Dominique Reese

Head of DE&I and Social Impact
Plug and Play Tech Center

As the Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) and Social Impact at Plug and Play Tech Center, I lead the company’s first DEI-focused initiative, DRIVE, which stands for Diversity, Respect, Inclusion, Visibility, and Equity. DRIVE aims to develop, assist, and provide better access to funding for underrepresented founders and educate the company’s broader ecosystem on the importance of DE&I through tech-enabled solutions, workshops, and training sessions. I have created a multidimensional, community-centered approach to advancing diverse representation in the tech world worldwide, connecting historically underrepresented founders of different backgrounds with giant corporations interested in similar initiatives and contributing to the common good for the diverse future of tech.

A great example of this is the first program through DRIVE i launched with Visa called our Visa Inclusive Fintech Accelerator in which we selected 21 diverse founders based in North America. Through this partnership, Plug and Play Tech Center and Visa aim to provide an inclusive platform that addresses the unique challenges faced by diverse founders in the tech industry.

The Inclusive Fintech Accelerator will offer selected founders access to Visa’s internal resources, mentorship, and customized support from industry experts, with the addition of networking opportunities from Plug and Play’s ecosystem and customized programming. Participants will have the opportunity to collaborate closely with Visa executives, tapping into their deep knowledge of the payments and financial technology sectors.

Before launching DRIVE, I worked in the Supply Chain Vertical at Plug and Play Tech Center, where I was exposed to some of the most influential companies in the Supply Chain Industry, such as Walmart, USPS, DHL, and JP Hunt. Through this experience, I witnessed how tech-powered innovation can solve the internal needs of major corporations and realized that innovation can also change the world for the better. I graduated from California State East Bay, Hayward, CA, where I obtained a BA in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. By bridging the two, I have stepped into my passion for social impact and innovation, using my skills in organization, public speaking, and management to make a difference in the tech industry and beyond.