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“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

  Venture Analyst www.linkedin.com/in/sirisrinivas 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

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  brianjgerrard.co 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

    Venture Partner at Collaborative Fund kanyi.me   How did you become involved in tech? I got involved in technology accidentally. I was at Stanford studying philosophy and a friend of mine at the graduate school of business was working on an app. I was one of the people who was helping him out and over the course of the process I found myself enjoying the energy and dynamism of the work. I ultimately ended up leaving school to go work with him. How did you become a VC afterwards? I