HCP Newsletter: Road to 1,000 - October 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 📅

We are now a third of the way through fall 🍁 (can you believe it?). Hopefully, everyone has had some time to vote 🗳️ and maybe grab a pumpkin or two 🎃. Here at Harlem Capital, we are the busiest we have ever been. We met many talented people this month and have never had more confidence in the future of our world. 🌎 We can’t wait to continue investing in the best founders who happen to be diverse.

Thank you to our HCP tribe that has subscribed to this newsletter – we promise to continue providing valuable updates and resources as well as humor to brighten your day! 😁

Now, buckle up! 🏎️ 💨 LIVE FROM NEW YORK, it’s Road to 1000 – October 2020 🎉🎉

Harlem Capital Related 🚀

🥳 The 2020 MORE EQUITY Pitch Competition was a party famm! 🥳 The inaugural MORE EQUITY Pitch Competition in partnership with Forbes brought together 650+ emerging startups, notable investors, and celebrities to celebrate diverse founders and discuss key issues about inequity in venture capital. Did you miss it? No worries – we got you!

You can watch the whole thing here and we’ll give you a brief recap ⬇️

We were thrilled to see over 225 talented and diverse founders apply to compete. The pool of applicants we reviewed was highly competitive and representative of a multitude of different backgrounds and industries.

Congratulations to Sydney Davis and the entire Tequity team! 🎉 The judges – Jewel Burks Solomon, Jenny Fielding, and Lolita Taub – were hugely impressed by her pitch and we are all eager to watch Sydney and her business flourish. 💪🏿


Key takeaways from the fireside chat with Founder and CEO of Founder Gym, Mandela SH Dixon, and Harlem Capital Managing Partners, Henri Pierre-Jacques and Jarrid Tingle:


1. Our firm, Harlem Capital, is the youngest, most diverse VC firm in the country, but getting here wasn’t easy. We had to be persistent, prepared, data-driven, and focused.

2. VC isn’t all dollar signs for us, it is about relationships. It is people and relationships that will drive our long term success.

3. For founders: Don’t take “no” too seriously. A no from us – or any investor – doesn’t mean your business isn’t good, it just is not a good fit for an investment right now.

We also couldn’t have done it without the continued support of each of you! Thank you!

🗽 We have some new collabs to announce🗽

Alpaca VC has committed $2.5 million to Black and Latinx investing partners and we are among them. They hope this initiative, alongside their overall commitment to diversity, will create progress over time. We have gotten to know the Alpaca team well over the past couple of months and we are confident that this display of conviction in and commitment to Black and Latinx founders is just the beginning!

PayPal commits $50 million to Black and Latinx-led early-stage venture capital funds

PayPal had been thinking about how to erase the racial wealth gap and landed on supporting Black- and Latino-led venture firms. PayPal invests in Series A rounds later so this is their way of helping entrepreneurs with crucial capital at a stage PayPal, itself, doesn’t play. We can’t wait for what the future holds for this new relationship.

Our More Equity podcast is like the gift that keeps on giving 🎁

We released four episodes this month!!! You can tune into them on and Spotify and Apple but also here are gems on gems on gems that were dropped 💎💎💎

Early this month, we spoke with Albrey Brown – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leader at Airtable. Spotify / Apple

  • No day is promised — you have to get up and try to enjoy everything.

  • If you can pivot, do it. No excuse why you can’t exercise choice.

  • Take risks and be bold, bet on yourself.

Later, we spoke with Elias Torres – co-founder of Drift. Spotify / Apple

  • We’re made out of our experiences, pay close attention to them and harness the good characteristics for the future.

  • Content is a way to tell your story and get noticed. It can also open up doors for career opportunities.

Then, with Ralph Clark – a CEO Connoisseur. Spotify / Apple

  • Only a handful of companies have been taken public by an African American CEO + hope to see many more in the future.

  • If you are building a business to be big and not lifestyle then you are 99% aiming for M&A so begin to build your data book early.

Most recently, with Tommy Chavez – a serial entrepreneur who currently runs Switchbit. Spotify / Apple

Impactful gems:

  • Don’t ever think there is a room you don’t have a right to walk into

  • When working at your first few jobs listen for repetitive pain points — they are opportunities for your first company

  • Keep a pulse on your customers to pivot your business model to the times

- Keep a pulse on your customers to pivot your business model to the times

party winning GIF

🚨We are excited to announce our investment in Malomo’s $2.7mm Seed round, the largest Seed round by a Black founder in Indiana.🚨 Malomo is a shipment tracking and customer marketing platform for e-commerce brands that helps brands generate more revenue and increase customer loyalty. Yaw Aning named the company after his late mother’s retail business after her battle against cancer to honor her legacy. Her legacy will certainly carry on as this round was led by three underrepresented funds with us, Base10 and Vitalize VC.

💰 Our DMC partnership just got sweeter 💰

The Diversity Marketing Consortium (DMC) announced that, after launching in July 2020, the group has expanded in response to overwhelming demand. In partnership with our team, the DMC’s mission is to help level the playing field for underrepresented founders by providing $3 million in pro bono marketing services over the course of two years.

💰Harlem Capital goes full circle at HBS💰

Walking into Harvard Business School as friends, roommates, and colleagues, Henri Pierre-Jacques and Jarrid Tingle – our managing partners – already knew each other well. What they didn’t know yet was how Harlem Capital would grow, evolve, and change the face of entrepreneurship and investing over the next two years and beyond.

Top Diversity & Tech News 👀

BLCK VC is doing big things✊🏾✊🏿

Despite the growth of new Black-owned businesses springing up around the country, many of them do not receive the necessary resources they need to thrive like their white counterparts. BLCK VC is looking to change that by committing to training 300 students over the course of three years to establish a new network of Black investors and advisers to invest in Black brands.

Women making big splashes in VC🌊

We absolutely love seeing our sisters doing bigger and bigger things!

Shout-outs to 🗣️Jaclyn Hester on becoming Foundry’s newest partner,

Terri Burns on becoming GV’s first black female partner, and Bedy Yang on being appointed the managing partner of Mena. Ladies – keep doing what you’re doing and don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can be of help along the way!

Praise GIF

Mark Your Calendars – Save These Dates! 📆

Before we let you go 🏃 we want to remind everyone to please get out and vote 🗳️🇺🇸

Voting Black Lives Matter GIF by Creative Courage

Election Day 11/3/2020 ➡️Don’t know where to go? We got your back!

You can find the nearest polling place to you here. ⬅️⬅️⬅️

Regardless of the outcome, we’d like to remind you that we are all citizens of one country and that love and not division is what we need right now. ❤️❤️

Interested in working at one of the startups in our portfolio? 💻 Click here to see all the open positions!

P.S. one of our portfolio companies, Malomo, is for a number of roles including hiring software engineers. Check them out here!