amy Millman, President, Springboard Enterprises
  • Erin Horne McKinney, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Washington DC
  • Clayton Banks, Founder, Silicon Harlem
  • Tia Capps, Communications Director, GigTank-The Company Lab
  • Keith Jacobs, Founder & CEO, On Track Life
  • Fernando Hernandez, Director, Supplier Diversity, Microsoft
  • Aron Starosta, Program Manager, Digital Health Accelerator

11:45am-1:00pm LUNCH (on your own at capital café on CY level)

1:00-2:00pm Panel 3: How Did You Do That? Road-mapping Success.


  • Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, Vice President and Chief Research and Policy Officer, Minority Media Telecommunications Council


  • Tonee Bell, Chairman and CEO, A Unity System
  • Lisa J. Johnson, President and CEO, SafeTComm
  • Timo Selvaraj, Co-founder, SearchBlox
  • Stephan Walters, CEO, Grease Monkey Mobile LLC
  • Marissa Jennings, Founder, SocialGrlz
  • Cleveland Spears, General Manager, IM4Radio
  • Genie Barton, VP and Director, Online Behavioral Advertising Programs and Mobile Marketing Initiatives

2:00-5:00pm Technology Fair and Fast Pitch

5:00-6:00pm Networking