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Recently Aytekin Tank, founder of JotForm wrote a compelling piece titled, “Why startups are dying left and right.” In this article, he shared the less glamorized view of entrepreneurship where he demystifies the experience. The slow, patient road, at times, bootstrapped, always tough, riddled with lessons from failure and prioritizing profit over growth. I shared this article with the community at ustwo Adventure. It was encouraging and enlightening to see some of the common strands that resonated with this collective of ‘less glamorized’ entrepreneurs. In this article, I have shared the top 3 of

We are so used to the narrative of the starving artist, or the former star crashing and burning, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at those hip-hop artists using tech to buck the trend. The ones who have been wise enough to capitalize on tech’s slow coup-ted of every industry. The ones who have been investing in startups, raising capital and founding their very own. This is far from the canonical list, and I’ve missed out on many others [honorable mention to Chamillionaire, and of course Dr.

“I was the only black person in a room full of middle aged white investors and fellow white entrepreneurs pitching for investment. Of course it felt awkward, of course I was nervous, of course I didn’t feel as if I belonged.” The account below was a story shared with me by one of the readers of my content who has grown to become a friend. He is an entrepreneur building AI for the Recruitment industry and shares a true to life experience below that many people of colour can relate

As a founder, I’m sure you’ve heard ‘build for the long term,’ ‘focus on the long-term’ or some variation of this? As an advisor, you’ve probably given this advice to a founder, haven’t you? ‘Well, stop it!’ ‘Focus on the long-term’ is a trope that advisors, investors and successful founders tend to throw about. What these advisors don’t know is that when a founder is told this, she thinks You, the advisor, aren’t being empathetic know nothing about the founder’s context. You, the investor, are just repeating something you’ve either

I recently had the privilege to attend a special event at the Rutgers Business School, a demo day for Black and Latinx founders that had completed a pre-accelerator program. From The Black and Latino Tech Initiative(BLT) and CUEED Pipeline to Inclusive Innovation,  there were a total of 26 graduates.  By the end of the event, I was left with two conflicting feelings – a sense of empowerment and disappointment. Empowerment: In the technology and investment world, we’ve been made well aware through many sources about the diversity problem. You can

Tell us about your career up to this point. It’s been quite nonlinear. My first job was as a reporter covering arts and theatre for the local edition of a national newspaper in Bangalore, India (where I grew up) at age 19. It was interesting because I knew nothing about arts and theatre. I was studying to be an engineer at the time. My first full-time job after graduating from college was as an engineer at JP Morgan Chase — I worked in a project management team that designed and

12–18 months after raising some money from friends & family or a seed round, many of the founders I talk to shift from product/market fit questions to fundraising concerns. After trying to dissuade them from going this route (and failing most of the time) I point out the self-sabotaging actions that reduce their chances of raising venture capital. Why do I try to dissuade these founders? Because they lack the understanding that a venture backed firm serves several masters and the growth expectations (that help the VC determine return multiples) can

Growing up, I remember relating to characters I identified with like, Ace in Paid in Full, The Notorious B.I.G in his “Juicy” music video or even Omar in the hit series, The Wire. However, the game has changed in regards to role models. Now entrepreneurs are the rockstars with the Facebook movie (The Social Network) for example, illustrating entrepreneurship has now become popular culture. Let’s get reflective real quick and ask ourselves an honest question: Do you identify with any of the characters you read about in Entrepreneur, Inc. or Forbes? According

Let’s talk about early beginnings, more in your younger years…where exactly were you born? I’m from a small town in Michigan. Growing up outside of a city and working on a farm as a child was a great way to experience a very different way of life than my adult adventures in NYC and San Francisco. If you can, everyone should live in areas that represent how most Americans live. Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is a great way to get a good understanding of how similar we

CEO of Bae, Before Anyone Else What made you choose to work in tech? I wanted to be in tech because I want to revive the Black family, by making dating fun again with Bae.  Tech is the fastest way to get a product in consumers’ hands and helped Bae become the fastest growing app for people of color to meet, chat and date. What was an obstacle you faced and how did you overcome that obstacle? An obstacle I faced was changing my mindset not to rely on traditional

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