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“Starting and Scaling a Small Business as a Minority Entrepreneur”.

Starting a business is a heavy endeavor that many that begin don’t see to the end as it is difficult if you are African American, Latino, or Hispanic. JPMorgan Chase has set aside low-cost loans for minority-owned firms in addition to the standard alternatives and sources of finance. The steps provided by PostNewsGroup will help mature your business into where you want it to be. 
Postnewsgroup link: https://www.postnewsgroup.com/starting-and-scaling-a-small-business-as-a-minority-entrepreneur/

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“Crafting a pitch deck that can’t be ignored “

A big part of any process when pitching your company is the ceremonious “Pitch Deck”. It can make or break your startup. VCs, see thousands if not more in their careers so making your standout is not only a daunting task but a seemingly impossible one. 

So what is the answer to how to build an unforgettable deck? Well, the answer is simple. In an article done expertly by TechCrunch. Learn how to make your deck above a dozen better than the rest. 

TechCrunch has provided a winning formula that can’t be ignored.

Link: https://techcrunch.com/2021/10/28/crafting-a-pitch-deck-that-cant-be-ignored/

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“How to Attract Top Tech Talent”.

Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to fill their staff with capable and creative workers, but this is especially true for those with technical abilities. Non-tech companies have raised their demand for these workers, even as tech behemoths like Facebook and Amazon want to hire thousands of them. To fill these positions at a time when highly-skilled people have numerous options, think about what skill sets are important, and make your organization more desirable to highly desirable employees.

In order to overcome these difficulties, there are steps that your company can take in order to avoid the pitfalls of an uninspired team and form a more productive business. 

HBR has provided a means so that you won’t run into the problem.

Link: https://hbr.org/2021/11/how-to-attract-top-tech-talent

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“Venture Capital Fund founded by students”.

Self-described as the Nation’s first student-led venture capital fund. The Roberto C. Goizueta Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School has developed and officially announced the new fund. The goal of the fund is to provide money only to Black, Latino, and Native American entrepreneurs across the country. The funding vehicle comes as a growing number of organizations have begun new attempts to fight structural racial inequities in the nation’s corporate environment since early last year. It is necessary to take action. According to a press release, the fund was founded after students saw a gap in venture capital funding, with underrepresented minority founders obtaining less than 3% of venture capital investment in the United States.

Their research found that in Black, Latino, and Native American populations, persistent low wealth means fewer opportunities for personal or friends-and-family investment for companies. Furthermore, Black businesses face a roughly 20% greater incidence of loan rejection than white entrepreneurs.

Only 1% of VC-backed founders are African-American, and less than 2% are Latino. Furthermore, Black entrepreneurs frequently fail to secure venture capital funding.

The Goizueta Business School facilitated the creation of the new $1 million fund, which will allow students to research hundreds of minority entrepreneurs and decide if the investment can be offered. The first investments from the fund ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 are expected to occur in 2022.

Plans call for students to source between 100 and 200 companies each year and conduct due diligence. The fund will make investment recommendations to the Peachtree Investment Committee, consisting of Goizueta faculty, staff, and alumni According to reports, the fund will invest in companies that have at least one Black, Latino, or Native American founder. In addition, a founder must own a majority of the company’s stock.

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Incubator v. Accelerator: Dawn of the founder

When you are a new founder you are undoubtedly getting hit with so much it all may be a little intimidating. For those of you who do not like an enterprise, there are so many decisions to make. One of the big things to know is the difference between an Incubator and an Accelerator.
Typically, startup accelerators work with founders for a certain period of time – usually three to six months – to ‘accelerate’ their growth and assist in the development of a firm that is investment-ready and scalable.

First, let’s talk about an Incubator. An Incubator is where a founder works with others, be they other entrepreneurs or otherwise in networking their idea and developing it into a market-ready and investable ready business. Incubators also differ as they tend to focus on specific geographical locations. An Incubator is similar to an Accelerator as entrepreneurs can gain access to industry experts who can provide guidance and training, as well as networking possibilities with other startups in the program, through incubators.

An Accelerator differs in that they provide or a new company with resources be they monetary or otherwise. But they are extremely competitive and accept only less than 10% of applicants. Things to consider when joining are “are you expanding slowly” or fastly and “are you willing to move”? Startup accelerators typically work with founders for a certain period of time – usually three to six months – to ‘accelerate’ their growth and assist in the development of a firm that is investment-ready and expandable.

These are the differences for any founder to know and the information needed to succeed.

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Venture Capital may not be the only cure to your financial ailments

For any founder sources of capital are hard enough to come by as it is. Venture Capital is the most common and resourceful means of getting it. But what about the founders who dry up the well looking for the precious piece of gold that will lead them to bountiful success. There must be other means of reaching the holy grail of capital goals.

In an article done by TechCrunch Clearco co-founder and president Michele Romanow, and Pipe co-founder and co-CEO Harry Hurst. In the article, they sit down to discuss the various methods that firms can acquire funding and which would be the greatest channel for entrepreneurs.

However, Romanow and Hurst offered up that capital does not have to be “mutually exclusive.”

“I believe the largest companies in our portfolio are utilizing a variety of capital sources,” Romanow added. “I would advise you to conduct a study on what form of financing is appropriate for the stage of your business and the purpose for which it is being used. And I believe you’ll find that if you do that, you’ll end up being much less diluted at the end of the day. And you’ll find additional leverage over time, allowing you to scale much more quickly.”

According to Mathew, the majority of businesses are not a good fit for venture capital. “Venture investment is costly, and it comes with particular expectations depending on who you raise money from,” he said.

Romanow pointed out that whether a founder should seek venture capital or other forms of funding is primarily determined by their intended use of the funds. For example, if a firm needed money to buy inventory and advertising, venture financing would not be the ideal option. “It doesn’t make sense to give up significant equity at this level of the game to undertake something that’s a recurring and scalable expense with a fixed return,” Romanow said.

He explained that just because an investor rejects you once does not mean you should write them off permanently. Accel, according to Mathew, strives to be completely transparent with its feedback. “In fact, some of our best investments have come from saying to the creator, ‘No, not right now, but maybe later when you prove x, y, and z,’ and then revisiting,” he explained.
Misconceptions abound when it comes to venture capital and other alternative financing methods. One of the most common misconceptions about what Romanow’s organization does, according to her, is that it is the same as debt. “They possess your business if you don’t pay back your loan holders,” she warned. “So there’s a lot of risks there, and it’s late in the game.”

Original article done by TechCrunch: https://techcrunch.com/2021/10/03/why-and-when-startups-should-look-to-diverse-sources-of-capital/

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Female Founders on the Rise

COVID-19 set the precedent for the future in terms of Venture Capital fundraising. But even though funding increased that does not mean that there was an increase in the diversity of those who are receiving it. As it pertains to gender though, the divide is getting slimmer and slimmer.

In research done by PitchBook, in the first three quarters of 2021, female-founded companies raised $40.4 billion in 2,661 agreements, nearly twice the $23.7 billion raised in 2019 and more than ten times the $3.6 billion raised in 2011. It’s a hollow victory though as companies run by women are valued lower than their male counterparts. Despite rising, venture capital totals in general, women-founded startups in the United States saw their deal count fall by 2% and total dollars invested in their businesses dip by 3% in 2020.

Female-founded businesses raised fewer dollars from fewer rounds as the venture capital pool grew wider. According to PitchBook, female founders closed 150 to 200 deals per quarter in 2019, valuing $700 million to $950 million. So the dealings are increasing. Female-founded businesses are racking up significant exit numbers, and their performance is improving quicker than the general market.

The exit value of female-founded firms based in the United States has reached $58.8 billion, up 144 percent from 2020, according to the PitchBook-NVCA report. Exit totals in the bigger domestic venture market have increased by a relatively modest 102 percent during the same time period. The number of exits documented also supports those excellent dollar results: So far this year, 223 domestic female-founded firms have exited, a 12 percent increase over last year.

The numbers are increasing and money is being exchanged in the right hands. But all in all, is it at an acceptable pace?

This story was originally covered by Tech Crunch

Female founders are making a buzzing, venture-backed comeback

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Founder Highlight: Ade Adesanya

Ade Adesanya. A name that now ripples through the tech community. Co-Founder of Moving Analytics. Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Adesanya came to America for college to study electrical engineering at the University of Houston. He then earned a master’s degree in engineering management and a diploma in finance from the University of Southern California. and quickly become enamored with Silicon Valley. Before launching Moving Analytics, Ade assisted researchers at the University of Southern California to commercialize their research into startup ventures.

Now his own venture, Moving Analytics is a virtual cardio rehab app that tracks the progress and recovery rates of victims of cardiac-based episodes. Speaking to Forbes Adesanya says, “Nigeria, where I am from and the rest of the world does zero cardiac rehabs”. This app is easy to access for recovering victims everywhere. In a study done by the CDC, heart disease is the number one leading cause of death for women, men, and people of color in the United States. This can be traced to poor dietary practices, exercise, and genetic predisposition. Most of the listed reasons can be solved with Moving Analytics.

Not only is this app a literally life-saver, but a financial one too. Ade found though that 30-40% of medical costs may be avoided if healthcare providers could persuade individuals to live better lifestyles. It would also reduce the 40-50 percent of persons who have another heart attack within a year of the first. Adesanya has now been listed by Forbes as a top 30 under 30 in healthcare by Forbes magazine. Adesanya has also been in UTC’s “Powerhuddles Lunch and Lesson”. More recently Adesanya has been listed in Pitchboook’s “Black Founders and Investors to Watch” list.

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“So it’s time to go back into the office.”

2020 was an insane year for most to say the least. Life as we knew it was changing into a new unsettling climate that we still are recovering from. Businesses and other Organizations moved their operations from crowded tight office spaces to the reclusive corner spaces of their homes. It hasn’t been easy for anyone in business. The shutdown was unfortunately a sink or swim affair. But now that there is some semblance to a normal reality (or as much as it could be); leaders are now pondering the question, “Should we go back to the office?”

The overblown image on screens or 5- minute water breaks. There are several pros and cons to making such a change. One of the pros is the energy that you and your workers will produce interacting with each other and building a community of camaraderie. A negative aspect of moving back is the risk you run with COVID-19 not being eradicated and the constant looming fear of the safety of your workers. Have safety protocols in place so that if/when you go back into the office your staff will feel at ease and protected. You could go with a hybrid model where you have essential workers to your business come into the office and others stay at home. This is the model that institutes of higher learning are using which reduces the risk of liability if anything goes wrong.

A side benefit of this is that you can gradually and patiently start bringing people back into the workspace a few at a time. Most importantly keep the option to return just that, an option. Giving people the option to choose what is best for them will not only make them happier with whatever decision they make, but it will also create trust as you have given the initiative to your employees.

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“Making the industry of Video Games more inclusive”.

Video Games have been an integral part of the American pop culture landscape. It’s like Baseball and Apple Pie. It has now turned into a monetary endeavor sought after by large entertainment companies, vendors, etc. The Video Game industry has now crossed the $180 Billion mark as of 2020. Earning more than the film industry and North American Sports combined. This is due to sponsorship, e-sports, and streamers. But like Social Media Influencers there is an obvious lack of diversity in this ever-growing community. In research done by The International Developers Association only 2% of Game Developers are black. A number that will surely put fear in the hearts of any aspiring Game Developer. But now Black Creators in the industry are looking to change that.

On the development end of things; we have Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake. Ekanayake is a part of a movement meant to make the gaming community more inclusive. Ekanayake took initiative and started his own studio, Outerloop with his partner in 2017. Outerloop specializes in virtual reality experiences. Starting his own studio Ekanayake was working at Uber Entertainment. While there he saw the drive investors had for VR. So Ekanayake made the leap and pitched his ideas and released his first game, “Falcon Age” in 2019. During Ekanayake’s tenure, he never would emphasize his cultural history, “I was always worried about losing my job.”

But it’s not just about the development. Streaming games is a whole sub-industry within the gaming industry. But the similarities that the two share are a love of games and a heinous lack of inclusion. A wall that will be knocked down. 3BlackDot, the studio behind the acclaimed “Queen and Slim” is producing a new series called, “Gaming While Black”. A digital series designed to show representation in the gaming industry. CEO of 3BlackDot, Reginald Cash said, if you ask a fan who the top gaming creators were, they would maybe say Ninja or PewDiePie. Or if you asked them who some of the top game designers, engineers, or even characters were, there likely wouldn’t be much diversity on that list. Clearly, there is something missing, from just a representation standpoint, if half the adult population on earth says, ‘I’m a gamer,’ and you can’t think of any diversity, that’s a pretty massive problem”.

It’s apparent that the gaming community in the past has not been too welcoming towards creators of color, but with these creators of color. That will soon be a thing of the past.