Catch up with all the sessions from the Black Founders Symposium

After two packed days with a live audience from all over the world, the first Microsoft for Startups Black Founders Symposium came to a close.

If you didn’t get the chance to join us live, you can still catch up with the keynotes and all the sessions with this handy guide to the recordings.

Day One

Thoughtfulness is a Superpower

Keynote Speaker, Ryan Nece is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Next Play Capital, former professional athlete, and entrepreneur.

Thoughtfulness is a Superpower

When embarking on the journey of being an entrepreneur one has to understand that success takes introspection and thoughtfulness. Learning how to manage everything happening externally with your business and everything that is happening to you internally is easier said than done (but you can do it). Ryan shares how thoughtfulness helps entrepreneurs succeed, and how it shaped his personal journey—from NFL to entrepreneur to investor.

Partnerships and Channel Strategy

Bakari Brock is Senior Director of Global Partnerships at Microsoft for Startups.

Partnerships and Channel Strategy

In this session Bakari shares his philosophies and adopted learnings in his own professional journey, discussing how to unlock hypergrowth using partnerships. All the while creating and aligning core values and understanding channel strategy. You will learn a bit more about his career path to Microsoft, including Bakari’s involvement in companies such as YouTube, Twitter, and Lyft.

From Doctor to Tech Co-founder

Dr. Ernest Darkoh is a founding partner of the BroadReach Group.

From Doctor to Tech Co-founder

Dr. Darkoh shares his journey as a company founder through the lens of racial dynamics. He discusses observations, challenges and insights gained over the years to help other entrepreneurs save valuable time and money on their own journeys.

Tips to Succeed in Enterprise Selling as a Startup

Samantha Bowman is the Global Success Management Lead at Microsoft for Startups.

Tips to Succeed in Enterprise Selling as a Startup

Selling to a large enterprise is a different game. Learn how enterprises view startups and tips you can use to understand the game and set up a winning strategy.

Leadership Series Interview: Mikaela Jade & Annie Parker

Mikeala Jade is the CEO and founder of Indigital.

Annie Parker is the Global Director Equity & Inclusion at Microsoft for Startups.

Leadership Series Interview: Mikaela Jade & Annie Parker 61 Leadership Series Interview: Mikaela Jade & Annie Parker 62

Mikaela Jade is a proud Aboriginal woman, she celebrates her color and her background on a daily basis – but it’s not easy. Learn about her story, the issues she’s dealt with along the way, and how she’s managed to use them as a superpower in this candid leadership series interview with Annie Parker.

Building a Positive Culture in Your Startup

Annie Parker is the Global Director Equity & Inclusion at Microsoft for Startups.

Building a Positive Culture in Your Startup

There are plenty of startup horror stories of how toxic culture has significantly hurt many tech companies over the years. In this session, you’ll learn more about how attracting and keeping the best talent at your startup is more than just about compensation packages – it’s about a strong brand, values and about how you stick to them as a business.

DON'T Get Out of your Comfort Zone

Dona Sakar is the founder and Chief Creative Officer at Prima Dona Studios.

DON'T Get Out of your Comfort Zone

Are you feeling in over-your-head and totally unqualified to be running your business? ME TOO. The bad news is that almost every business owner feels this way, The GOOD news Is that there is a five-step practical spell you can do to banish this forever. Tune in to find out how!

Closing Remarks - Bakari Brock & Annie Parker

Bakari Brock is the Senior Director of Global Partnerships at Microsoft for Startups.

Annie Parker is the Global Director Equity & Inclusion at Microsoft for Startups.

Closing Remarks - Bakari Brock & Annie Parker 87 Closing Remarks - Bakari Brock & Annie Parker 88

Bakari Brock has a stellar startup CV including YouTube, Twitter and Lyft – now he’s the Senior Director of Partnerships at Microsoft for Startups. In this Leadership series interview Bakari covers how his career has ended up at this point, what were the biggest challenges along the way as a Black man in the technology and startup industry, and, most importantly, why he joined a company like Microsoft – to make the biggest difference he can.

Day Two

Surviving the Enterprise Tech Market, as a Startup

Keynote speaker, Kishau Rogers is the CEO of Time Study as well as a computer scientist and systems thinker.

Surviving the Enterprise Tech Market, as a Startup

This session highlights 10 key strategies for building and growing innovative enterprise technology solutions for startups with limited resources.

Building Great Product Management Principles in Your Startup

Lahini Arunachalam is the Director of Product Management at Microsoft for Startups.

Building Great Product Management Principles in Your Startup

As the founder of a startup, you are the first product manager at your company. How do you ensure that you are identifying and building the right solution for your end users? How do you get and incorporate the feedback that you need to be successful? Learn more about the product lifecycle, identifying your users, and methods of validating your ideas before writing even one line of code in this session.

How to Build Elite Highly Productive Software Teams

Damana Madden is an entrepreneur and industry expert.

How to Build Elite Highly Productive Software Teams

Damana spent two decades building large software systems and the last decade creating and growing happy and highly productive cross-functional software, hardware and product teams. Everything in development is inputs and outputs except people. Happy teams deliver great quality software, on time. It is repeatable and reproducible, and this will tell you how to make those teams.

Getting Traction with GitHub Actions

Brian Douglas is a developer advocate for GitHub.

Getting Traction with GitHub Actions

The last year gave us new ways to improve our repositories with GitHub Actions. Join Brian in walking through how automation can streamline your workflow and help you level up your CI/CD pipeline.

How AI and ML Can Help You to Do Rapid Prototyping and Adopting Intelligence in Your Business

Ruth Yakubu is a Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft.

How AI and ML Can Help You to Do Rapid Prototyping and Adopting Intelligence in Your Business

The thought of integrating AI in your business can seem overwhelming and intimidating. This session aims to demonstrate how the adoption of AI/ML can be fast and simple in your business solution. Next, we cover how adding AI/ML into your business can help give you a competitive advantage. This session is for participants that have beginner to advance level skills in AI/ML.

Building CardCraft on the Microsoft Stack

Damola 'D' Omotosho is a Startup Technical Architect at Microsoft.

Building CardCraft on the Microsoft Stack

How do startups and their technology form? What is an MVP? What does it take to catapult from a seemingly unique idea to having hundreds of customers people and growing ARR? Come listen and learn as Damola discusses his journey into entrepreneurship and how he built CardCraft on the Microsoft stack.

The Future of Accessibility with AI

Heather Dowdy heads partner strategy for the Microsoft AI for Accessibility program.

The Future of Accessibility with AI

The future is not yet accessible. How could AI unlock new solutions in assistive technology and access to technology for over 1 billion people around the world living with disabilities? Come explore cutting-edge issues and solutions in AI and disability.

The Keys to Startup Success

Closing keynote speaker Jamila Gordon is the CEO and founder of Lumachain.

The Keys to Startup Success

Jamila shares her key learnings around launching and scaling a start-up, focusing on three key areas:

  1. People
  2. Customers
  3. Investors