A sort of comprehensive overview of the things I’ve done and am currently doing.
Investing: I am a venture capital investor (and occasional angel) investing in early stage companies across several different categories. Most recently, I was a Venture Partner at global venture fund and accelerator 500 Startups.
At 500 Startups, I originated investments, advised accelerator companies, and expanded 500’s investments and presence in sub-Saharan Africa. In February 2017, I led 50+ investors on our Geeks on a Plane trip to explore three of Africa’s emerging startup ecosystems (Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa).
Entrepreneurshit™: I started as an internet entrepreneur in the early aughts before I even knew that venture capital was a thing and that Sand Hill Road was a place. I figured out how to build things and make them make money and get to profitability using subscription and performance marketing.
In 2008, I moved to San Francisco, immersed myself in Silicon Valley startup culture, and immediately noticed the lack of opportunity and visibility for underrepresented founders like myself. In 2011, I had a baby called Black Founders with 3 of my friends. We dedicated ourselves to increasing the number of successful black entrepreneurs in tech, not just in Silicon Valley, but nationally — with programming in NYC, Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and several HBCU campuses.
Along the way, I created Speak Chic – the mobile app that teaches you how to correctly pronounce fashion brands and helped you discover new brands. Speak Chic was featured in numerous fashion publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, and InStyle.
Government Tech & Civic Innovation: I was one of San Francisco’s first Mayor’s Innovation Fellows and spent a year in the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation where I worked on innovation projects around open data, municipal wi-fi, and bridging the digital divide in places like Chinatown and Bayview.
During my fellowship, I wrote the resolution on broadband and unlicensed spectrum which was adopted at the US Conference of Mayors and contributed to early strategy around municipal internet access and the availability of broadband in San Francisco’s most challenged neighborhoods.
I’ve consulted government agencies on civic innovation, workforce, building startup ecosystems and encouraging entrepreneurship.
Consumer Tech & Commerce: I’ve worked in consumer tech for more than 10 years and it’s probably my absolute favorite area to advise companies in. I have contributed to both product and marketing/growth and helped companies execute marketing strategy, launch new products, and align product positioning across distribution platforms.
Media & Public Speaking: People seem to want to talk to me a lot about ‘diversity in tech’. I don’t mind talking about issues around diversity, but I consider diversity a byproduct of what I do, not the whole thing. I’ve spoken at SXSW, Dreamforce, Women 2.0, and been a mentor or judge for several hackathons. I’ve been interviewed around entrepreneurship and diversity for The Daily Beast, NPR, TheRoot, and Essence Magazine.
See where I’m speaking now or book me for a speaking engagement.
Advisory: Women2.0, Microtraction.com, EveryoneOn.org, Hackers/Founders, and Startup Policy Lab