Access and Opportunity Take Center Stage at Impact Ventures’ Inclusive Capital Summit in Dallas

The inaugural Inclusive Capital Summit will kick off with a VIP event on May 3rd, followed by two days of inspiring keynotes from national leaders, solution-based conversations, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Check out the lineup.

As Benjamin J. Vann, founder and CEO of Impact Ventures, takes to the stage next week, he has one mission in mind: to tackle the lack of inclusivity in capital that has historically plagued underrepresented communities across the United States.

Vann’s organization, a 501c3 nonprofit investment fund and start-up accelerator, is hosting its inaugural Inclusive Capital Summit from May 3-5, 2023, at The Women’s Building at Fair Park in Dallas, TX. On May 3, a VIP event will kick off the two-day summit that starts on May 4. The event promises to bring together local, regional, and national leaders to discuss innovative solutions to bridge the gap in access and opportunity for historically underestimated communities.

At the core of Impact Ventures’ mission is the belief that genius is everywhere, but access and opportunity are not, Vann says. By investing in communities that have been left behind, the organization is building a representative and thriving business ecosystem. The goal is to build generational wealth in underserved communities by supporting aspiring entrepreneurs and empowering community advocates.

Solution-based conversations

The summit will feature a range of solution-based conversations aimed at equipping community and business leaders with the knowledge, network, and platform to carry their work forward, especially in the southern parts of the country, Vann said.  Headlining the event is Fawn Weaver, a New York Times bestselling author, investor, and entrepreneur who recently led the first Black woman-led major spirits brand to surpass $100 million in sales.

In a fireside chat with Vann, Weaver, who is founder and CEO of Uncle Nearest Whiskey, will share her journey of building a $1B+ company from the ground up while pursuing a diligent approach to social impact. Weaver’s experience highlights the challenges historically underestimated communities face and the need for innovative solutions that drive measurable change.

For Vann and the team at Impact Ventures, the Inclusive Capital Summit is a critical step towards creating a more equitable and inclusive future. By bringing together diverse voices and encouraging collaboration, they hope to build a business ecosystem that truly represents the genius that exists in all communities.

Impact Ventures recently announced more speakers

“I’m grateful for Impact Ventures’ mission and am excited to join the inaugural Summit,” Weaver said.“Creating something from the ground up, as a woman and person of color, provides equal challenges and opportunities.”

The summit also features speakers including Rob Kaplan, former CEO of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, and Byron Sanders, CEO of Big Thought.

Other speakers include:

  • Benjamin J. Vann – Founder and CEO, Impact Ventures
  • Michelle Corson – CEO, On the Road Lending
  • Brian Marshall – Director Entrepreneurs, BCL Texas
  • Paul C. Godfrey – Professor at BYU, author of “More than Money: The 5 Forms of Capital”
  • Jasmin Brand – Director of Innovation, Frisco EDC
  • Tarsha Hearns – Senior Director, The DEC Network

Many other speakers are scheduled to participate in the event, and the full list can be found on the Inclusive Capital Summit website.

Organizers said the event will expand Dallas business leaders’ and underserved community advocates’ minds about the many forms of capital and how to use them to gain access and opportunity to build generational wealth.

Impact Ventures said it also will announce the latest developments of the $20 million Investment Fund targeted toward BIPOC founders. Vice President Kamala Harris recently announced the distribution of “another $1.7 billion of those funds to 603 community lenders through the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program.” These funds will help underserved entrepreneurs gain access to capital, Impact Ventures said.

The summit is expected to create a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing to empower communities and advance progress towards greater equity and inclusion. The event can foster a constructive dialogue about the persistent problem of underfunding and lack of access to capital, and how it can be solved to create an inclusive business environment, the organization says.

Here’s what to expect at the summit.

The first-day lineup for the Inclusive Capital Summit includes:

  • Summit Kickoff – Opening Performance
  • Welcome – Special Remarks by Benjamin J. Vann
  • Intention Setting / Community Agreements / Land Acknowledgment – Speaker: Byron Sanders
  • Mindfulness & Wellness – Speaker: Veronica Torres
  • Setting the Stage – Featured Lightning Talk:
    State of the Economy: The Wealth Gap – Speaker: Brian Marshall
  • Morning Breakout Session #1 (Funders/Investors)
    Inclusive Economic Development – Speakers: Michelle Corson, Elaine Rasmussen, James Johnson-Piett, James Armstrong
  • Morning Breakout Session #2 (Founders/Entrepreneurs)
    The Evolution of the CEO: Dreamer, Hustler, Founder, CEO – Speakers: Jennifer James, Craig Lewis, Sheena Allen, Pierston Gaines
  • Morning Breakout Session #3 (Innovators)
    Supporting BIPOC Founders: Are We Getting it Right? – Speakers: Donna Henry, Tarsha Hearns, Tunji Fadiora, Danyel Surrency Jones
  • Featured Lightning Talk: Hustle Clean – Speaker: David Russell
  • Lunch, Music, and Marketplace – Sponsored by JP Morgan Chase & Co
  • Fireside Chat (Featured) – DRK Foundation – Speakers: Rob Kaplan, Holly Kuzmich, and Drexel Owusu.
  • Afternoon Breakout Session #1 (Funders/Investors)
    Underwriting for Racial Justice – Speakers: Erin Kilmer Neel, Jennifer James
  • AfternoonBreakout Session #2 (Founders/Entrepreneurs)
    Building an Equitable Startup Ecosystem in Texas – Speakers: Benjamin J. Vann, Preston James
  • AfternoonBreakout Session #3 (Innovators)
    The Power of Connected Communities – Speakers: Ashli Sims, Shequite Johnson, Michael Odupitan, Dr. Lomax Campbell
  • Community Share-Outs and Wrap-Up
  • Community Networking & Happy Hour – Hosted at Lorenzo Hotel, 1011 S. Akard St. Dallas, TX 75215


The second-day lineup for the Inclusive Capital Summit includes:

  • Welcome: Day Two
  • Special Remarks – Speaker: Benjamin J. Vann
  • Intention Setting / Community Agreements / Land Acknowledgment – Speaker: Byron Sanders
  • Mindfulness & Wellness – Speaker: Veronica Torres
  • Featured Lightning Talk: The 5 Forms of Capital – Speaker: Paul Godfrey
  • Featured Lightning Talk: The Power of Narratives – Speaker: VR Small
  • Morning Breakout Session #1 (Funders/Investors) – Speakers: Allegra Stennett, Oye Waddell
  • Morning Breakout Session #2 (Founders/Entrepreneurs) – INVEST IN HER: Next Level Funding Strategies and Opportunities for Female Founders – Speaker: Jasmin Brand, Kiku Chaudhury, OJ Jenkins
  • Morning Breakout Session #3 (Innovators) – The Role of Faith Communities in Advancing Economic Justice – Speakers: Michael Baughman, Edwin Robinson, Vip Vipperman
  • Lunch, Networking & Marketplace – Sponsored by JP Morgan Chase & Co
  • Featured Lightning Talk: Our Roles in Creating Lasting Change – Speaker: Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew
  • Introduction to Keynote Fireside Chat with Fawn Weaver
    Featured Fireside Chat with Fawn Weaver
  • Afternoon Workshop Session #1 (Funders/Investors) – Integrated Capital: Financing For a New Majority – Speaker: Benjamin J. Vann
  • Afternoon Workshop Session #2 (Founders/Entrepreneurs) – VIRAL for Founders via Village Capital – Speaker: Bryson Hearne
  • Afternoon Workshop Session #3 (Innovators) – Building Trust Amongst ESO’s – Speaker: Dr. Lomax Campbell
  • Community Share-Outs and Wrap-Up – Speaker: Benjamin J. Vann

Check final schedules here.

Registration is still available on General admission starts at $100. Student tickets are available starting at $65.

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