My business is to
put Black businesses

Melanie Akwule is building Black Businesses and putting them on a rocket-ship

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

- African Proverb
About Me

Equal Parts Business & Techie

Melanie Akwule has spent the majority of her career transforming data from underutilized assets to actionable insights for her customers. After gaining valuable experience as a Senior Technical Product Manager in General Electric's Data Science Products division, she is now leveraging her gifts to build MINWO, an economic development tech company that advocates for the investment in and development of Black-owned businesses.

As a coach, Melanie helps entrepreneurs break down their 10-year vision into concrete steps to achieve them. Whether it's business or product strategy, clients come with their plans and she reminds them that focus is key. From creating user stories to building world-class development teams to running market validation studies, she focuses on tactical support to get founders moving.
Melanie Akwule

My Journey

Graduated from GE's Information Technology Leadership Program to begin her career in Big Data and Product Management.
Experienced the great social reckoning we now know as Black Lives Matter, prompting Melanie to think of how she could merge her talents and gifts with the needs of her community.
Took a leap of faith and left her 6-figure salary to work on MINWO full time iterating its mission and vision over time.
Created a course overnight to drive allies to the Black community from passive to active during Black Lives Matter Part 2, generating critical revenue for MINWO
Launched Rialto in public Beta after 2.5 years of bootstrapping and multiple MVPs, Melanie’s vision finally reaches customers.

As Seen In

Melanie Akwule

Building an Ecosystem with MINWO

Melanie has been a spoke in the wheel connecting disparate communities and entities to achieve amazing things. Through MINWO, Melanie is leveraging regenerative economics to contribute to the rise in Black business development.

Along her journey as a founder, she noticed the gaps within the Black business ecosystem and wondered how much more powerful it could be if there was a way for organizations to work together toward their common goal - driving Black business forward.

Enter MINWO. Learn more at

Work with Melanie

Founders often come to me with their vision for the product or company and my first response is,

"That's a great 10 year plan. Where are you starting today?"

I'm your accountability coach as you walk through the most challenging part of building a business - determining where to start.
Melanie Akwule is a Product Management consultant

Product Management Consulting

Building software takes patience and both short term and long term planning. In our coaching sessions we’ll discuss the following and tailor a plan unique to your product goals:
  • Market validation
  • Developing in iterations
  • Building a world class development team
  • Agile/Scrum
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Melanie Akwule is a Business Development consultant

Business Development Consulting

A product is no good without a solid go to market strategy and supporting operations. These coaching sessions are tailored to make sure your company supports your product and include discussing:
  • Market research
  • Key strategic hires
  • Funding/fundraising plan
  • Digitizing business operations
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Speaking Engagements

Interested in booking Melanie for a paid* speaking engagement?
Book Melanie
Favorite Topics Include:
  • The State of Black Business
  • Building Tech Startups
  • The Power of Data
Previous Speaking Engagements:
  • Coalition of Black Excellence - Keynote Panelist
  • Tech Intersections - Creating your Funding Plan
  • Hustle Forward - Launching New Products & Services
  • Haas School of Business - Diversity Summit - MBA for Working Professionals - Host
*Black women are notoriously underpaid for speaking engagements. In my commitment to closing the gap, I no longer speak for free and encourage you to consider paying Black women for their time and expertise.
See Melanie in Action


What People Are Saying

When Melanie and I started working together, America On Tech was at an inflection point. We were experiencing a tremendous amount of growth, recovering from the pandemic and I was managing a lot as a leader both personally and professionally. Through her coaching, I was able to gain clarity, advice and a plan to ensure the success of our organization, while prioritizing my own preparedness for this next phase of our work. It has been a pleasure working with her.

Jessica Santana

America on Tech
Melanie is a great founder because she is a visionary with the capability to lead and execute. In one of our first conversations she talked about her unwillingness to stray from her original vision for Rialto despite obstacles and detractors. Not only has she brought her vision to life, continue to be impressed with how she runs the company. As a software engineer, I'm particularly impressed with how she assembled and organized a dev team to build-out the product.

Marcellus Haynes

Technologists of Color
Melanie was my executive coach during the pandemic when I needed support balancing work with my other leadership commitments. She was able to walk me through different tools and methods to manage the work, people, and fires on a day to day basis. Her coaching helped me stay strong during covid-recovery and ensure my organization survived.

Jerelyn Rodriguez

The Knowledge House
Melanie is one of the best product managers I have worked with. Also her ability to galvanize a team that is not full time and make the progress she has made with very little budget shows she has what it takes to be an awesome leader.

Barry Givens

Collab Capital
Joey Womack talks about Melanie Akwule
This space (minority business support) is ripe for innovation as there are billions of dollars spent inefficiently each year. I've been impressed by Melanie's long-term vision for the company combined with her ability to focus in on the points on the immediate road-map.

Joey Womack

Goodie Nation
Erin Wheeler talks about Melanie Akwule
Melanie has helped me to gain clarity around my goals as well as help me shape concrete actions to push me forward. I was stuck and overwhelmed and she help me to simplify processes so that I can get out of my own way.

Erin Wheeler

Executive Director

Let's Build

Interested in chatting further or don't see something you need? Drop a note and we can figure out how to make it happen.
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