October 11, 2023

Half Link-Up, Half Turn-Up: Industry Link Is Connecting NYC’s Young Black Tech Professionals And Creatives For Free

Industry Link

Industry Link is a unique self-funded initiative to unite New York’s young Black professionals working across tech, media, entertainment, and aligned industries.

Created by young Black professionals for young Black professionals, the platform offers a series of free private mixers in New York City.

The events are dedicated to breaking down the cliques, kicking back, showing off your latest fits, and catching up with old and new friends across industries at different venues around the city.

“This is the place to find the next person who’s gonna put you on, and vice versa,” Industry Link states.

By and for young Black professionals 

Industry Link’s team comprises founder Joseph Milord, the manager of senior publisher partnerships at LinkedIn, and co-founder Yrbenka Arthus, the creator manager at LinkedIn.

Greg Butler, a sales leader at Asana, and Oluwatomisin Adesokhan, a senior analyst loyalty and engagement marketing at American Express, complete the team as co-founders.

Milord told AfroTech he founded Industry Link at an inaugural event in July 2021 after he noticed a need for more activations following the COVID-19 pandemic.

He then felt a need to help fill the void with events where Black people, particularly in tech, were given a professional space to connect. 

In the beginning, Industry Link had 20 attendees, and now it has grown to have hundreds of people at its events.

Non-traditional networking 

“What we see that’s different from other networking events is that we provide a good vibe,” Adesokan said.

“People actually come to network. You see other networking events where people don’t really get the opportunity to network. People do get the opportunity to network at ours.”

The platform has been entirely self-funded through bootstrapping, and the team wanted to ensure they could make all events free for attendees to enjoy.

They told AfroTech that the company’s core supports Black tech, media, and creative professionals in their career journeys.

“Our intentionality from the start was to make this an event that was never costly to our attendees,” Butler said.

“We want people to support our mission of making sure that we continue to create a free, social, relaxed networking environment for folks that are looking for something that’s non-traditional based off what is traditional in the industry.”

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.