Women of Color In Tech Breakfast 


About This Event

In celebration of Black History Month, we invite you to join us for this interactive breakfast about how women of color are succeeding in tech and fostering the next generation of leaders in Chicago.

The breakfast will feature lightning talks by a handful of amazing women in the Chicago tech scene and take a deeper dive into the issues they face in the tech industry and solutions to how to rise above the obstacles and thrive in this growing field.

  • Breakfast + Mingling 7:30am-8:00am
  • Lightning Talks 8:00am-8:45am
  • Connecting + Sharing 8:45am-9:30am

Please note that by RSVPing for this event you are agreeing to receive communications from event partners.

About the Instructors

Felicia Shakespeare Photo


Felicia Renee Shakespeare is a native Chicagoan who has achieved calculated success in both the business and the education sectors. She is a bestselling author, brand strategist, speaker, technology educator, entrepreneur, and empowerment coach. Felicia's career experience spans through years in both the business and education sectors, working for Fortune 500 companies and supporting one of the largest school districts in America. Some of her pivotal business exposure came while working for tech icon IBM Corporation in the areas of Sales, Operations and Account Management in the Global Financing and Global Services Divisions. Felicia redirected her skills to the education sector and has held a number of successful roles at both the school and the central office district level both in tech, teaching and administration. She often says that she is "in the business of educating."

Felicia understands well the challenges that women can face. Specifically as a woman of color, she has come to realize that if not corrected, the greatest thing that can hold you back in life are the thoughts that lie within you! She is the recipient of the 2017 WNBA Chicago Sky's #RedefinePossible Women's Leadership Award, the 2017 Dream Conference Aspiring Entrepreneur Award, and was selected as a 2017 Author of the Year Finalist in the small business category for her independently published book "You Are Your Brand: Building From the Inside Out!" Felicia recently founded "mClass" a network focused on providing women with tools and resources that are seeing to become the best version of themselves in business and in their personal lives (www.mClass.me).

Felicia has spoken for several thriving women and entrepreneurial focused organizations to include; Dress For Success Worldwide Success Summit, Top Ladies of Distinction Leadership Conference, The Black Women's Expo, Anita Borg and more. She has recently developed partnerships and facilitated brand development workshops for top organizations such as Penske Corporation, i.c. Stars and the Chicago Public Library. Her inspiration comes from empowering others to be intentional about living a life of faith and purpose. In the fall 2018 Felicia will launch and host her inaugural "A Purpose Drive Woman" conference in Chicago. Website: www.feliciashakespeare.com


Afenya Pongo Montgomery Photo

Founder, The iCAN Collective

Afenya Montgomery is a speaker, leader and nurse. She began her professional career in marketing but her compassion for people led to her transition into the nursing field.

She soon climbed the nursing ladder to Master of Science in Nursing and MBA with a focus on executive leadership. Leveraging her unique ability to share perspectives with employees at every level of an organization, Afenya works as an engagement coach with Chicago’s leading medical academic center. She is also CEO and founder of the iCAN Collective. The iCAN Collective is a professional development platform connecting entrepreneurs and career professionals to resources, information, business partnerships and collaborations. Her practical strategies, tips, and tools for success empowers teams and individuals by unleashing their full potential.


Nneka Ude Photo

Founder & Managing Editor,
Welcome to THE PATH (WTTP)

A strategist by nature and designer at heart, Nneka Ude is a highly versatile marketer and tech enthusiast who has spent the last 16 years connecting the dots between people, brands, and culture for brands like Stella Artois, Maker’s Mark, CenturyLink, Coca-Cola, and Barefoot Wines. In 2017, she founded Welcome To THE PATH, a media startup and digital community exploring the impact and influence of the African diaspora in the areas of business, entrepreneurship, tech and culture - in the U.S. and around the globe. A Chicago native and longtime Bronzeville resident, Nneka holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MBA in Marketing/International Business from Loyola University Chicago as well as a Digital Marketing Certificate from DePaul University.


Nauje Change Photo


As long as she can remember, Nauje Change has had a passion for occasions where creative and analytical thinking meet. Her love of left and right brain thinking eventually led her to a career that was the perfect paring of both… advertising. Through her strategic yet imaginative thinking, Nauje played a role in a number of wins for brands that include COVERGIRL, Pantene and Coca-Cola.

When Nauje realized that the beauty resources she was looking for did not, exist her love for creative and analytical thinking led her on another journey…entrepreneurship. Tapping into her passion for artistic expression through beauty and professional experience, she started to create a platform where African American women could celebrate the beauty of their identity through shopping black owned beauty businesses. In 2018, she launched Beaudentity, an app that highlights Black owned beauty brands and retailers with hair, nails and skincare products formulated with Black women in mind. The app’s inclusive approach to beauty includes tutorials and swatch images that show how featured products work across a range of skin tones and curl patterns. Her mission is to make it easier for women of color to support and discover black owned beauty businesses with products that work just right for them.


Amanda Spann Photo

Marketing Consultant & App Entrepreneur

Amanda Spann is a branding consultant & app entrepreneur. Sitting at the intersection of product and promotion, she helps brands take their ideas from concept to creation and then build a buzz around them. Amanda was previously a co-founder of tiphub, an accelerator and innovation community for entrepreneurs in Africa and the African Diaspora. The Florida State and Georgetown grad has been honored as one of Business Insider’s 30 Most Important Women In Tech Under 30, BET’s Blacks on the Brink of Greatness, and as one of 5 future leaders in technology by Black Enterprise Magazine. 




About Our Partners


 EvolveHer is a creative workspace designed for women to connect, collaborate & curate a life they love. EvolveHer not only provides a beautiful workspace but also offers a robust schedule of custom programming to support its community of women in all aspects of life (business development, wellness, and connections). The 5,000 square foot River North loft was intentionally designed to inspire creativity and serves as a unique space to host off-sites, private events, and trainings.