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October 7 2023


FutureLAND Fellow (above) Trey Lewis
Story by Deon Stubbs
Photography by Rustin McCann of Destination Cleveland

The esteemed diverse networking tech conference, FutureLAND, once again thrust Cleveland into the limelight as it mesmerized individuals at the Playhouse Square in Cleveland Ohio, with an unprecedented spectacle. Throughout the year, Cleveland had been seeking a consistent surge of positivity, and entrepreneurs had been persistent in searching for fresh motivation and a beacon of hope due to limited resources. Conference attendees unanimously agreed that the city was in dire need of this transformative event. It was a crucial moment for entrepreneurs, tech innovators, the younger generations Y & Z, and the entire community. As the conference spread its infectious energy among dreamers and doers in Northeast Ohio, the atmosphere underwent a remarkable transformation, inspiring individuals to become the best versions of themselves. With a strong focus on tech innovation and shaping the future, the conference quickly fostered an intimate and personal connection, prompting attendees to ponder whether their self-improvement was for others or themselves. FutureLAND enriched the conference with appearances by A-list, award-winning celebrity music producers, acclaimed directors and filmmakers, successful content creators, and accomplished business leaders. This star-studded lineup ignited the belief in each participant that they could be the next success story. For those fleeting moments, FutureLAND was making history, one individual at a time, creating the next generation of rising stars.

Speaker - Andre Cisco II 

From Thursday to Friday, FutureLAND emphasized the paramount role of technology and how harnessing creativity would propel us into a more promising future. Renowned professional athlete and entrepreneur, Trey Lewis, made it a point to emphasize, "We have to get involved and get behind this movement." The evolution of something as significant and groundbreaking appeared to be unfolding at a pace that was hard to keep up with. As this movement gained momentum, it became imperative for us to evolve alongside it, if not stay a step ahead. During a crucial segment of the conference, FutureLAND sparked an extensive dialogue focused on the surge of artificial intelligence and how we could leverage it to our advantage. Concepts such as "educating oneself on optimal technology utilization" were spotlighted during a panel featuring Grammy award-winning and nominated songwriters, producers, artists, and DJs. The conference persistently drove the agenda of progress, surpassing the expectations of the audience as the momentum for advancement swelled. A spectator remarked, "This expanded my mind far beyond what I knew," following an enlightening panel led by the award-winning marketing genius, Jeff Harney. For all its significance, every attendee left with the conviction to transcend their previously held beliefs, understanding that they had the power to make history by doing more than they had ever imagined.

Host - Nwaka Onwusa / Speaker - Blitz Bazawule 

Speaker - Zion Clark

Amidst the unfolding of a dynamic show featuring a surge of creativity, budding tech innovators, and captivating live podcasts, Alysha Ellis, one of the visionary founders of FutureLAND and a distinguished business leader and innovator, offered a fresh perspective on the conference. She conveyed, "The mission of FutureLAND is to revolutionize Cleveland's innovation and tech ecosystem, fostering inclusivity and support for diverse founders." Cleveland bore witness to this transformative outlook, especially in 2022, when this remarkable event transcended the boundaries of a conventional conference, evolving into a compelling movement that lured talent back to the vibrant city, allowing the community to immerse themselves fully. "The impact from the previous year inspired us to initiate community-driven steering committees and our fellowship program, aiming to engage more trailblazers and influencers with FutureLAND, effectively shaping it into a movement," Alysha emphasized. The fruitful outcome of such an ambitious leader, backed by a highly proficient team, yielded immensely rewarding results for all creatives and entrepreneurs. Undoubtedly, FutureLAND remained steadfast in its mission to foster connection and bridge gaps. The audience overwhelmingly appreciated FutureLAND's collective endeavors to dismantle the barriers faced by small businesses and self-made entrepreneurs, particularly concerning financial resources. It was indeed remarkable to witness a wealth of financial knowledge consolidated in a central hub, accompanied by clear steps on securing funding for business endeavors. With like-minded individuals congregating in the room, concerns regarding gatekeeping and misdirection during adversities were openly discussed. New entrepreneurs bravely shared their obstacles, finding solace and growing confidence through shared experiences. The discourse surrounding gatekeeping dissipated as panelist speakers took the stage, generously sharing their knowledge with everyone present. For FutureLAND is enduring dream and aspirations, this approach undoubtedly ensured that everyone remained secure in their beliefs and convictions.

Host - Detavio Samuels / Speakers (left to right) - Samir Hernandez, Josh Ott

FutureLAND transcends mere surface perception, and its impact has earned Cleveland the moniker of "believe-land" as the city etches history through this movement, flourishing as a vibrant hub for technology and entrepreneurship. Beyond the array of educational and networking prospects, FutureLAND has empowered attendees, enabling some to secure substantial six-figure deals and granting access to diverse business resources crucial for their sustenance. In the words of numerous local participants who were part of this movement, FutureLAND represented a significant moment for introspection and growth, allowing them to take ownership of their journey, embrace collaborative ventures, and devise strategies to fulfill their mission. As we anticipate the unfolding of the movement's next chapter in Northeastern Ohio next year, it is evident that Cleveland is aligning with the present momentum. Every entrepreneur, creative, small business owner, corporate leader, and professional has been profoundly influenced, gaining a renewed perspective on their life as they equip themselves for an empowered future.

Anyone looking to become part of the movement and get involved in FutureLAND, please contact

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