Wed, 24 June 2020
“As an entrepreneur, tech CEO and venture capitalist who is also a woman of color, I am well aware of the challenges most entrepreneurs face when it comes to raising capital.”
So Promise Phelon summarizes with typical grace what she has learned in an amazing career. Her book, “The Way of the Growth Warrior” – well you can’t get it yet. You can pre-order it in the link below. In the meantime, you can hear her story in this episode.
Promise Phelon started that career at BEA Systems, where she became Head of Product Marketing. While a Black woman running marketing at BEA in the 1990s might be its own story, it was just her beginning...
The Growth Warrior https://thegrowthwarrior.com
Something Ventured https://somethingventured.us
Thu, 18 June 2020
136 Codepath’s Michael Ellison: How Black CS Students View Silicon Valley / The Daily Reality For a Black Man in San Francisco
“Most Black computer science students think Silicon Valley companies are racist.” If you didn’t know this already – you should really sit down and listen to this episode.
No one educates more Black students in computer science than Codepath. Codepath is the non-profit co-founded by Michael Ellison to eliminate educational inequity in technical careers. Every year Codepath teaches hundreds of college students the skills they need to get jobs at companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon.
In this episode, Michael shares his stark assessment of how Silicon Valley treats Black engineers, including CS students who may have not gone to a ‘top’ school. He discusses the toll both Covid and the recent events like the George Floyd killing have taken on Black students.
Michael shares what Silicon Valley leaders – venture capitalists and companies alike – can do to empower Black engineering students who seek jobs, or seek to start companies in Silicon Valley.
Thu, 11 June 2020
Monique Woodard is a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. She is one of the very rare Black, female General partners in venture capital. Previously on Something Ventured we explored Monique’s unique path to becoming a venture capitalist, and what she invests in.
As events drove the Black Lives Matter (“BLM”) movement to accelerate worldwide, Monique was gracious enough to come back and share her thoughts.
She discusses what she believes is the state of the BLM movement in general, and Silicon Valley’s dismal record on supporting Black investors and entrepreneurs in particular. She offers pure, unvarnished advice about what Silicon Valley can do – actually do – to begin fixing its problem.
Mon, 1 June 2020
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Not every podcast includes a Langston Hughes quote. Not every venture capitalist is Somesh Dash. Somesh is a partner at the venture capital firm IVP. IVP is one of the largest, most established venture firms in Silicon Valley. From his post there, Somesh has seen several cycles of Silicon Valley’s ups and downs.
In this episode, we contemplate recent events: Racial issues converging with US 2020 presidential politics and a country on edge from Covid. Looking to the leadership example of Ailene Lee and All Rise, we contemplate what more Silicon Valley might do to be supportive of black Americans. Not just the few (too few) black VCs and Founders in Silicon Valley, but All black Americans.
We turn to the long arc of investing in Silicon Valley – from the early days of IVP, the dot com crash, the 2008 financial crisis, the last 10 years and – the great unknown that is next.
We finish with how VCs have reacted to Covid, and what is REALLY going to happen with ‘working from home”. Finally – we end on a positive note, with the poem that begins this introduction.