ideas worth spreading

Meet the speakers, performers, and exhibitors who will light up TEDxDetroit this year.

TEDxDetroit features the best and brightest minds sharing their passion, insights, and ideas worth spreading.

Our speaker roster balances left brain and right brain – academics, artists, investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators.  Each speaker only has a short block of time to share their positive idea for the world.

The main stage isn’t the only place to experience big ideas at TEDxDetroit. TEDxLabs and TEDxMarketplace showcase homegrown tech, art, and small businesses right outside the theatre. It’s part business expo, part art gallery, and part science fair. You can demo new tech, sample local cuisine, buy from local artisans, and meet the speakers in between sessions during TEDxDetroit.

Sydney Davis

Founder & CEO
NixCode

Sydney is the Founder of NixCode, an Artificial-Intelligent (AI) assisted no-code app development software company. She is dedicated to supporting non-technical entrepreneurs, helping them launch their first successful mobile app & software companies. Sydney has been recognized as one of 30 Influential Women Advancing AI and a Forbes Next 1000 Entrepreneur Honoree. With over a decade of entrepreneurship and tech experience, Sydney encourages diversity of thought among community leaders and equity among underrepresented founders.

Swamy Kotagiri

CEO,
Magna

As CEO, Mr. Kotagiri is focused on keeping Magna at the forefront of a changing mobility landscape and accelerating the company’s growth for the benefit of employees, shareholders and customers. Mr. Kotagiri has a master’s in mechanical engineering from Oklahoma State University with a specialization in materials and structural engineering. He has more than 12 patents in automotive product and process design to his credit and is a member of the SAE. Mr. Kotagiri is one of Business Insider’s 100 People Transforming Business, an annual list and series highlighting those across industries who are changing the way the world does business.

Sarah Welch

Chief Culinary Officer
Partner at Marrow; Co-Owner of Mink

Chef Sarah was raised between Jamaica and Michigan surrounded with culture, cooking, and eating. After graduating from Michigan State, she trained in the culinary arts at New York’s French Culinary Institute. Today, Sarah is the Executive Chef, founding member and equity partner at Marrow. She is also the co-owner of seafood-centric restaurant Mink. Marrow was voted a semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant in the country by the James Beard Foundation (JBF) and was named one of the top new restaurants by Eater. Sarah has been nominated twice by the JBF as one of the best chefs in the Great Lakes region. She was a finalist on Top Chef. Sarah’s time in Detroit has yielded close connections with the local farming community.

Princess Castleberry

CEO, Castle Risk Management & HR Consulting and Founder, Cibeles Beauty

Princess Castleberry is a native Detroit West Sider; an accomplished global risk and wellness leader; speaker; author; and pro makeup artist. She is CEO of both Castle Risk Management & HR Consulting and Cibeles Beauty, following a 20-year corporate career with Fortune 500 firms. She created ‘Every Leader is a Risk Manager’ – the world’s first wellness-centered risk competency model and is a Christian wife and mother. You’ll spot her signature red lipstick with a fired-up personality to match!

Mujeeb Ijaz

CEO & Founder,
Our Next Energy

Mujeeb Ijaz is a battery systems engineer with over 30 years of experience in the development of electric vehicles and battery systems technologies. His career work has focused on furthering the adoption of electric vehicles through advancements in battery safety, range, and cost. Mujeeb led teams at Ford Motor Co., where he developed Ford’s Edge with HySeries Drive, the Ford Fusion Hydrogen 999 that set a land speed record at Bonneville in 2007, and the Chrysler ENVI project. He was president of A123’s Venture Technologies unit and more recently, a senior director at Apple. Mujeeb holds 31 patents in the field of battery technology and energy management systems.

Renée T. Walker

President,
RENEE WALKER & ASSOCIATES

Renée is an award-winning brand and marketing strategist who honed her expertise through executive positions with multimillion and billion-dollar brands in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Her passion is helping organizations and executives communicate strategically to achieve higher performance, productivity and profits. She is the author of “Brand Power for Small Business Entrepreneurs,” a Newsweek Expert Forum contributor, and a featured contributor to industry publications.

Daniel Martin

Magician. Host.
Creative Entrepreneur.

Daniel Martin has quickly become one of the most sought after performers & presenters in the world. His high-energy presentations are a thrilling fusion of Incredible Sleight of Hand & Playful Sleight of Mind that has broken box office attendance for theaters, corporations & upscale events worldwide and his Drinks & Deceptions hosted in Michigan. His awarding winning magic has been featured on the BBC, Netflix, CBS, NBC, Discovery plus as a consultant on hit shows such as Scam School and Magic for Humans.

Dion Walcott

Director of Partnerships,
Pensole Lewis College

Dion Walcott is the founder of MARTK’D and is a highly sought-after speaker, strategist, and curator who has used his passion for sneakers to create a notable career in the marketplace. Dion’s first break came when he was chosen as the Director of Programs and Partnerships for North America’s first-ever sneaker exhibit at The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Dion’s doing “Well and Good” approach has helped him empower creative communities globally.

Steve Lowisz

CEO – Qualigence International,
Speaker, Investor

Steve Lowisz is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and keynote speaker on all things people. As the son of immigrants, Steve was recognized as a Michigan Small Businessperson of the Year, and has led Qualigence International to being named a Best & Brightest Place to Work in the Nation. But it was a rocky road. After more than 2 decades as a leader, Steve now shares his own journey of growth focused on getting the best FOR team members, not just the best FROM each employee.

Kwaku Osei

Co-Founder & CEO,
Farmacy Food

Kwaku Osei is CEO of Farmacy Food & Chairman of Cooperative Capital. He was previously at Rock Ventures where he worked on special projects with Dan Gilbert and served as CEO to Project X LLC, a tech spinout of Rock Ventures. He started his career at Deloitte Consulting. Kwaku earned his BS in Marketing from VCU with University Honors and currently serves on the boards of The Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit, CDAD, The Detroit Community Wealth Fund and Bridging Communities.

Michael Angelo Caruso

Presentation Coach,
Edison House

Michael Angelo Caruso teaches presentation skills. His keynotes are a combination of your best teacher and your favorite comedian. Michael gets fast results with clients on five continents and in 49 of the 50 states. He’s worked with Hallmark, Bank of America, Verizon Wireless, Rayovac, Citgo, Nissan, and the United States Navy. Michael is author of Work Hacks and Dear Michael Angelo — A Father’s Life Letters to His Son. He also has a highly rated speaker coaching class titled, Present Like a Pro. A lifetime Rotarian, Michael enjoys exercise, movies, non-fiction books and travel.

Andy Didorosi

Founder, Detroit Buss
& EV Startup Mutiny

Andy is a doer. A serial entrepreneur, Andy opened a small business incubator in Ferndale at age 22. A few years later, he took on public transportation and The Detroit Bus Company was born. In the pandemic, he started The Arsenal of Clean to help schools, hospitals, and Detroit get good, safe, effective hand sanitizer. In between, he’s run several charity initiatives for kids, Now, he’s bought an entire car factory in Detroit and he getting it started again – he’s building 4×4 EV light trucks from the ground up that are affordable and fixable.

Mike Geeter

Comedian, Actor, Writer

As an Ivy League dropout and community college graduate from Pontiac, MI, Mike brings a pointed look at life, family, and relationships that few others can…or should. From his upbringing in a family with 17 children to discussing his life as a father, Mike’s comedy is jagged wit mixed with a smooth delivery. Mike was featured on Hulu and Fox Television’s comedy showcase “Laughs” (Season 1) and the Detroit episode of “Kevin Hart Presents: Hart Of The City 2” on Comedy Central (Season 2).

Mike’s first full length comedy CD “The Charm Offensive” available on all digital platforms.

Ian Prukner

Chairman / Co-CEO, Champion E- Commerce

Ian Prukner is a Best Selling Author, Entrepreneur and Consultant and has built 7/8/9 figure businesses in finance, real estate, e-commerce and intellectual property spaces including a multiple 8 figure exit. Born and raised in Royal Oak Michigan, Ian currently resides in Siesta Key Florida with his wife Jessica and 3 children, Kayley, Zac, and Zoey.

Vincent Paul

President & Artistic Director,
Music Hall Center 

Mr. Paul is one of the country’s leading performing arts managers. Currently managing Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, he presents some of the biggest names in show business as well as the world’s most renowned attractions in theatre, music, puppetry, circus and dance, to an audience of more than 250,000 each year. He is responsible for producing, developing, and programming over 400 performances and special events annually, including the Detroit Music Weekend downtown festival. In addition, he oversees the nine performing arts education outreach programs that engage 22,000 students annually, mainly in the Detroit schools.

Benji Rosenzweig

VP – Commercial Real Estate Broker, Colliers International Detroit

Benji is a founding board member of the Coffin Siris Syndrome Foundation, which provides support and research for families affected by the rare genetic condition that his daughter Ellah has. He & his wife Sarah are passionate disability advocates. They have two amazing daughters, Na’amah and Ellah. Benji is a live music enthusiast and channels his passion into running the music programs for young adults at the Friendship Circle of Michigan. In his professional life, he is a VP and Commercial Real Estate Broker with Colliers International Detroit, where he has helped hundreds of businesses and investors all over Detroit buy, sell and lease commercial property.

Justin W. Turk

CEO and Founder,
Livegitstics, Inc

Justin Turk is leveraging over 25 years of experience and is using  technology to automate processes,  build sustainability, and revolutionize the construction industry. Livegistics has grown to 30 employees from four last year. The firm’s growth was helped by a $1 million “Black Ambition” grand prize pitch competition in 2021 and recently closed a $6 million seed investment. Justin holds a degree in computer science from Bowling Green University and a master’s in construction engineering from Lawrence Technological University. Justin is dedicated to ensuring that minorities have a sustainable place at the table as both construction and tech entrepreneurs.

Moody Mattan

VR & AR Developer
CEO of BrandXR

Moody is the founder and CEO of BrandXR. Prior to founding BrandXR, Moody founded PowisVR, where he built a multi-million dollar virtual reality headset and mobile accessories business. He led investments in Meta, Sidecar, and Genius at Fenox Venture Capital. Moody specializes in finding profitable strategies for emerging technologies. A former Wayne State University football player, Moody recently moved back to Detroit to strengthen the tech community and play a role in the city’s resurgence.

TEDxLabs Exhibitors
Coming Soon

TEDxMarketplace Exhibitors
Coming Soon