PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 17, 2016) - Culture Shift Labs -- founded by business advisor Andrea Hoffman, an authority on inclusion-driven innovation -- is bringing together 200 senior executives and accomplished entrepreneurs of color in Silicon Valley for two days of collaboration, deal making and exploring ways to foster game-changing growth. With Google as the lead sponsor, the invite-only Culture Shifting Weekend: Silicon Valley 2016 will take place March 19-20 at the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel in Menlo Park, Calif.

Award-winning actor, best-selling author and philanthropist Hill Harper will serve as master of ceremonies. Harper also is known for founding the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, dedicated to empowering underserved youth through mentorship, scholarship and grant programs.

"It's great that Google is sponsoring the 'Culture Shifting Weekend: Silicon Valley 2016,'" said David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development for Alphabet, Google's parent company. "Inclusion helps drive innovation, and this event is an important step in bringing that to life in Silicon Valley and the technology industry."

"Google has been a valuable partner to us on this important bi-coastal event. The truth is that there are a vast number of diverse individuals in Silicon Valley who are leaders in innovation, business and social impact and are flying under the radar. Our goal is to paint a more accurate picture of the size and scope of these experts, connect them to each other and to corporations," said Hoffman, whose Culture Shifting events have been fostering valuable business relationships since 2010. "We are excited to host world class black business leaders like Marc Jones. His company, Aeris is a leader in the Internet of Things and experiencing explosive growth and Dr. Tony Coles (former CEO of Onyx Pharmaceuticals) who recently closed a $45 million Series A round for his new life sciences company Yumanity Therapeutics. This is the place where hundreds of leaders of color can meet investors and inventors like themselves."

Other attendees include Chinedu Echeruo, founder of (acquired by Apple); Russell Okung, offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks and a tech investor; Guy Primus, founder of The Virtual Reality Company (recent recipient of major funding); and Dr. Hadiyah Nicole Green, who recently won a $1.1 million grant to develop a cancer treatment.

The Culture Shifting Weekend kicks off Saturday, March 19, with its Social Innovation Think Tank, produced in partnership with Babson Social Innovation Lab. With a focus on education and workforce innovation, the Think Tank will be comprised of 60 C-Suite executives, entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and influencers of color -- from companies such as Google, Facebook, LEGO Education North America, Kapor Center for Social Impact, Experience Aviation and the Milken Institute -- who will gather to collaborate and develop new business models and actionable solutions for change. The half-day program will include panel discussions on "Reinventing Education for Tomorrow's Economy," "Making the Jump From School to Tech Jobs" and "Mapping Out Personalized Learning."

The event will culminate with an awards ceremony on Sunday, March 20, honoring leaders and pioneers in technology, innovation and social impact. This year's honorees include:

  • Nichol Bradford -- CEO of Willow Group and Executive Director of the Transformative Technology Labs at Sofia University
  • Dr. Tony Coles -- Chairman, CEO and founding investor at Yumanity Therapeutics
  • Marc Jones -- Chairman and CEO of Aeris
  • Lisa Lambert -- Vice President and Managing Director, Software and Services and the Diversity Fund at Intel Capital

Notable sponsors include: Google, Ford, Visa, Robert F. Smith, Moët Hennessy USA, Kapor Center for Social Impact, Infor, GE Ventures, Ernst & Young, BCG Digital Ventures, Facebook, Akamai, HBO, Carrick and Twilio.

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Andrea Hoffman's Culture Shifting Weekend is an annual invite-only two-day gathering that takes place in Silicon Valley and the Hamptons. It includes a Saturday Social Innovation Think Tank and Sunday Awards ceremony, which debuted in 2010. Guests consist of influential people of color, who are accomplished C-suite executives, entrepreneurs and thought leaders -- the "diverse elite" -- who are carefully curated in order to collaborate and tap into the social currency, intellectual and financial capital among leaders of the new economy. The Awards ceremony increases awareness of, and celebrates, leaders and pioneers of diversity whom have achieved success within their respective industries, and individuals and organizations that advocate for inclusion driven innovation. For more information, visit

Culture Shift Labs is a management consulting and business development firm providing seasoned intelligence, business opportunities and collaborative technology to bold thinking leaders and corporations seeking growth. They also provide clients and corporate members access to their proprietary globe-spanning database of innovators, inventors, investors and subject matters experts of color and women (the "diverse elite").

For the past two decades, early adopters in corporate America have been turning to Andrea to find their next business growth opportunity. As a strategist, business development expert, dealmaker and subject matter expert on diversity and innovation, Andrea also helps companies do business with "arbiters of the new economy". Her second book, "50 Billion Dollar Boss: Stories from African American Women Entrepreneurs on Leadership and Success" (Palgrave Macmillan), hit bookshelves on November 3, 2015, and was nominated for a 2016 NAACP Image Award.

Contact Information:

Theresa Maloney
Cogenta Communications
925-287-1509 o
415-225-5261 m