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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

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

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

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