Originally published here by HBCUvc. At HBCUvc, we don’t put too much stock in “best of” lists or other league tables that purport to sort people by merit. Ranked lists don’t do a good job of assessing an individual’s worth or accurately measuring her contributions to an industry like venture capital where feedback cycles are long and the best contributors often work behind the scenes to help entrepreneurs succeed. On top of this, the lists tend to focus on the accomplishments of White men at the expense of other contributors.
“Every American should have a fair shot at starting a small business. The only things that should determine whether a new business succeeds are the strength of the idea and the hard work of the owners and employees.” – Elizabeth Warren She’s right. And the 7 billion dollar grant Senator Warren is proposing would certainly go a long way to make this happen — maybe. I was recently interviewed by Forbes for my thoughts around what the grant would mean to minority entrepreneurs, and my response may not have been
Going viral. It’s the coveted achievement every company, agency, firm, person posting on social media hopes for. It’s the attention founders need to build a brand, and I’ve been fortunate enough to have had well-shared efforts in the past. From my call-out article about INC. Magazine, to the ‘fundraise’ for the AI company I founded — I’ve had my share of social media wins. And now, as I’ve pivoted my focus from being a founder to a funder, It’s happened again! This time it was completely organic. I tweeted this
This past summer I had the opportunity to intern in the infamous California Bay Area (otherwise known as Silicon Valley) for Accenture. I worked in Accenture’s Ventures division, where they partner and strategically invest in the most promising innovations in the market. Being in Silicon Valley taught me valuable lessons that I could not have picked up anywhere else. Network The network in The Valley is incredible. I was able to network with venture capitalists, tech entrepreneurs, and corporate innovation groups. The individuals I met took my learnings to the
Over the last 12 months, several people have reached out to me asking the question, “How can I get a job in Venture Capital?” I don’t have a silver bullet to answer to this question, but I will share useful steps to consider when breaking into venture. What this post won’t cover are common routes into venture through doing an MBA or moving from an M&A role at an Investment Bank into venture capital. Those routes are well documented and very much conventional. 1. Learn the Fundamentals It is essential
A few months ago, over lunch a friend mentioned: “I first came across your name from your writing [articles] but I had no clue that you had this experience and your story was so unique.” That comment was the catalyst for writing this post. In this post, I want to break down the components that led me to start writing and how traveling, entrepreneurship, product management, and diversity in tech has provided me with a satisfying career to date as well as rare experiences. These seemingly unrelated themes have been
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