Nothing is Stronger Than a Community Investing in Itself

Audio Description

At the intersection of HBCUs and venture capital lies HBCUvc—a nonprofit dedicated to reimagining the venture capital ecosystem by expanding access to more Black and Brown investors. Jaisa Minor, Head of Partnerships at HBCUvc, joins James in conversation with HBCUvc benefactors Brantly Fulton, Lab Fund recipient and CEO of Lamar IoT, and Trea’jure Dahl, Spelman College junior and HBCUvc fellow.  


00:00 – 01:04

Hi, everyone, and welcome to Inspired Investing. I'm your host, Clare Golla, Head of Foundation and Institutional Advisory at Bernstein. This podcast is where we strive to connect and share insights with listeners like you who are engaged in the nonprofit and broader philanthropy sector or who just want to learn more. Amid the national reckoning on racial injustice, a nonprofit aptly named HBCUvc has doubled its budget and team and it's tripled its impact by expanding programming in three new cities. They've done this all by using a unique model that differs from traditional venture capital funding. They actually offer non-dilutive capital, leading some folks to liken them to teaching hospitals that provide up and coming doctors with a venue to hone their craft before making their formal debut. Today, I'd like to share a fascinating conversation between my colleague James Seth Thompson, who happens to lead our diverse market strategy, and three professionals connected with this incredible, innovative nonprofit leader.

01:05 - 01:27

I'm happy to welcome three special guests to join me today as part of this conversation. First, I'd like to welcome Jaisa Minor, previously an investor and now head of partnerships at HBCUvc. HBCUvc is a nonprofit increasing racial diversity in venture capital. Jaisa is a proud graduate of University of Hawaii, as well as an attendee of Howard University in Washington, DC. We also hear from Brantly Fulton. Brantly is a self-described sustainable supply chain enthusiast. I love it. Can't wait to dig into that.

01:29 - 02:04

He's the CEO and co-founder of LAMAR IoT. He is a lab fund founder to HBCUvc and the entrepreneur in residence at REMUS Capital. Brantly attended Morehouse College, has as a PhD from the University of Oregon. The other person you'll hear from is Treasure Doll. She is a Spelman College student and HBCUvc fellow co-leading the Black Venture Capital Consortium. She's looking forward to an internship this summer at Sarina Ventures. Congratulations, Treasure. We'll dig into that as well. I really want to start with you, Jaisa.

02:04 - 02:37

I like to talk a little bit about the mission of HBCUvc, but also I love this tag that I see resonate throughout the organization, and that is that nothing is stronger than a community investing in itself. And I would like that to be the theme for the conversation today, given the work you and your organization are doing and certainly the benefactors like Brantly and Treasure. So how about we start with you just giving the audience an overview of the mission of HBCUvc?

02:38 - 02:57

Absolutely. Thank you so much, James. It's such a pleasure to be here with you today, as well as with Brantly and Treasure. I want to kick off with what you were saying about HBCUvc and the work that we're doing. So we are dedicated to bringing more Black and brown investors into the venture capital ecosystem.

02:57 - 03:32

We are wholly focused on giving them the education, the resources, the opportunities and access to be able to have check writing roles in these institutions and to be empowered to go beyond that and start their own funds. And we are providing them with the steps and the vehicle so that we can be involved with them throughout the entirety of their careers. So I am fairly new. I am one month into my role here, super excited to be part of the team. Congrats. Thank you. Thank you. Very passionate about the work that is being done.

03:32 - 03:56

As you mentioned, prior to this, I was working as a venture capital investor for a VC fund, also in a family office capacity. So I had the opportunity to invest explicitly in Black and brown founders, men and women across both consumer and technology sectors, and really got to see the highs and the lows of what fundraising looks like for Black and brown entrepreneurs.

03:56 - 04:18

And also on the other side of the table, what it means to be the Black investor on the cap table, both on cap tables where you have diversity and you have other people at the table who look like you. And when you are the only Black investor at the table and how to navigate the nuances of of those type of situations. I didn't have HBCUvc when I started my career.

04:19 - 04:36

So I experienced a lot of challenges of breaking in the door. And I'm really excited to be in the position now where I can bring those issues to the surface and be able to have an active role in bringing solutions to the table. So that active role is under this title of head of partnerships. Correct.

04:36 - 05:40

So as head of partnerships, I am taking ownership of the supporters and the relationships that we have as far as people who contribute both financially and with their time and their resources to the organization. We partner with VC funds of all sizes to place interns in their organizations over a 6 to 10-week period, depending on the program, and we give the interns an opportunity to work directly with the general partners at these VC funds. And so I'm responsible for bringing more VC funds into that ecosystem, bringing more corporate partners in to support the work that we're doing, and then also leveraging these relationships at a deeper level to understand how there can be more engagement amongst the partners themselves. How can we engage these partners with HBCU leadership directly so that the entire ecosystem is able to flourish collectively rather than working in silos. I'm really excited to be able to hone in on the type of relationships that we think will be critical to taking

05:41 - 05:46

our mission to new heights. That's great. I mean, it's definitely very necessary.

05:46 - 06:11

I actually love the internship perspective of this, so I can't wait to talk to two of the benefactors of the efforts of HBCUvc. I do want to ask one more question before I jump to Brantly, just to tie into what I said maybe a couple of minutes ago, this idea that nothing is stronger than a community investing in itself. Is that a core tenet of HBCUvc? And what does that mean to you personally?

06:11 - 06:21

Community is one of the pillars of the work that we do and we look to facilitate it. And all of the stakeholders that we have engaged in the work that we do.

06:21 - 06:54

So within the fellow community, we're very, very adamant about giving the fellows opportunities to connect with one another and to leverage their experiences to build together. We recently had our spring summit a couple of weeks ago where we brought the previous classes and the current class of fellows together alongside our partners, alongside the entrepreneurs in our ecosystem, alongside external stakeholders who are excited about the work that we do and want it to have an opportunity to be in front of our community. So by creating events and touch points like this, we create opportunities.

06:54 - 07:07

For example, one of our previous fellows was a moderator for one of the sessions, and the speaker that he was holding the conversation with ended up offering to sponsor the podcast that our fellow has.

07:07 - 07:37

And so we create this type of opportunity for our fellows to be able to engage deeper with the sponsors and the other participants in our community and just in venture capital in general. Community is so important for Black and brown investors and founders alike, because, like I said, in a lot of cases, you're the only person in the room who is able to represent your experience and able to bring to surface your challenges and the unique difficulties that come with creating equity in the space.

07:37 - 08:00

And so when you have community in this industry in particular, it makes you feel like you're not alone. And when we talk about retention of the space, that's an area of focus that we're now looking at with the HBCUvc. How do we continue to support these investors and these entrepreneurs as they start their own funds, as they move into transaction opportunities with their companies?

08:00 - 08:09

And that comes from being able to continue to hone in on working together. It's a very special way to pay it forward.

08:09 - 08:57

I think about one thing specifically and entrepreneurs, certainly those of color who find success in their ideas eventually become like these wealth creators for their community and families. But they are typically, for the most part, first generation wealth creator. So I think it's important for people to recognize the role venture capital opportunities play in creating the next wave, the future of first generation wealth creators. But what I love about the work you're doing is the experience filling in some of those unknowns and those gaps where maybe Brantly and Treasure at some point was in a position where they were like, I don't know what I don't know. Right. And having the infrastructure, the people, the HBCUvcs of the world there to help fill in some of those gaps and address some of the unknowns, I think is really important right now.

08:57 - 09:17

Brantly, I'm going to turn to you. You and your co-founder were lab fund recipients last summer through HBCUvc. And so why don't you start, one, talking a little bit about your company, but also tie in for us how that experience changed things for you? And how do you think that experience would change things for up and coming entrepreneurs?

09:17 - 09:41

Yes. So just to kind of give us some more, so, LAMAR, we're a smart packaging company, in the cool chain space. So products, whether they're formal goods like vaccines or perishable or frozen foods, we track their temperature and location from manufacture all the way to that final destination. And so, you know, really it's about movement and tracking of goods.

09:41 - 09:59

And so, a question that we really began to ask ourselves was, you know, how can we entrust and ensure that the best goods are reaching our communities, communities of color, if we don't have access to where they began, how they arrive at our hospitals, how they arrive at our grocery stores.

10:00 - 10:18

So for us, that's kind of one of the questions we really want to answer in the space. For the work that we were doing, we had actually submitted a grant last year during the pandemic around delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, and we were awarded a grant by HBCUvc for this work.

10:19 - 10:52

And that really actually opened a lot of doors because that kickstarted in a lot of ways our raising capital cycleway. I think we really appreciate that it came from within from our HBCU community. As a Morehouse alum, I'm always kind of hitting up older Morehouse alumni, you know, begging them for dollars, you know, or really trying to get them interested in investing in what we're doing, but also having that conversation about investment at the same time we receive that grant award.

10:52 - 11:16

We actually had four interns that were working remote with us. And it meant so much for us, I think, as a company. And during that time in the pandemic where a lot of these students didn't have any opportunities, a lot of their own internships had been canceled or pushed back. And so giving that kind of access to students, I think they really appreciated that during that time.

11:16 - 11:45

And it just means so much for us to be right in the middle of the venture capital position where, you know, we have the company, we want to pull in dollars from our community. But with this goal or this intent of employing a workforce of those that are coming out of our HBCU universities and students who come from communities of color, that workforce development is really important to us.

11:45 - 11:52

And so HBCUvc, I think, has really been a vessel, a vehicle for us to help us push that as a mission.

11:53 - 12:18

HBCUvc, in a sense, came to the rescue for you, right? I mean, you had ideas that you needed that organization and their infrastructure to help you for. What was the experience before that? Did you have specific issues and challenges getting that type of intellectual capital and property and accessing people? Yeah, yeah.

12:18 - 12:29

I mean, I would say I'm in somewhat of a unique position where I have a good network. I would say just based on people that I went to graduate school or I might know in certain industries.

12:30 - 13:00

But I would say the conversations around the actual access to capital and raising capital, you know, there's still a kind of a gap in where you come from communities like ours versus, you know, the traditional or the historical venture capital, Silicon Valley world. And so, you know, you might even have friends who work in that space or who live in that environment. And it's still somewhat of a gap in terms of conversation.

13:00 - 13:15

You know, I always say, to build a fire, you start small. And, you know, as with anything, that first grant that we got from HBCUvc, that actually turned around and led to the investment from REMUS Capital. And I took on that entrepreneurial residence shortly after that.

13:15 - 13:46

And then we were able to get press. One of my favorite authors is Malcolm Gladwell, and he has this idea of kind of a blink, you never want to miss that moment, you never notice how the most simple conversation, something can happen that snowballs into something else, into something else. And that momentum for startups is so important because, you know, that's the energy that really takes you on the journey.

13:46 - 13:47

That's the take-off point.

13:47 - 14:00

I want to come back to you because I want to focus on the intentionality that's embedded in your business plan and the things that you're trying to create through this supply chain effort. But I do want to jump to you, Treasure. You're still in college, right?

14:00 - 14:22

You've had a lot of professional experience and opportunities. Obviously, you're connected to these efforts through HBCUvc. Just spend a little bit of time just kind of talking us through your experience so far, some of your aspirations and how the organization is helping to kind of close some of those gaps and propel you forward. Yeah.

14:22 - 14:56

So my experience through HBCUvc, I've kind of been all over the place. Really allows you to choose your own path and really just be the boss of, like, your own reality. And I had experiences with Gucci as a scholar for that program with scholars. I was a summer analyst for Pipeline Venture Partners and basically like my aspirations and goals, it actually changed recently. I thought I was going to go into VC like a new post grad, but I told myself, how am I going to tell someone what's wrong with their company if I've never ran a company myself?

14:56 - 15:31

So with that perspective, I went into this event, South by Southwest, I got to go to that OHub, and they had a partner there called Flowhub and they create software for cannabis land. And I don't even know, like that was a thing, I knew, like the cannabis industry was big and booming, but I started networking like crazy after that, like stalking people on LinkedIn, finding all the mentors on South by Southwest, asking OHub for Flowhub contact. And I realized like, this is a space that I want to work in because just like venture capital, there's inequities in the space. Like 99 percent of dispensary owners are White.

15:31 - 15:45

And that sounds quite similar to venture capital. So basically what I'm trying to do with my career is I want to work for a multistate operator, postgrad, then I want to work for a publicly traded company. And then I want to go into venture capital focusing on consumer goods.

15:46 - 16:05

So where are you on that journey? I assume you've had some really good experiences. I'm pretty sure you had a little bit along the way. Share with us some of the ups and downs even as a college student as you move forward. Oh, yeah. So speaking of where I am on the journey, I'm actually at a pit stop, a little bit of a detour.

16:06 - 16:33

So right now I'm actually trying to start a sustainable luxury handbag business. I'll get to that in a second. But in regards to the ups and downs, that is a really good question. So having to go through your whole junior year of college virtually is an experience. And I would say that's where all the ups and downs really like reside is just with the pandemic and just realizing like a fluctuating, like levels of quality of education and how that's impacting my college experience and things like that.

16:34 - 16:50

But adversity is no stranger to me. So I just take those things in stride. And I would say one of the ups is like I was able to be a co-founder of a company through HBCUvc. They did a Techstars pitch competition in North Carolina Central University. So that was a great experience.

16:50 - 17:21

I was able to meet like crazy people from all over, like in the United States that are passionate about the same things as me. Another up, I would say, is like literally I made it through sophomore year, like the last semester when we had the pandemic. And that was like one of my goals was just literally just to make it. And like, I'm really proud of it. And when people ask me, like, what your proudest accomplishment, I was like, I made it through sophomore year. I'm just like, you understand, that's when the pandemic just started and I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I would say, yeah, those are some up and downs.

17:21 - 17:55

So, Jaisa, as a former VC investor and obviously now part of this new organization, I have to imagine the Brantly story, the Treasure story warms your heart. Right? Is this exactly what you hope to hear and how do you hope to get partners aboard to help hear more of these stories and and try to participate in these paths? Absolutely. I think the best way to convey to your audience the work that we're doing is by telling these stories and sharing these experiences. Brantly was speaking about the lab fund earlier.

17:56 - 18:27

That is one of our newest initiatives where we were able to receive over a million dollars in funding to create a philanthropic vehicle to provide nondilutive funding for Black and brown founders. And within that realm, we're focusing on HBCU affiliated Black and brown founders, 50 percent as well as students and alumni, and then the other 50 percent are Black and brown founders who come from any university affiliation.

18:27 - 18:48

So being able to create something like that and execute in the midst of what Treasure mentioned, a whole pandemic, and provide a substitute or to be able to further enhance the family and friends realm for these entrepreneurs, in a lot of cases, it doesn't exist at all. So we're able to be a bridge to capital.

18:48 - 19:15

And that's the way that I see the work that we're doing at HBCUvc. We are a bridge between students and investors, a bridge between investors and HBCUs. And we want to continue to deepen that role, to extend to the community of individuals who want to see this type of work happen, as well as be a bridge to corporations and other institutions that are invested in a more equitable venture capital investment ecosystem.

19:15 - 19:34

Brantly, you've seen some of the benefits of this journey. Do you feel like you are a North Star for people? If so, how do you wear that North Star jacket? How do you bring that into you personally and professionally? And how do you try to rise to the occasion for others?

19:35 - 20:08

That's an interesting question. In some ways, you know, you do kind of feel like that. You know, when I was finishing graduate school, many of my colleagues and my peers, you know, they went on to to take industry jobs at Intel, Nike, HP, you know, well-established companies, very high paying jobs, etc. For myself, I really thought that creating something was really important to me and I was really passionate about that. And then with my co-founder Michael Cutrer, you know, we went to college together.

20:08 - 20:35

We actually started this company. I was still in graduate school at the time. And so I wanted to create something that had value, and something that we could pass along to future generations within our own families and be able to bring our families to the table as even investors was something that was really important to us. You know, as we were building, we really created it on the inside.

20:35 - 20:55

We started small and for us because we do have that foundation and I think we're able to take on the bumps in the road and in the bruises that come along with it. Because, I mean, it is so not easy to be an entrepreneur, you know, you don't hear a shortage of Nos, you know, but it only takes one Yes

20:55 - 21:21

to really determine the course for your company. And we could change the course for your life. We don't play for the Nos. We play for the Yeses. But we're so patient about the journey and the process that, you know, you're building the whole time. There's never one day where you look up and, you know, you are successful. I didn't get my PhD in a day. It took a lot of failed experiments.

21:22 - 21:51

When I introduced you, I used this quote, sustainable supply chain enthusiast. One of the things you and I touched on when we first spoke was how to use your company, LAMAR, to to pay it forward for other Black, brown, indigenous, Latinx innovators. What does that look like? Is that supply chain, is that being very intentional about who you hire, who you partner with? For us it's really around connect]ive devices.

21:51 - 22:06

So how can I have a sensor that's in the field? Maybe that's on, in our case, on a package, but it's giving us this data back that we're able to get real-time analytics on. So they're almost like nano machines. For us,

22:06 - 22:38

I think in terms of hiring and representation, it was really important for us to have, in terms of color that represented Latino, Asian, one of the women, she is from Panama. We had a kid from Morehouse. Our attorneys went to Morehouse. That was very intentional for us, for us to want to build it within our community specifically. We pride ourselves in that, we'll continue in that space to lead by example.

22:38 - 23:07

G.O. is who made our both our pitch deck as well as our Web site. And he's a HBCUvc affiliate and he's a student at Norfolk State. And so for us, immediately, while we're still raising money ourselves, we take the money that we raise while we're still struggling and directly circulate our dollars right back into our community by hiring the students to do our website as well as our deck.

23:07 - 23:29

And so we're forever going to be committed to those types of opportunities. I'm so excited to see someone like Treasure and just what's happening around AUC now in terms of both VC as well as entrepreneurship, where, you know, it was never a limit on talent or ideas, people in our communities just need the capital.

23:30 - 23:32

You mentioned some great points there and Treasure,

23:32 - 23:51

I think when we spoke as well, you had a great vision board, right, for what you want this journey to look like, not just today, but tomorrow. And even after that, we already know VC is needed to help entrepreneurs access capital.

23:52 - 24:26

But I believe you have a great perspective or your own personal goals with respect to this kind of creating generational wealth for you and just being part of your pathway to create opportunities for your generations to come. Talk a little bit about that fire. Where do you want to be and how is this pushing you there? What's your endgame? Yeah, so that's a wonderful question. And I kind of want to preface that by, like, talking more about what role do I see venture capital with the generational wealth.

24:26 - 24:53

And I would view it from a very chemical reaction standpoint and a sense of like it's a catalyst, meaning like, you know, a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any change. And I would say that last part, without itself going through any chemical change is very similar to venture capital as a whole. Venture capital as a whole probably won't change any time soon if we rely on the system that purposely leaves us out.

24:53 - 25:23

But we can change this by creating more Black investors and through storytelling. Right. The reason why the space remains so White is through storytelling, like you can empathize with someone if you relate to them. So there actually needs to be a change of face to be a change of fate. And also another thing I'll say is venture capital can change Black ecosystems greatly. And that's why I want to stay in the space. And I would say, like, what's my end goal? That is a really big question.

25:23 - 25:38

I feel like I know what my midway goal, buy I haven't seen like above that hill. Like I'm just like getting to the top of the hill. So I don't even know what beyond that, it could be more real or it could just be like a paradise, or it could just be something I never saw coming.

25:38 - 26:03

But if I were to guess, I would say I want to be an LP. I think at the end of the day, like, I would love to like fund other funds that are rooted in the same passions or verticals that I'm interested in, like sustainability, consumer goods, SAS, marketplaces, things of that nature. Because like I want to give somebody a chance, like someone gave me a chance and believe in their story.

26:03 - 27:17

One of my favorite things about the fellowships and the programs that we have is the fact that we enable our fellows to have the opportunity to deploy capital to Black and brown founders through the lab fund. The founders serve on the investment team. They work with a committee of seasoned investors who guide their investment decision. So we're really taking over the entire lifecycle of an investment and other deals and being able to do this work in a way that is nondilutive. So the ownership and the equity remains with the founder. And so holistically, this represents what I want to see. I'm very intentional about using my career as a catalyst, to speak of the things that Treasury used, as a catalyst for generational wealth. So when I think about venture capital, I'm thinking about it in terms of equity, in terms of justice. And so seeing the work that Brantly is doing and that Treasury has been able to have the success that she's had before she's even gotten out of school, I know that the process is working. And so I want to do my part to get more partners involved to share these stories and be able to drive scale, which is what I know about from the work that I've done.

27:18 - 27:48

So I'm going throw a general question out there and anyone can jump in. Where does the future of innovation lie? Oh, I love that question. I would say in frustration and adversity, like, I don't think we're pissed off enough to shake up things yet. And I mean that like in regards to the important issues that are going on, like climate change, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and et cetera. I think innovation lies in emotion and feelings that have a negative connotation, believe it or not.

27:48 - 27:57

An amazing answer. I would piggyback on that. I wrestle with this question as well. I think Treasury kind of hit it on the head.

27:58 - 28:19

The next real entrepreneurs are social entrepreneurs, the next billionaire entrepreneurs are social entrepreneurs, really, really solving these high level hard to deal with people problems. And I think we actually already seeing it happen right. At  the end of the day, you know, you look at someone like Elon Musk, he's a social entrepreneur, putting

28:20 - 28:54

power behind this mission to get people to Mars, right? This planet is not in a condition for us. How do we get to this next step? Or solving the problem around pollution with cars. When Tesla first came out, you know, gas, fuel and climate change, you know, the emissions we're putting in the air. You know, he was really pissed off at how traditional auto makers thought, how traditional space companies thought and certain people power behind brands like Tesla and SpaceX that really allowed him to excel that way.

28:54 - 29:24

And I'm really excited for the future because I think, you know, in terms of social entrepreneurship, that, you know, to put it bluntly, Black people, we're uniquely positioned to take advantage of that just through through what we've overcome, just our history in America. And so I think we want to see a rise of Black entrepreneurs in America specifically in a way that we never seen before and is going to be because they're solving people problems.

29:24 - 29:56

I agree 100 percent. I think the future of innovation is around solving people problems, and it takes a great deal of great minds. It takes a diversity of people, but it also takes the unique experiences, right. And to your point, going back to this idea that HBCUvc exists to help Black, indigenous, Latinx innovators, kind of be those social entrepreneurs and change agents, I think is something that we have to continue to invest in.

29:56 - 30:13

I want to have the last segment here. Just kind of be a call to action or a specific ask. And with that, Jaisa, I want to start with you. As head of partnership for HBCUvc, what call to action or ask do you have of our listeners and those who engage in this dialogue on a regular basis?

30:13 - 30:41

Absolutely. So I have two that I want to focus on. First, I'd like to highlight that we've recently released a book called Black Founders at Work. So if you want to learn more about the mission that we are pursuing and the people who we are supporting and the journey that they're on as entrepreneurs, please check that out. It will be available soon directly from the HBCUvc website, but currently it is available on Amazon. So that would be my first call to action.

30:41 - 31:02

Secondly, I would like to encourage members of your community to reach out and learn more about the work that we're doing right now from a partnership perspective. We have pathways for people to be involved individually in our donor circle as well as from an organization or institution, corporation level.

31:02 - 31:31

And so I would love to have that conversation. Whether you are seeking to support us in general or if you have a specific mandate that you're looking to fill for a particular sector in the space or for a particular university I'm looking to connect people. I say that I introduce people to each other for a living sometimes. And that's awesome. What happens with the impact and the initiatives that come out of that work that really makes it fulfilling.

31:31 - 32:03

I would say reach out to us, talk to us, let's start a conversation, learn how you can take on championing one of our ecosystems or how you can work directly with our investment committee or how you can contribute to the lab fund so that we can go from one million to five million to 10 million. Like I said, my vision is around scaling the work that I'm doing with HBCUvc. So I'd like to welcome anyone in your network to join that conversation. Awesome, thank you, Jaisa. Brantly?

32:03 - 32:20

Yes, I think one of mine, I was looking at this statistic actually earlier this morning where it was looking at the endowment at Morehouse College. 250 million, the endowment at MIT is 18.4 billion dollars.

32:20 - 32:52

And so, you know, in changing the narrative behind all of this, my call to action is, you know, A, is I would like for HBCU alumni to definitely invest in your institutions, but how do we grow the endowment of our institutions and invest it properly the way that schools like MIT or UCLA or Stanford are doing? It's like when you look at MIT's endowment online, it's almost like a publicly traded company, right?

32:52 - 33:15

It's like, they show you charts how it increases year over year and those kind of things. You know, we're just scratching the surface of that inside of our institutions. Like no one talks about the endowment at Morehouse College or Hampton or Howard University or how to grow it or how the community can come together and help grow it.

33:15 - 33:40

And so for many of the things that we want to do, I think in terms of growing the VC space, it really starts there because, you know, MIT they have  a venture arm; Stanford has a venture arm, where it only and solely invests in Stanford alums, students. And we talk about generational wealth and how do we have a system that keeps giving?

33:40 - 33:59

How are we able to take our endowments and directly invest it right back into students that are entrepreneurs with great ideas and/or alums of those colleges? Yeah, a very ready theme throughout all of the conversations is to give back and pay it forward.

33:59 - 34:19

And yes, it's great to have the HBCUvcs of the world. But if we empower the other institutions that educate the majority of students of color who are the future of entrepreneurship and venture capital investing, that was one hell of a way to put a bow on something

34:19 - 34:24

I know that's really important to you. So thanks for that perspective. Treasure, to you. Yeah.

34:24 - 34:48

So I don't know what day it is for all the people resting now or listening right now, but it's the weekend for me. And I just want to tell, like all the people of color, just rest, like I wish somebody would have told me that. But like after years of being oppressed, all we deserve to do is rest. And I think that's the best call to action because we have such a battle ahead of us. So just take a rest right now when you can.

34:48 - 35:08

And then also another thing, another call to action. This might be a little selfish of me, but please reach out to me if you want to learn more about my sustainable luxury handbag business, I would appreciate any help, any perspectives that I can get. And then also my last call to action would be for the non-PLC people listening.

35:08 - 35:34

I would say the best way to eliminate bias is by eliminating pedigree. So I would just say, embody that with every work that you do. So pedigree, I mean, my great institution, things like that, that are attached to people that really set everyone else behind. Wow. I don't even know what to say to that. I think that is some of the best bits of input and recommendations we've had on this podcast. I appreciate that. Jaisa,

35:34 - 36:08

I want to thank you for bringing this conversation to the table, definitely for introducing me, my firm, the audience to Brantly and Treasure. Brantly, thanks for being a North Star for so many, and really wearing that jacket. You know, I think living by example is some of the best contributions you can make and Treasure, I salute you for all of the things you're doing as a student, encouraging me to rest. I think a lot of times we respond in a very urgent way to the grind.

36:09 - 36:19

Right. But we also have to be mindful of the mind, body and spirit. So I appreciate that. Good luck with everything. And I want to thank all of you.

36:19 - 36:52

This is a very important conversation. Again, entrepreneurship, venture capital, especially for underrepresented groups and people of color, is one of the most critical paths to building and sustaining generational wealth. So I appreciate all of you for bringing your perspectives and experiences to the table. Thank you so much, James. This has been an incredible opportunity. I'm glad that we were able to be in a room together, even if it is virtually, appreciate the work that you're doing. We'll take it on the road soon as soon as we can. 

36:53 - 37:36

Thank you all for listening. If you'd like to learn more about Bernstein's Foundation and Institutional Advisory Services, please see the link to our blogs in this episode's description. If you enjoyed this episode and you haven't subscribed to our podcast yet, please go to the iTunes store or Google Play or wherever you listen to podcasts to subscribe and rate us. Also, please e-mail us with your thoughts, questions, and feedback to and be sure to find us on Twitter at BernsteinPWM. Thanks, everyone.


37:36 - 37:44

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