Tim Costello

Director of Autonomous Retail Technology | UST

Jilea Hemmings is a staunch believer in the power of entrepreneurship. A successful career in the pharmaceutical industry was not enough for her. Jilea began focusing on her passion after she could not find healthy meals to feed her son who had recently been diagnosed with autism at two years old. She co-founded Greenie Tots, making healthy frozen plant-based meals for kids based on traditional kids’ favorites.

Jilea went on to build two scheduling tech apps that supported the pharmaceutical and cannabis industries after showing up to doctor offices at the wrong time and having to wait or not be seen at all. Jilea has combined her background in food and tech to create the first black-owned autonomous grocery store with robotic delivery in the world located in Fayetteville, Ga. and the first checkout free grocery store in the southeastern United States called Nourish + Bloom Market.

Jilea is the author of “The Untold Truth About Building A Startup” and has created a podcast series based on the book focused on sharing lessons on life, business, health and wealth airing on Spotify, iTunes and Google Play.

Jilea is an advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and is an influential speaker and nationally syndicated writer promoting the important role of women in technology. She believes that there should be no boundaries— neither class, race, nor gender—that should stand in the way of being able to use one’s purpose, passion, strengths and talents to fuel entrepreneurial endeavors.