Meet the 2022 Champions of Change | Startup Leader of the Year Nominees

2022 Champions of Change Startup Leader of the Year Nominees

Harold Hughes
CEO & Founder

Harold Hughes is the founder & CEO of Bandwagon, a South Carolina-based live experience technology company. Under his leadership, Bandwagon has raised more than $3M in venture capital and successfully acquired IdealSeat, Inc. in 2020. As a first-generation American, Harold prioritized education, receiving two Bachelors degrees (Economics and Political Science) from Clemson University. He later went on to receive his MBA from Clemson while he led business development at a Fortune 1000 company based in Greenville, South Carolina. A man of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Harold is actively involved in his community participating on the Board of Directors for BEAM, a non-profit that focuses on the advancement of women entrepreneurs as they grow their companies as well as a founding team member of Amass, an ene-to-end wealth building platform for Black Americans. To that end, Harold is also an active angel investor, investing in women, people of color, and Black founder-led companies. Most notably, he has invested in Partake Foods, the Jay-Z-backed CPG company making allergy-friendly snacks as well as companies like Goodr, Chipper, Journey Foods, Republic, and Stix.

Jeff Jenkins
Founder of Chubby Diaries & Co-founder of Black Travel Alliance

Jeff Jenkins is an award-winning content creator, travel journalist, consultant and entrepreneur. Founder of Chubby Diaries and co-founder of Black Travel Alliance, Jeff was recently named one of Travel + Leisure’s 50 Notable People in Travel and has been featured by Forbes, The New York Times, Washington Post, Travel Noire, Essence and Lonely Planet. An experienced motivational speaker, Jeff is 100% authentic, transparent and a ton of fun.

Daron Roberts & Abigail Coleman

Daron co-founded Amass to build a deep bench of Black investors with access to, community with and knowledge of generational wealth practices. He is a partner at Notley, former NFL coach and the founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership and Innovation at the University of Texas. His nonprofit, 4th and 1, helps student athletes access and graduate from college. Abby co-founded Amass to address the racial wealth gap in America. She met Daron after joining Notley's Executive in Residence program. She is an experienced executive and board member with a demonstrated history of leadership at Amazon, Mondelez International and Kraft Foods. She has served as CEO and advisor to several VC and PE backed start-ups in FoodTech.

Katrina Tolentino
Executive Director
Naturally Austin

Katrina has built, grown, and led several social impact initiatives. She has 17+ years of experience in developing and scaling programs and events that build stronger communities. Currently, she is the Executive Director at Naturally Austin, the industry community for consumer goods in Central Texas. She is passionate about supporting the success of consumer goods entrepreneurs and brands and creating a more equitable consumer goods industry. Her leadership led to a 2021 Inno on Fire Community Builder Award for the organization. Most recently, she was the CEO of Catalyst Games, a Notley supported organization that provides gamified philanthropic employee engagement experiences to companies across the country to unlock human and financial capital for nonprofits. Her work at Notley included developing and expanding built spaces and programs like Philanthropitch, The Center for Social Innovation, and Relay Coworking. She has been a startup advisor and mentor in the nonprofit, technology, CPG, and real estate industries.

Lauren Washington
CEO & Co-Founder

Lauren is the cofounder and CEO of Fundr, a platform that automates and removes bias from seed investing by creating portfolios of AI-vetted startups. Prior to this, Lauren cofounded Black Women Talk Tech, the largest membership organization and only conference for black women founders and KeepUp, an automated social listening platform. Her companies have won multiple awards including 43North and the Advanced Imaging Society’s Distinguished Leadership Award. She has been featured in The New York Times, TechCrunch, Elle, Inc and Black Enterprise and has been listed as a top entrepreneur in CIO Magazine, Essence Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and the ForbesNEXT1000 list. Lauren started her career as a special education teacher with Teach for America and went on to develop marketing and data strategy for over 100 global companies at InStyle Magazine, TVGuide and Omnicom Group. She has her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. She is on the board of advisors for SXSW Pitch, Athena and New Profit’s Future of Work Fund, as well as the vice board chair of Talk Tech Association and on the board of directors of Beam.