Harlem Capital: Road to 1,000 - December 2020 🚀
The Road to 1,000 newsletter is Harlem Capital’s monthly recap of updates on our portfolio companies, industry news, content, and events we suggest to check out and more!
Monthly Update 📅
This is the last newsletter of the year – and what a year it has been! I think we can all agree on that. Despite all of the ups and downs 2020 brought us, we adopt a glass half full attitude at Harlem Capital. Through manifesting positivity and reserving judgment, we believe that the learnings gleaned from the past year can position us for unparalleled growth in 2021 and beyond. After all, our mission is to invest in people and support our communities' advancement through entrepreneurship.
Now, buckle up! 🏎️💨 LIVE FROM EVERYWHERE, it’s Road to 1000 – December 2020 🎄🎄
Portfolio News 🗞️
Our Harlem Capital family is growing 🙌🏽 🎉
We are proud to welcome Katharine Lau of Stuf – a modern self-storage company – and Emily Hochman of Wellory – a wellness app making personalized nutrition accessible – to the Harlem Capital family! Katharine and Emily are two incredible female founders that had us at hello. Stay tuned as they build big things in the coming year 💪 🗓️
Harlem Capital Related 🚀
Just because Latino/a Heritage Month has passed, doesn’t mean we stop highlighting the incredible work being done by Latino/as in tech. Though the racial and gender disparity in funding continues to remind us of the progress to be made, we wanted to celebrate the efforts and triumphs of Latino/a. They are innovating across industries and proving what we already knew all along – that investing in underrepresented founders is profitable, not charitable. Each of the founders we featured has raised $100mm+ from notable investors to disrupt a vast array of industries. 👏🏽
Michael Bervell, a former intern and fellow at Harlem Capital, has joined M12 – Microsoft’s Venture Fund – as Portfolio Development Manager. Michael is just beginning his journey and what he has accomplished thus far is indicative of what he will achieve in the years to come. Congratulations, Michael!
Two of our founders made the Forbes 30u30 list!! 🥂
Congratulations to Emily Hochman of Wellory and Ruben Flores-Martinez of CashDrop for making the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2020! While we think all of our under 30 founders should be on the list, Emily and Ruben’s young, creative and bold minds are proof positive that the future will be new, exciting, and profoundly different.🌍
Apple recently presented its App Store Best of 2020 winners, recognizing 15 apps and games that proved to be essential for making life easier, healthier, and more connected this year. Among the recognized are Harlem Capital portfolio founders Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi of Shine, which helps users practice self-care. Apps were chosen for their high quality, creative design, usability, and innovative technology.
The More Equity podcast is the podcast that keeps on giving! 🎙️
Gems dropped 💎💎💎
Best way to intercept opportunities is to maintain relationships and add undeniable value.
To get into VC, you must be persistent, hungry and hustle. You have to pour your time and energy into it!
Being a mother in VC, it is important to take the time you need.
Top Diversity & Tech News 👀
Producer and rapper Pharrell Williams is coupling his entrepreneurial spirit and activism with the launch of Black Ambition, an incubator for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs launching startups in tech, design, healthcare, and consumer products. The initiative has raised an undisclosed amount of funds from Adidas, Chanel, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Visa Foundation, among others.
Starbucks has named finance executive Mellody Hobson to lead its board as chair, making her one of the highest-profile Black directors in corporate America. According to Bloomberg data, only 15 companies have a female chair among S&P 500 companies where the director is not also the company CEO. Additionally, none of those women are Black so Starbucks expanding diversity in its ranks is quite historic.
Black founded and led companies hit staggering valuations 📈 🤯
Squire, a startup that sells software to barbershops, has tripled its valuation to $250M in its latest round led by Iconiq Capital. The growth indicates how the next wave of barbershops will be built atop digital technology instead of offline processes.
And, congratulations to Toyin Ajayi, Co-Founder of Cityblock Health – a company that provides healthcare services to low-income communities – for achieving unicorn status with a high-priced valuation of over $1 billion after General Catalyst led their recent $160 million round. She becomes only the second black woman to achieve this milestone! 🎆
Helpful Resources 💯 & Other Suggested Content 💡
Our friends at Alpaca VC have put together an incredible resource to help current and future founders. It’s a master list of agencies they feel will take care of your startup as you would. This ever-growing Master Agency List highlights leading agencies across PR, digital marketing, branding, and design, among others. Check it out! ✔️
The one and only Lolita Taub has created a comprehensive guide on and for Latinx founders. Be sure to bookmark this because from startups to watch to incubators and accelerators, this guide has everything! 👍🏿👍🏿
Though the venture capital industry has a lot of work to do when it comes to supporting women and minority founders, grant opportunities are growing. Here’s a list of grants to keep on your radar, some of which were created in response to the pandemic, which has been particularly hard for small business owners.
Frustrated by the lack of inaction by many traditional VC’s, some investors are trying to change the system and close the funding gap. Check out these 50 investors who are mobilizing and deploying capital, building economic power beyond the 1%.
P.S. Most of these investors have noted that their DM’s are open, so if you’re a founder seeking investments, it’s worth reaching out to these VC’s and angels.
Mark Your Calendars – Save These Dates! 📅
Apply to this competition by 1/2. Founders will have the opportunity to virtually pitch their venture and compete for $175K.
Apply by 1/17 for a $50K investment and mentorship over 8 weeks.
The Holidays 🎅🏾 🕎 🎁
We want to wish you a happy holidays from the Harlem Capital family to yours 💕
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or another holiday, please enjoy the end of the year while staying safe 🙏🏾
And, of course, if you have the opportunity to give back to the less fortunate among us, please do so.
With that said, see you next year! 🚀🚀