Skip to main content

This Elevate Live session folds into Elevate & Celebrate’s “Finance and Wealth” week, meaning we will be focusing on nothing but the Benjamins! Join Jessica O. Matthews, Founder of Uncharted Power, and Hyacinth Vassell, VP of Innovation Engineering at AEO and listen to their insightful, non-Google-able tips and tricks on how to gain funding. You’ll not only learn how to identify when your business is ready for funding, but how to find it and secure it. They will bust all the myths and "facts" you thought you knew. These two phenomenal business experts will also dive into the history of Black wealth for you to grasp a full understanding of the potential untapped financial opportunities that lies ahead for your business or nonprofit. Building Black wealth is a crucial part of uplifting the Black community as a whole and Matthews and Vassell are ready to drop those gems (and dollar signs) for you. Hit that remind button, because you’re not going to want to miss out on this live conversation!

Jessica O. Matthews

Jessica Matthews is the Founder & CEO of Uncharted Power, an award-winning, power access company, that transforms the ground beneath us into smart, secure and cost-effective infrastructure for renewable energy access. Founded by Jessica at the age of 22, the company's proprietary suite of technology creates the “internet for decentralized energy” that can easily interconnect decentralized power applications (residential solar, electric vehicle charging stations, IoT sensors, etc.) into one sustainable network, bridging the power access gap between current grid and o -grid solutions.
In 2016, she raised what was at the time the largest Series A round ever raised by a Black female founder in history, A dual citizen of Nigeria & the United States Jessica has a degree in Psychology and Economics from Harvard University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is listed on over 12 patents and patents pending, including her first invention of the SOCCKET, an energy generating soccer ball, at the age of 19.
Jessica’s success in energy and entrepreneurship led to a White House invitation from President Barack Obama to represent small companies for the signing of the America Invents Act in 2012 and was selected to ring the NASDAQ opening ceremony bell, representing all Forbes 30 Under 30 alumni. Her list of accolades include Fortune’s Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs, Forbes 30 Under 30, Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30, and Harvard University Scientist of the Year.

Hyacinth Vassell

Hyacinth Vassell is the Vice President of Innovation Engineering at AEO. In her role, she oversees and develops strategies across programmatic, research, and advocacy initiatives organization-wide. Vassell is also responsible for shaping new initiatives, as well as building and managing philanthropic and partner relationships.
Prior to AEO, Vassell was the Director of the Inner City Capital Connections program at Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). During her tenure, Vassell created and oversaw the CEO Series, which provides online cutting-edge content for CEOs across the U.S. She also successfully developed and scaled the Inner City Capital Connections program to 10 cities and connected a nationwide network of capital providers, which made almost $1.5 billion of debt and equity capital available to program participants. While at ICIC, Vassell helped participants develop business strategies that enabled them to create almost 16,000 jobs in underserved communities.
Vassell also has broad experience as a senior business consultant. Former clients include AT&T, Fidelity, Fleet Bank, Caterpillar, Starwood Hotels, and MGM Grand.
In addition to championing small business, Vassell is also an entrepreneur. She owned French Studios and the Royal Solutions, and served as the past co-Chair of Roxbury Prep and advisor to the Girl Scouts strategic initiative. Vassell is a proud graduate of the University of Massachusetts—Amherst, where she earned a B.S. in Psychology.