Founder | Plug In South LA

Derek Smith is the Founder of Plug In South LA, LA’s premier tech network for Black and Brown Founders in the ever-evolving space of emerging technology. With a focus on the newest technologies that disrupt the tech landscape, Derek leads underrepresented talent and Founders in navigating the industry’s compounding evolution and helps them participate confidently in the wealth of opportunities therein. Plug In South LA has assisted countless startups and professionals in attaining successful growth made possible by the changemaking resources within the PISLA network — including a startup accelerator, Power Huddle sessions with tech and industry leaders, and community events.
Derek is a lover of good foods and unplanned adventures, and was also a former board member at Sustainable South Bronx.
Find Derek at this year’s Urban Tech Connect 2022: Metamorphosis — hosted by Plug In — where he’ll bring together his large and diverse network of founders, VCs, professionals, and emerging talent in growing forward together in tech.

My Sessions


Breakout Rooms – Equity & The LA Ecosystem


As Los Angeles continues its ascent as a world-class startup ecosystem, how can we make sure to be building a founding and funding environment that works for everyone? This panel will explore who is allocating and receiving venture dollars, and discuss tangible ways to improve.