osbit2016


PANELISTS

kap_teamportraits_anthony_colorAnthony Heckman is the Associate at Kapor Capital , where he focuses on sourcing and evaluating early-stage investments in addition to helping portfolio companies grow intelligently. Anthony joined Kapor Capital in 2015 after spending 5 years on the startup and venture capital teams at Cooley and Fenwick and West. As an emerging growth companies attorney, Anthony advised startups and their investors with respect to operational matters, mergers and acquisitions, entity formation, and venture financings. Anthony holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from the University of Southern California, where he was selected to the Order of Troy and ran the 800 meters for the Varsity Track and Field Team. Prior to law school, Anthony was an analyst at Lehman Brothers. He is an advisor to The Workers Lab, an active supporter of San Francisco Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and San Francisco Achievers, and is passionate about partnering with entrepreneurs who are solving real problems. @aheckmansf @kaporcapital

 

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Tiffani Ashley Bell is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Human Utility (formerly named The Detroit Water Project), a platform connecting donors from around the world to people in Detroit and Baltimore needing assistance with water bills. Since its founding in late July 2014, the platform has collected over $230,000 in payments and is a Y Combinator-backed non-profit. She was also a 2014 Code for America Fellow working with the City of Atlanta, GA and previously, was the CEO + founder of Pencil You In, enabling operate more efficiently by accepting appointments online. Tiffani is a front and back-end developer working primarily with Ruby on Rails and iOS. Tiffani holds a BS in Computer Science from Howard University. @tiffani @humanutility

 

 

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Donna Bransford , founder and principal of DNB Strategic Consulting, is a consultant to social justice foundations and organizations. She is the Network Weaver for the Bay Area Equal Voice Coalition, a network of grantees of the Marguerite Casey Foundation building power for low-income families. Donna also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Black Organizing Project , a Black member-led community organization working for racial, social, and economic justice through grassroots organizing and community-building in Oakland. Donna has worked in the non-profit and philanthropic sectors for over 20 years, serving in leadership positions including Executive Director of Changemakers, Director of ACORN International, Director of Outreach at Tides Foundation and Director of Development and Marketing at Project Open Hand. Donna received her B.A. from Wesleyan University. She has a regular yoga practice and is a proud resident of Oakland, where she lives with her husband and son.@blackorgproject

 

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Brandi Collins serves as Campaign Director for Color of Change and oversees the Media,
Economic and Environmental Justice departments. She comes to COC from The Center for
Media Justice, an organization fighting for media rights, access and representation for
marginalized communities. Previously, Brandi worked at Safer Foundation in Illinois, where she crafted state and national recommendations and statements on workforce development,
community capacity building, and prisoner reentry. She holds a B.A. in History from Agnes Scott College, and a J.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School. @brandingbrandi @colorofchange

 

 

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Elen Awalom is the founder and director of The Ola Initiative , an organization focused on the advancement of Black, Latina and Indigenous women in STEM. Born in Khartoum, Sudan to Eritrean parents, Ms. Awalom immigrated to the United States at the age of 1. She dove into entrepreneurship at an early age, founding a gift card company with her younger sister at the age of 9. As an adult, Elen eventually became a serial entrepreneur, launching a creative consultancy which provided photography and literary services. Later, she co-founded The Lighthouse, a holistic wellness start-up that merged her skills as a visual artist and healer (meditation teacher, wellness coach and certified Reiki master). In 2013, after two years of studying software engineering via university courses online and DC area programming meet-ups, she attended a coding bootcamp in San Francisco where she studied full stack web development. That fall, she began working on Curatoric, an e-commerce tech start-up focused on the art of the Africas, while simultaneously beginning to focus on technology diversity and
inclusion. These efforts ultimately led to the 2015 birth of The Ola Initiative. @elenawalom @olainitiative

 

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Vanessa Mason is the co-founder of P2Health , an incubator and fund focused on public health tech startups that are innovating population health and preventive health, aiming to close health disparities. She has over a decade of experience in healthcare innovation and consumer engagement in both the United States and developing countries. Prior, she led product development and marketing for ZeroDivide’s eHealth portfolio of digital health products focused on reducing health disparities. Vanessa fostered talent acquisition and investment opportunities through XX in Health, a community of female digital health entrepreneurs and healthcare executives at Rock Health, a digital health incubator. She also led global health service design initiatives in Mozambique, Argentina and Brazil and supported mobile health product development for clients in west and east Africa. Vanessa earned her BA in psychology from Yale University and her MPH in global health from Columbia University. She also serves on the Health IT advisory board for Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center (TCC) for Health Disparities Research at Morehouse School of Medicine. Vanessa has been recognized as 40 Under 40 Tech Diversity Silicon Valley and as a TEDMED Research Scholar. @vanessamason @p2health

 

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Catherine Bracy is a civic technologist and community organizer whose work focuses on the intersection of technology and political and economic inequality. She is the co-founder and Executive Director of the TechEquity Collaborative, an organization in Oakland, CA that seeks to build an inclusive tech ecosystem in California’s Bay Area. She was previously Code for America’s Senior Director of Partnerships and Ecosystem where she grew Code for America’s Brigade program into a network of over 50,000 civic tech volunteers in 80+ cities across the US. She also founded Code for All, the global network of Code-for organizations with partners on six continents. During the 2012 election cycle she was Director of Obama for America’s Technology Field Office in San Francisco, the first of its kind in American political history. She was responsible for organizing technologists to volunteer their skills for the campaign’s technology and digital efforts. Prior to joining the Obama campaign, she ran the Knight Foundation’s 2011 News Challenge and before that was the administrative director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. She is on the board of directors at the Citizen Engagement Lab and the Public Laboratory.@cbracy @TECollab

 

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Kandace Cooks is a people-savvy problem solver who excels in relationship building and organization with over ten years of experience leading and designing operational processes, cultivating internal culture, and community engagement, for fast-paced companies and organizations across technology, education, residential, accounting, and construction services. Kandace joined Uber Technologies as Office Manager in April 2015 and serves as co-Chair for UberHUE, the black employee resource group. She has led community engagement efforts for Uber Houston and continues to lead the grassroots diversity and inclusion movement within Uber. Prior to joining Uber, Kandace worked on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness team at Teach For America. In addition, to working for equitable internal systems, Kandace also founded an employee resource group that increased retention by 1.7x for members and created professional development opportunities for the least served population on staff. Kandace is a devoted mother of three in her hometown of Houston. She relishes in fine cuisine, watches, and sneakers – all of which are overtaken by her intelligent children. @KandaceRCooks

 

HOSTS

headshot2Y-Vonne Hutchinson is a former international labor rights lawyer, the founder of Ready Set , a diversity solutions firm based in Oakland, CA, and a co-founder of Project Include. As a lawyer and advocate, she has worked with foreign national governments, the US Department of State, and the UN. She is a member of Harvard Law’s Institute for Global Law and Policy network and an expert on labor relations and diversity in the workplace. @hutchmahutch

 

 

 

 

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Darrell Jones III oversees business development at Clef, an internet security startup based in Oakland. Clef powers logins on more than 200,000 sites and has been recommended by usability and security experts across industries; The New York Times described logging in with Clef as “magical”. Darrell’s impact work includes hosting weekly Clef Cooks community dinners (which are open to all), and co-founding both the Oakland Summit on Blacks in Tech and the TechEquity Collaborative, a citywide initiative aiming to create a more inclusive, equitable, and community-oriented tech ecosystem in Oakland. @darrelljonesiii

 

 

 

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Cedric Brown is the Chief of Community Engagement at the Kapor Center for Social Impact , working to increase diverse representation in the high tech sector. He has 20+ years of experience as a funder, convener, and activist, including recent collaborations with the White House Office of Science and Tech Policy, the Congressional Black Caucus Tech2020 Initiative, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and an appearance in the CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap documentary. He is the founder of Brothers Code, the Oakland Summit on Blacks in Tech, and is co-founder of the College Bound Brotherhood. Cedric is a proud board member of Color of Change and the Association of Blacks Foundation Executives (ABFE); he is also a published author and creative artist. Cedric holds degrees from the University of North Carolina and Stanford University, and lives in Oakland with his partner Ray. @cedbrownsaid @kaporcenter