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It has been a rough couple weeks since the City of Los Angeles was rocked by the death of Nipsey Hussle. It hit me hard and I haven’t stopped thinking or talking about Nip since that Sunday. Since his passing, most media coverages eulogized him as an entertainer who just came off a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album. It’s a meaningful milestone, but that description misses his most important contributions to the city. His music combined stories from the streets with thoughtful insights about personal and community wealth. But

A key component of our thesis at HBCUvc is how university-affiliated networks influence venture capital ecosystems. According to Richard Kerby’s “Where Did You Go to School?” — forty percent of venture capitalists attended Stanford or Harvard. Stanford and Harvard are also ranked as the top two universities for producing the most funded startup CEOs. I wanted to know which HBCUs are already producing talent in the venture capital ecosystem. I compiled a list of 59 HBCU grads who are working in venture capital or have worked in the industry in the past five years.

“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

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

There are people whom you hear about from afar and when you meet them, your disappointed by the hype that precedes them. During our last fireside chat with Kai Bond, this was far from the case. Kai showed up and not only lived up to his reputation but exceeded it. A little background for new readers, at Untapped Founders, we are a support & networking community for Black and Brown Entrepreneurs focused on giving advice and making warm-introductions. The mindset of the organization is that when we bring our knowledge and

Shelly Bell has lived many lives. She’s a computer scientist, a former high school teacher, a performance poet, a community organizer, a founder, and a CEO. She has two successful apparel printing businesses: MsPrint USA—through which she creates swag for clients like Amazon and Google with a team of women designers and printers—and Made By A Black Woman, which celebrates products made by Black women. Every project Bell undertakes is designed to empower women, especially women of color, which is why two years ago, she began her latest enterprise, Black

Andy Ayim is the Managing Director of Backstage London. This is the first in a series of stories introducing the Backstage Accelerator team in London. Amplifying Voices Last year, through some chance, frustration, and a stroke of genius, I had arrived at an inflection point in my writing. I began to share stories about what I was learning in tech with a tone of voice that came from the streets I was raised in. It was sometimes assertive, always authentic, and very unapologetic. I wanted aspiring founders to have access

This year I have been fortunate enough to be invited into numerous communities of startup founders. Equally, it is a breath of fresh air when I am in more diverse circles discussing things like parenting, wildlife, and spirituality. It is in these moments when I get away from tech when I remember the first principles that still hold true when executing on ideas. Overwhelmingly much of the content shared in the startup communities are opinions on articles from top tech publications and VCs. From Hackernews to TechCrunch or YC’s latest

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

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

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