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

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. 




  • 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