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This article is tech founder’s Thompson Aderinkomi follow up to the popular article “How Getting Fired From My Own Company By VC’s Taught Me To Start Again Without Them…” Originally posted on Medium Building a company is like me building my wife an enclosure to expand and protect her garden from squirrels. I made it up and had no idea what I was doing, I’ve never built anything in my life. The same is true for most founders including me. But that did not stop me from building the enclosure and nor should it

“HBCUvc is solving for the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in Venture Capital (VC) to create inclusive and equitable economies.” That’s my formal pitch when I meet people at industry events. I admit it contains a lot of buzzwords. Depending on who’s in my audience, I will alter my pitch and say: “We’re creating Black and Latinx venture capital investors so that more entrepreneurs of color will receive funding, and ultimately create job and wealth opportunities for communities of color.” In response to either version of this pitch, the curious audiences will ask

This post was originally posted here. I sometimes struggle to figure out the best way to convey something that is important to me to others. That may come as a shock to many of you because of all the articles and blogs I write, and the speaking gigs I have, and the fact that I’m in the business of recommending things to millions of people — but it’s true. For much of 2014 and 2015, I banged my head against a plane window flying back and forth between Austin and Silicon Valley

It was summer 2009 and I was a fresh economics graduate from the London School of Economics working at the Financial Times as an editorial intern. My final degree score averaged 69, one mark shy of a distinction. But after all the trials and tribulations of a challenging undergraduate course I was ecstatic to have come out of it alive, let alone with a merit. As I stood in the offices of one of the most famous and respected newspapers in the world, all around me the foundations of capitalism

Frederik is a Senior Associate at Storm Ventures, previous CEO of Stanford Student Enterprises, and founder of BLCK VC. BLCK VC was formed to connect, engage, empower, and advance Black venture investors by providing a focused community built for and by Black venture investors. What got you interested in VC? I gained exposure to VC due to my prior role as CEO of Stanford Student Enterprises–a nonprofit at Stanford that had the mission of teaching Stanford students how to build and manage businesses. As part of SSE, we had a

I am indigenous. I am also white. My lineage is that of the colonized and the colonizer, both influencing my identity, beliefs, and voice. As an African American woman and C-level executive in Silicon Valley, I have spent the past 20 years of my life building teams and companies that have changed American culture. Technology companies occupy a position of cultural and economic influence—one that comes with a responsibility to ask yourself how to build a better world with what you’re building and how you’re building it. At Abstract, we see inclusive hiring as

This is the tale of a technology enabled phoenix. This is the tale of the death of a startup. It is the tale of betrayal and survival. It is long. It is a tale of redemption. It is worth the read. In the year 2011, I was inspired to start a technology-enabled primary care practice that would cut the cost of healthcare in half while 10x-ing the patient experience. I knew a lot about healthcare but nothing about running a clinic. Yet, I knew that I had done harder things

Think about a time in your life when you felt most included. What was going on, and how did it feel? Now take a minute and think about a time in your life when you felt excluded. What was going on there, and how did that feel? Everyone wants to feel included. We all want to feel safe. We all want to have that power.  Some of us have more power than others, but as individuals, we can take a number of thoughtful actions that add up to create a better, more inclusive

As my senior year at Dartmouth College progresses, many people have asked me, “What piece of advice would you give an incoming college freshman?” Upon reflection I settled on this “…regardless of your major [and if the opportunity presents itself] take a Computer Science and a Statistics course.” Computer Science has impacted every industry you can think of, finance, technology, engineering, energy, oil & gas, etc. As society progresses, so does technology. Programming is a super-power. Someone can have the next “Facebook” or “Snapchat,” but without the necessary tools to

I finally made it to Blavity’s AfroTech conference in Silicon Valley last month thanks to Product Hunt & AngelList sponsoring me. Here’s what I learned while I was there: 1. Feeling included leads to high levels of self-belief and inspiration. Feeling like an outsider in the industry has been a common theme in my career. It’s what has led me to obsess over making the industry more representative of wider society and of course feel more inclusive. AfroTech represents something like a pilgrimage for me as a techie. It was the

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