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Author: Subject: Black entrepreneur to investors: 'Stop pretending like race isn't an issue'
JrHagler
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[*] posted on 3.20.2016 at 10:30 PM
Black entrepreneur to investors: 'Stop pretending like race isn't an issue'


source:
http://money.cnn.com/2016/03/20/technology/y-combinator-locent-matt-joseph-ra...

written by by Sara Ashley O'Brien

matt joseph
By every measure, Matt Joseph's resume points to an incredible pedigree. He went to Princeton and earned his JD and MBA from UCLA.

His startup Locent -- a text marketing service for brands -- is backed by Y Combinator, an elite network for entrepreneurs and their businesses.

He's also black.

And Joseph says that his race was the elephant in the room when he met with dozens of potential investors in recent weeks.

"I felt throughout this process that I was not being given the respect that I know other [founders] were," Joseph, 27, told CNNMoney. He detailed his experiences in a series of 30 tweets on Twitter this weekend, followed by a post on Facebook.

Joseph calls out the practice of "pattern matching," when investors look for entrepreneurs who remind them of prior successes. They might be looking for the next Mark Zuckerberg, for example. And, for now, those success stories tend to be white men. "I don't look like Zuck," Joseph tweeted.

For Joseph, it meant being compared to athletes and rappers. During one meeting, an investor brought up Nas, the rapper turned venture capitalist. "Not exactly what you want to hear," said Joseph. "I wasn't being compared to other entrepreneurs."

"I always put my business first. But let's stop pretending like race isn't an issue. Subconscious bias is just as damaging as overt bias," he tweeted.

Joseph said his goal was to shine a spotlight on what it's like for minorities to raise money in Silicon Valley -- and also to head off similar conversations with future investors. Joseph is gearing up to pitch his startup to investors at Y Combinator's Demo Day in Mountain View this week.

Joseph, based in Santa Monica, said he has raised $750,000 to date, and that investors tend to "rid their guilt" by investing in black founders who address problems in the black community like beauty products for ethnic hair.

While those products and services may be important, Joseph said black entrepreneurs shouldn't be limited to those areas. "It marginalizes us," he said.

It also doesn't help that there are so few black investors. A recent look by investor Richard Kerby found that out of more than 1,500 investors, just 2% were black.

Joseph said some investors might be turned off by his comments this weekend. But he thinks others will be drawn in. He pointed to investor Matt Volpe, who responded by pledging to write him a check.

"Some of the investors I've talked to have reached back out to me," he said. "They want to talk more. It's awkward. You [already] had a chance to not be that way."

Joseph said many black founders reached out to thank him for giving voice to experiences they've had.

Joseph, who was born in Trinidad but grew up in Kentucky, said he long believed that he could ignore his feelings. But now he thinks he needs to speak out if he wants attitudes and business practices to change.

"Please, don't sweep race under the rug when you meet me," read one tweet. "Talk to me about it. It'll help you understand why I'm going to succeed."
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BMFRU2
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[*] posted on 3.22.2016 at 10:12 AM


Wading through the "Pity party", I needed 2 know :wtf: was Text marketing

http://streetfightmag.com/2014/08/18/7-strategies-for-better-text-message-mar...

Guess what. People DON'T like ads. Stop HOCKING em.




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Tea_Honey
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[*] posted on 3.22.2016 at 04:29 PM


Quote:

"I felt throughout this process that I was not being given the respect that I know other [founders] were,"

For Joseph, it meant being compared to athletes and rappers. During one meeting, an investor brought up Nas, the rapper turned venture capitalist. "Not exactly what you want to hear," said Joseph. "I wasn't being compared to other entrepreneurs."


No, he wasn't. Despite his impeccable Ivy League credentials, he was "slotted" as just another brutha from the hood whose highest aspirations are those of people WITHOUT college degrees... or even an adequate high school diploma.
Quote:

Joseph said his goal was to shine a spotlight on what it's like for minorities to raise money in Silicon Valley


Even Pres. Obama has said Silicon Valley is a whites-only enclave (not in those words, of course!). Although, and here the RACISM rears its ugly head, there are plenty of non-whites in Silicon Valley. They're called (East) Indians. But even there, the whites of Silicon Valley make sure they and only they run the show and make the big bucks. The East Indians they hire are almost to the ONE! on visas from India. They work something like 4 (maybe 7) years and then they're shipped back to India. Should they decide to become citizens, their contracts are NOT renewed. Oh! Why ship them in? Because the companies don't have to pay them what they pay their white employees (few to NONE, black employees). By LAW, they can pay them something like 3/4ths of what they pay white MEN for doing the same job. White guy makes $100,000/yr; Indian guy makes $75,000.... for 4 years, then :wave: . Blacks are shut out almost totally.

Quote:

-- and also to head off similar conversations with future investors


And that's the American way. You may not be able to do anything about discrimination or an injustice, but the First Amendment says you can talk about it! Tell everyone and embarrass the mofos so that they next time they meet you, they come at you with a little r.e.s.p.e.c.t.! :okaaay:

Quote:

investors tend to "rid their guilt" by investing in black founders who address problems in the black community like beauty products for ethnic hair.


And so it has always been. Quick story: In the 1950's, a friend of the family got an opportunity to buy a used truck (the kind for short-distance hauling - not a "car" :roll: ). He went to the bank and asked for a $5,000 loan. Bank checked his references, credit history, etc., then turned him down. But... the loan officer told him that while they wouldn't loan him the $5,000 to buy a truck, they would loan him $5,000 to buy a Cadillac.

'nuff said. :coffee:

Quote:

Joseph said black entrepreneurs shouldn't be limited to those areas. "It marginalizes us," he said.


Well, d'uh! Kinda is the point, doncha think?

Quote:

"Some of the investors I've talked to have reached back out to me," he said. "They want to talk more. It's awkward. You [already] had a chance to not be that way."


Awkward or not, wasn't that the point? Who gives a crap - take the money and run! :dolla:

Quote:

Joseph said many black founders reached out to thank him for giving voice to experiences they've had.



Next time bruths and sista-girls, YOU shine the spotlight on racism. Then maybe like Joseph, someone will "reach out" and write YOU a check.

If for nothing more than to shut you up! Oh, and be like Joseph - keep exercising that First Amendment right to beat them about the head and shoulders until things go YOUR way. ;)




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