Here at AfroTech, we’re all about building the next generation of Black millionaires, and there’s no better way than having conversations with people who are actively doing the work to make it happen.
On the latest episode of the Black Tech Green Money podcast, host Will Lucas is joined by the founders of Collab Capital to discuss not only what’s missing in the venture capital space to meet the needs of Black founders, but what is required beyond capital to fully succeed as a Black Founder.
Managing partners, Barry Givens, Jewel Burks and Justin Dawkins have some tips on how and why they’re unapologetically Black when it comes to building up founders and making sure they’re on track to build successful startups.
“It is so important right now to be supporting and investing in Black founders because we know that this year alone has been crazy for everyone, but particularly for Black founded businesses,” says Jewel. “There are some scary statistics out there around the fact that 40% of Black companies may not recover at all from COVID.”
For Collab Capital, it’s imperative for them to ensure that the companies they are supporting actually make it, an initiative they’ve been committed to long before the pandemic.
“We already were on this mission to invest in Black founders and it was really born out of our own journeys,” continues Jewel. “All of us have built companies before, all of us have had difficulties raising money before, along with getting access to the right networks. And so we made a vow to ourselves and each other that when we could, we would make sure that the next generation of entrepreneurs coming up behind us would not have to deal with some of the things that we had to deal with on our journeys.”
And those journeys aren’t always a walk in the park for Black founders.
“Going through this journey, even if you look at funds who have Black managing partners or funds that focus on diversity or marginalized people, Black founders still tend to be marginalized within the marginalized,” shares Barry.
He speaks more on why it’s important for Collab Capital to be unapologetically Black.
“It w`as a really big deal for us to say that we are unapologetically Black,” Barry adds. “We don’t use words like ‘minority.’ We don’t use words like ‘diversity,’ we invest in Black founders because that is the issue.”
More issues that arise for Black founders is the lack of intentional relationships.
“We recognize and understand that the best investors are experienced operators, folks who understand how to kind of get in the weeds,” shares Justin. “How to identify business models and opportunities, and then build out of that experience as opposed to just bringing capital and then the other thing is access to networks.”
For more on how Collab Capital is helping Black founders gain access to those networks, capital, and beyond, listen to the full episode of Black Tech Green Money here: