Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan, Esq.
Founding Executive Director of Venture Café Miami
Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan, Esq. is the founding Executive Director of Venture Café Miami. Under her leadership, VCM’s innovation programming has attracted over 45,000 innovators, resulting in content partnerships with 1000+ organizations and 1500+ free educational sessions. Leigh-Ann leads initiatives designed to increase inclusion, access, and greater connectivity within Miami’s innovation and entrepreneurial community through high impact partnerships and programs.
Leigh-Ann is an author, facilitator and frequent speaker on strategies for inclusive innovation ecosystems, entrepreneurship-led economic development, experiential leadership development and impact models and social justice innovation. Previously, she served as legal counsel to entrepreneurs, startups and multinational corporations in a wide variety of complex business litigation matters and commercial disputes.
Leigh-Ann is the founder of the Nyah Project, an exclusive fellowship which develops purposeful youth leaders of color from underserved communities through transformative experiences abroad.
As the former chair of the American Bar Association’s Coalition on Racial & Ethnic Justice, she created the ABA JusticeHack, a national series of interdisciplinary hackathons designed address tensions points between law enforcement and communities of color.
She has been recognized as a Most Influential Black Business Leaders (2019); Florida Influencer (2019, 2018); one of Miami’s 50 Most Powerful and Influential Black Business Leaders (2019); Harvard Business School Young American Leader (2018); Miami Fellow (2017); Black Enterprise Magazine, Miami Tech Trailblazer (2017); Dade County Bar Association, Woman on the Rise Award (2017); Legacy Magazine, Under 40 Achiever (2017); Miami Girls Foundation (2017); Miami Dade Chamber Young Innovator of the Year (2016); Aspen Institute’s National Working Group on Inclusive Innovation (2016); American Bar Association Top 40 Young Lawyers (2016); Bethune Cookman University, 40 Under 40 (2016); Daily Business Review, Rising Star (2015); Greater Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, HYPE Award finalist (2014); National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division Rising Star Award (2013); and South Florida’s 40 Under 40 Black Leaders (2013).