Bio

A millennial that found inspiration at the nexus of business, community and politics, Cofield has carved a niche for herself as an entrepreneur, advocate, and speaker on all things start-up and diversity. A converted management consultant, economic fellow, and economic development director she currently serves as the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of Urban Co-Lab. Previously, she was the President &  CEO of the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce where she is also the founding President of the Austin Black Technology Council. Her work has been featured in Forbes, BusinessInsider, Black Enterprise, Essence and Ebony among others.

Through her role, Cofield has established relationships between Austin and global markets such as Israel, Brazil, Kenya and South Africa, among others that have successfully led to formal partnership agreements and trade missions.   Domestically, she has worked to establish Austin as a ‘mecca’ for minorities in technology through aggressive national outreach campaigns and the cultivation of strong relationships within the Austin technology eco-system.  Formerly, Cofield also served as the founderof the District of Columbia’s $100,000 venture capital backed Business Plan competition which ran successfully for five-years.

Cofield serves on the board of the CleanTX Foundation, Biodrill, a renewable energy technology firm, and is a member of the President’s Council for the US Black Chamber, Inc.  In 2010 She testified before the US Senate Committee on Small Business & Enterpreneurship and authored the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship: A Guide for African American Enterpreneurs.

In 2013 Cofield was named the Technology Diversity Evangelist of the Year by Google and one of the Top 10 Black Innovators by MVMT50, an initative of South by Southwest.

Cofield is a graduate of Howard University and the Baruch School of Public Affairs in New York. An honors Information Systems graduate from the Howard University School of Business, Cofield has spoken for global technology companies including IBM, Dell, Applied Materials, Google, and Facebook among others.

Follow Natalie Cofield on twitter @ncofield.