INNOPOWER Minority Business Week presented by Eleven Fifty Academy and JPMorgan Chase

Jun 14 - 17, 8:00 AM (EDT)

About this event

One Conference, Four Events

  • InnoPower Minority Business Week presented by Eleven Fifty Academy and JPMorgan Chase
  • African American Excellence in Education Awards (June 15 at 1:30p EST)
  • Golden Laurel Shining Star Awards presented by The Indianapolis Recorder (June 16 at 12:30p EST)
  • InnoPower Going Global Summit (June 18)

InnoPower, LLC and Recorder Media Group will host the 2021 edition of their annual conference on June 14-18. Now in its third year, the expanded InnoPower Minority Business Week presented by Eleven Fifty Academy and JPMorgan Chase (IMBW) will feature five days of virtual programming. The conference convenes entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, educators, investors, workforce development organizations, and community advocates to identify frameworks and action guidelines on how innovation initiatives can accelerate economic development and wealth generation for MVPs (Most Vulnerable Populations) in Indiana and Sub-Saharan Africa.

We know COVID hit MVP communities and economies across the world hard. We also know that opportunity is not shared equally in MVP communities.

Our vision is for Indiana to become one of the best places in the nation for the Most Vulnerable Populations to work or start and grow a business.

We believe that education and entrepreneurship are the best routes out of poverty for our state's Black and brown communities. Therefore, we have centered our conference around pillars that will accelerate the closure of this wealth gap.

The 2021 IMBW introduces participants to economic development at the regional level and how to compete and win at each level of the game successfully: i.e., education and training, entrepreneurial startup, existing small business owner, growth-stage business. 

Five (5) Conference Pillars: Competitiveness, Education, Workforce Development & Talent Attraction, Entrepreneurship, and Global Affairs.

AGENDA - take a look at this year's FULL AGENDA

Day 1 - COMPETITIVENESS (presented by Sagamore Institute and Minority Entrepreneurship Institute)

Diversity makes our workforces more competitive. By 2044, the Nation’s prosperity will rely even more on minorities. Companies that attract and retain a diverse range of talent today will see an increase in innovation, customer loyalty, and brand strength tomorrow. We must build a more equitable ecosystem for innovation, because everyone deserves a seat at the table.


  • Create an environment that cultivates successful minority-owned firms to foster economic activity in local communities
  • Close the wealth gap and increase wealth creation that secures personal and family well-being
  • Position minority leaders and minority-owned firms to perform in high growth industries, emerging markets, and corporate supply chains
  • Demonstrate the minority business community as a vibrant and growing business sector

Day 2 - EDUCATION (presented by The Mind Trust)

For more than a generation, we have focused on improving the education of poor and minority students. Real gains have been made, but many gaps still exist. To increase the achievement levels of minority and low-income students, we need to focus on what really matters: high standards and visionary school leaders. Our education system is ripe for disruption and innovation.


  • Entrepreneurship: teaching education entrepreneurs how to start and scale their programs and schools
  • Social Innovation: championing new practices that meet student needs better than existing solutions
  • SPECIAL PRESENTATION: Join us at 1:00p for the 2021 African American Excellence in Education Awards

Day 3 - WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT (presented by Ivy Tech)

The nature of work is transforming rapidly in our ever-changing world. As community leaders and organizations choose the path forward, it is imperative they rethink deeply held orthodoxies in order to shape a more inclusive future of work. Decades of systemic racism and many structural challenges underscore the underlying economic fragility of underrepresented groups, including the Black and Latinx communities. Generating innovative pathways to employment for marginalized populations has never been more critically needed by so many.


  • Skills: expanding people's capabilities and employability for a rapidly changing economy
  • Equitable Working Environment: improving personal lives, hiring practices and personnel development
  • Social Capital: creating infrastructures that help minorities connect to people and resources
  • Politics: leading change to create thriving communities for all

Day 4 - ENTREPRENEURSHIP (presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co.)

Entrepreneurship is the key to economic growth for global and local economies. Yet, too many people still face significant, systemic barriers to entrepreneurial opportunity. In a time of changing demographics in the United States, it is important to include diverse communities in all economic development strategies. The local entrepreneurship ecosystem should mirror the diversity in the community that fosters it. Inclusion of communities of color in the entrepreneurship ecosystem is especially important because of the power entrepreneurship has to create jobs and close the racial wealth gap.


  • Entrepreneurship: teaching essential skills and frameworks for starting and scaling a business
  • Finance: developing avenues that lead to better access to capital for minority businesses
  • Innovation: increasing access to and knowledge of new and creative methods for problem-solving
  • Social Impact: embracing new practices to meet community needs better than existing solutions

Day 5 - GOING GLOBAL SUMMIT (presented by Business Africa Online)

The old narrative of an Africa disconnected from the global economy is fading. A wave of transformation driven by business and modernization is thrusting the continent from the world's margins to the global mainstream. On day 5 of Minority Business Week, InnoPower's Going Global Summit presented by Business Africa Online, in partnership with Afrigrants, intends to amplify, connect, and support emerging leaders in Africa and beyond who design, launch and scale businesses making an impact across the world. Ticketing for the Going Global Summit is separate. Learn more and register for free HERE.


  • Amplify: enabling emerging African leaders and businesses
  • Entrepreneurship: providing African entrepreneurs with access to resources, training and finance
  • Connection: introducing US-based businesses and service providers to Africa's innovators
  • Advocacy: increasing the viability of Africa as a region for economic development partnerships


We are a building a community one new connection at a time. Have you completed your profile to become one of our FEATURED ATTENDEES? Be sure to take a look at who else will be joining this year's event. 


  • The Honorable Todd Young

    The Honorable Todd Young

    State of Indiana

    U.S. Senator

    See Bio
  • The Honorable André D. Carson

    The Honorable André D. Carson

    U.S. House of Representatives

    Indiana's 7th Congressional District

    See Bio
  • The Honorable Eric J. Holcomb

    The Honorable Eric J. Holcomb

    State of Indiana

    51st Governor

    See Bio
  • The Honorable Joe Hogsett

    The Honorable Joe Hogsett

    City of Indianapolis

    49th Mayor

    See Bio
  • Shawnta Barnes

    Shawnta Barnes

    Indy K12 Editor-in-Chief & Middle School Academic Dean

    See Bio
  • Tracy Barnes

    Tracy Barnes

    Indiana Office of Technology

    Chief Information Officer

    See Bio
  • Tyrance Billingsley

    Tyrance Billingsley

    Black Tech Street


    See Bio
  • Oseye Boyd

    Oseye Boyd

    Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper


    See Bio
  • Kristin Burton

    Kristin Burton

    Purdue University Northwest

    Assistant Professor

    See Bio
  • Angela Cain

    Angela Cain

    Angela Cain Communicationsq

    President and Founder

    See Bio
  • Victor Castro

    Victor Castro

    Department of Defense/ West Point Simulation Center/ Director Army West Point Esports

    See Bio
  • Tina Cosby

    Tina Cosby

    Radio One Indianapolis, AM 1310, 92.7 FM & 95.1 FM The Light

    Host, Community Connection & Community Affairs Director

    See Bio
  • Roni Ford

    Roni Ford

    Office of United States Senator Todd Young

    Field Representative and Minority Outreach Liaison

    See Bio
  • Eddie Gill

    Eddie Gill

    Wise Financial / Northwestern Mutual

    Lead Advisor

    See Bio
  • Mike Green

    Mike Green

    The National Institute for Inclusive Competitiveness

    Chief Strategist

    See Bio
  • Jeffrey Harrison

    Jeffrey Harrison

    Citizens Energy Group

    President & CEO

    See Bio
  • Karrah Herring

    Karrah Herring

    State of Indiana

    Chief Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity Officer

    See Bio
  • Michael Huber

    Michael Huber

    Indy Chamber

    President & CEO

    See Bio
  • Scott Jones

    Scott Jones

    Eleven Fifty Academy

    President & Founder

    See Bio
  • Todd Khozein

    Todd Khozein



    See Bio
  • Evelyn Magley

    Evelyn Magley

    The Basketball League


    See Bio
  • Jennifer Magley

    Jennifer Magley

    Writer and Speaker

    See Bio
  • Jimmie McMillian

    Jimmie McMillian

    Penske Entertainment

    Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Corporate Counsel

    See Bio
  • Andrea Neely

    Andrea Neely


    Regional Development Director - Indianapolis Region

    See Bio
  • Fred Payne

    Fred Payne

    Indiana Department of Workforce Development


    See Bio
  • Doneisha Posey

    Doneisha Posey

    Ivy Tech Community College

    Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Belonging

    See Bio
  • Dileep Rao

    Dileep Rao

    Florida International University

    Clinical Professor

    See Bio
  • Taylor Simpson

    Taylor Simpson

    Halo App


    See Bio
  • Jamal Smith

    Jamal Smith

    The FLOWens Group


    See Bio
  • Karen Vaughn

    Karen Vaughn


    Director of Operations / Talent

    See Bio
  • Panelists


    • Stephanie Bothun

      Stephanie Bothun

      Ascend Indiana

      Vice President and Co-Founder

      See Bio
    • Leslie Bowles

      Leslie Bowles

      Women's Fund of Central Indiana

      Senior Director of Philanthropy and Community Engagement

      See Bio
    • Thresette Briggs

      Thresette Briggs

      Performance 3, LLC

      Chief Performance Officer

      See Bio
    • Ebony Chappel

      Ebony Chappel

      Leadership Indianapolis

      Program & Communications Manager

      See Bio
    • Tamara Cypress

      Tamara Cypress

      Black Onyx Management, Inc

      CSR Lead and Founder of Indy Black Businesses Matter and Indy Accompliceship

      See Bio
    • Kiahna Davis

      Kiahna Davis

      Mind Your Business Accounting and Consulting Services

      Founder and CEO

      See Bio
    • Angela Freeman

      Angela Freeman

      Barnes & Thornburg LLP

      Partner and Intellectual Property/Patent Attorney

      See Bio
    • Starla Hart

      Starla Hart

      16 Tech Community Corporation

      Director of Community Initiatives

      See Bio
    • Andrea Hutchins

      Andrea Hutchins

      Thomas P. Miller & Associates

      Vice President

      See Bio
    • Molly Martin

      Molly Martin

      New America

      Senior Fellow and Director

      See Bio
    • Joy Mason

      Joy Mason

      Optimist Business Solutions LLC

      President, Senior Business Strategist

      See Bio
    • Alicia McKoy

      Alicia McKoy

      Peak Mind

      Founder & CEO

      See Bio
    • Blake Nathan

      Blake Nathan

      Educate ME Foundation, Inc.


      See Bio
    • Adrianne Slash

      Adrianne Slash

      Community Consultant

      See Bio
    • Emily Scott

      Emily Scott

      LISC Indianapolis

      Senior Program Officer

      See Bio
    • Damon Taziyah

      Damon Taziyah

      Kheprw Institute

      Program Lead / Board member

      See Bio
    • Berthran Ugeh

      Berthran Ugeh

      International Marketplace Coalition

      Board Member

      See Bio
    • Shannon Williams

      Shannon Williams

      The Mind Trust

      Senior Vice President

      See Bio
    • Katiera Winfrey

      Katiera Winfrey


      Multicultural Reporter

      See Bio


  • Rupal Thanawala

    Rupal Thanawala

    Trident Systems

    Managing Director

  • Emil Ekiyor

    Emil Ekiyor


    Founder & CEO

    See Bio
  • Robert Shegog

    Robert Shegog

    Recorder Media Group

    President & CEO

    See Bio
  • Alaba Ayinuola

    Alaba Ayinuola

    Business Africa Online (BAO)

    Founder & CEO

    See Bio
  • Ifeanyi Alexander Ekeh

    Ifeanyi Alexander Ekeh

    Business Africa Online (BAO)

    Finance & Strategy

    See Bio
  • Thelma Ekiyor

    Thelma Ekiyor

    Afrigrants Foundation

    Founder & Chairperson

    See Bio
  • Trey Hester

    Trey Hester

    HICO Solutions

    Owner / Branding Expert

    See Bio
  • Marlon Llewellyn

    Marlon Llewellyn

    Marian University

    Coordinator, Academy for Teaching and Learning Leadership

    See Bio
  • Chellvie Mbalia

    Chellvie Mbalia

    Yamaha Marine Precision Propellers

    Development Engineer

    See Bio
  • Kim Pennycuff

    Kim Pennycuff

    National Football Scouting

    Executive Coordinator

  • Brandi Sasore

    Brandi Sasore

    Buzzworthy, LLC

    Co-Founder and Chief Branding Officer

    See Bio
  • Jason Williams

    Jason Williams

    Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest

    Managing Director

    See Bio
  • Local sponsors