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“I love tech, but I’m not a techie” is a phrase I’ve heard from countless people, particularly women, since starting Hustle Crew in 2016. I shake my head every time because even though I have worked in tech for almost a decade at giants like Amazon and Groupon, I never once wrote a line of code in any of those roles. What does it mean to be techie anyway? I found myself in summer 2016 unemployed with no next move planned. I quit my job in a London based startup

This conversation is a snippet from this #Techish podcast episode between Arlan Hamilton founder of Backstage Capital, and Michael Berhane, cleaned up and edited for readabilty sake. I’ve always wanted to know when you first had the idea for Backstage Capital. What was the first thing you did?  Cried [haha] It didn’t happen overnight. I studied, I started my education to understand venture capital. I had to. The old guard, the people who are already there, perhaps they needed a little bit more of a shakeup when it came to

  A system cannot fail those it was never built to protect — Dad (@fivefifths) July 14, 2013 In 2013 the writer and journalist Van Newkirk, who goes under the moniker, fivefiths tweeted, A system cannot fail those it was never built to protect. It is was tweeted in the light of the dismissal of George Zimmerman who was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin. The quote is often wrongly attributed to black historian W E Dubois but there is no record he said this and people were probably

Entrepreneurship can seem like the ultimate catch 22—making progress requires funding, but progress begets funding in the first place. The average seed stage startup is worth over $5M and is bootstrapped by founders for about 2.5 years before the first venture capitalist (VC) invests money to help the business grow. Entrepreneurs of color, however, disproportionately fall short of accessing the necessary capital to achieve the initial traction above. For instance, although the total venture capital investments reached nearly $70B in the U.S. in 2016, companies led by founders of color received

The oddest part about being a Zimbabwean millennial is that for your benefit you grew up having to look beyond Zimbabwe to achieve any form of a normal livelihood. This is still largely a present and painful reality, families, remain scattered across the world, torn apart by circumstances that merely happened to them. Despite that which we had no control or say over, I’m happy to say in our post-Mugabe dispensation; I can see Zimbabwe through a different lens — contentious point at varying degrees depending on who you talk

This guest post was originally published at Backstage Capital’s Green Room blog. On a daily basis, I get inquiries on and around the world of venture capital (VC) and Backstage Capital. So, when Mario Avila, an aspiring VC, reached out to me and expressed interest in typing up a few questions that could help many others, I took him up on it. I told Mario I’d answer his questions and post them. In this post, we explore my role as a Principal, diversity in venture capital, portfolio management, and how

As a content strategist/UX writer at Google, my responsibilities were very much similar to a technical writer for a regulatory agency. The land of job titles is quite a tricky one in this field. The audiences, team members, content type, and products can be completely different, but I still go through a particular process for creating and publishing content. Even though each day is different, I’ll walk you through what I typically do for an upcoming product launch. Keep in mind, I could be jumping in between each step because I

Earlier this week, I decided to leave the London-based Pre-seed accelerator programme, Entrepreneur First (EF). I was a member of the 10th London cohort. EF is a startup accelerator backed by Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn), Greylock Partners, Mosaic Ventures, Founders Fund and Lakestar. Their USP is that they invest pre-team and pre-idea (truly pre-seed in every sense). I originally joined EF, because I bought into the opportunity presented that ‘EF is one the best place to find a co-founder and build a globally important company.’ It is important to

Welcome to intern life! Whether you are experiencing your first internship, your second or third the encouragement is the same, stay on your toes, expect good things, be flexible and learn as much as you can. The formula is completely different from team to team WITHIN the company. You are going to have to learn that for yourself. If this is your first time at a new company I am sure you are excited this summer. But heads up, almost no one knows how to host an intern exactly right.

It is awesome to see the progress in the last 12–24 months women are starting to make to stand up and have their voices heard and acted upon in tech. It is encouraging to see success stories from the US such as Vanity Fair’s showcase of 26 Women of Color Diversifying Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. These are compelling stories of empowerment, encouragement, and identity. Everyone wants to see others they can identify with reach positions of success they too can aspire towards. We hear all the time that hard work

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