Networking with Blacks in Technology-Los Angeles at Google 1

Networking. That’s the buzzword these days for getting ahead in business. And even if you’re employed or have your own business, it still pays to stay connected–so I’m told–in your current field or maybe even something seemingly unrelated.

Last Wednesday, in an effort to get out and network, I attended my first event with the Blacks in Technology-Los Angeles Meetup group. I figured, I’d do some networking and maybe get some new blogging ideas. I also wanted to get a peek inside Google country. The event was held in one of Google’s offices in Venice.

Bottom line, I’m glad I went.

On arriving, I was excited about meeting up with other Black professionals in the tech industry. We don’t run into one another too often, at least not in large groups.

There were roughly 30 attendees at the event, ranging in age from twenty-something on up. The group was jovial and friendly. It included system analyst, electrical engineers, network administrators, tech entrepreneurs, and at least one Ph.D. Some attendees weren’t even techies but were hatching a start-up and looking for possible talent.

Guest speaker: Prince Koikai a Financial Planner and author

Guest speaker: Prince Koikai a Financial Planner and author

After some networking and group introductions, the meetup host, John C. Malonson, introduced the night’s guest speaker, Prince Koikai a Financial Planner and author.

The focus of the presentation was on obtaining business capital. He talked about finding money for your business, things investors look for, raising money through crowdfunding and the importance of a good business plan.

Even though I’m just a writer and not looking to begin a start-up soon, I found the presentation to be very informative. I didn’t know much about Angel Investors and crowdfunding beforehand. Koikai ended the presentation with a bit of a sales pitch which I could have done without, but that aside, he was a dynamic speaker.

Aside from the networking opportunities and the presentation, it was nice to be in a room filled with motivated and talented men and women who just happen to be Black. After being bombarded with so many negative images in the media, it’s nice to be reminded that many in the Black community can, and are, achieving great things that aren’t related to sports or the music industry.

I look forward to attending future events.

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