And A Bottomless Rabbit Hole

Image for post
Image for post

“After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill — the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill — you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

— Morpheus, 1999 film The Matrix

When trust erodes between institutions, stakeholders, and the broader community, individuals can be led to educate themselves more deeply and build a road to self-sufficiency. Once you discover something for the first time, you become immersed in it. …

And A Playbook For Tomorrow

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

At humble, our top priority is everyone’s health and hugging the ones closest to us. COVID-19, the economic downturn, and the racial reckoning in this country directly impacted our team and loved ones in our network. Additionally, businesses, big and small, are going through hard times.

We have done our best to produce, document, and facilitate as much content as possible in 2020. With that being said, we aren’t sure if or when things will “get back to normal.” Below, you will find our latest resources to help you and your socially distant team navigate change.

Table of Contents

General Advice

And The Future Of America

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash

On the verge of electing a new President, many, mostly White liberal Americans, are voicing disappointment, shock, and disbelief that nearly 50% of their fellow citizens voted for a ticket that promotes anti-Black racism, sexism, and xenophobia, to name a few. “White Americans chose to retain power, supremacy, superiority, even in a failing society. They chose staying on top of decline and ruin, rather than prospering as equals,” Umair Haque wrote. However, those that drove the highest Black voter turnout in history understand it quite well — white people vote against their own self-interests when it involves Black people getting a share. …

monthly newsletter

Image for post
Image for post

humble is a venture development firm that drives innovation forward in partnership with startups, investors, and established organizations. In this monthly newsletter, you’ll read original articles, press that references humble, and highlights in addition to what we’re tracking in investing, innovation, diverse founders, and those building solutions for diverse audiences.

Curated by Harry Alford

top stories & highlights

Backing Black Businesses With David Hall And Rodney Sampson

The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities has become apparent as U.S. Black-owned small businesses were twice as likely to close during the early months than small businesses…

Why We Funded Over 50 Black-Owned Bars &…

Image for post
Image for post
Grantee, Local Green Atlanta, is an Atlanta-based Fast-casual restaurant whose mission is to redefine healthy, affordable food for all.

This fall, NBCC and humble ventures launched a program to award Black-owned bars & restaurants grants. After careful review, we funded over 50 Black business owners. I’ve written below about the program and what we’ll do next with the knowledge gained.

Why

In June, the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) expressed interest in partnering to help as many Black & Brown-owned businesses as they can during the pandemic. Analysis from the National Bureau Of Economic Research reveals 41% of Black business owners disappeared in April. According to a report by Restaurant Business Online, only 130 Black-owned restaurants received PPP loans over $150,000 with further analysis. The data highlights the systemic neglect of minority business owners and the dire situation many are facing alone. …

Video Highlights, Top Takeaways, And Resources

Image for post
Image for post

The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities has become apparent as U.S. Black-owned small businesses were twice as likely to close during the early months than small businesses nationally. Additionally, there is a funding gap — only 1% of VC-backed startups are Black.

On October 21st, in partnership with The National Black Chamber of Commerce, humble hosted a virtual pop-up experience, Backing Black Businesses, to convene innovators to discuss how to remove the barriers of access to capital, education, and network for Black entrepreneurs.

Image for post
Image for post

The event, which 155 people attended, kicked off with a roundtable discussion led by humble’s Harry Alford as the moderator. The panel featured Rise of the Rest Seed Fund’s David Hall and Opportunity Hub’s Chairman & CEO Rodney Sampson. They discussed details of their $2,000,000 virtual pitch competition for US-based startups led by Black founders outside of Silicon Valley held from December 1st-3rd. Virtual speed networking followed the panel, matching attendees to network and make meaningful connections. …

Featuring Investors David Hall And Rodney Sampson

Image for post
Image for post

The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities has become apparent as U.S. Black-owned small businesses were twice as likely to close during the early months of the pandemic than small businesses nationally. Additionally, there is a funding gap — only 1% of VC-backed startups are Black.

In partnership with The National Black Chamber of Commerce, humble is hosting a shared virtual pop-up experience, Backing Black Businesses, to convene innovators to discuss how to remove the barriers of access to capital, education, and network for entrepreneurs.

The intent is to address the inequities and isolation compounded by COVID-19 that makes convening harder for startups. In particular, Rise of the Rest Seed Fund’s David Hall and OHUB’s Chairman & CEO Rodney Sampson will be discussing details of their $2,000,000 virtual pitch competition for US-based startups led by Black founders outside of Silicon Valley, New York City, and Boston. …

Why Coinbase Should Evolve Its Mission

Image for post
Image for post
Art by Jason Benjamin @ perfecthue

Show me a company where people can be heard and respected for their differences and I’ll show you a team that will go through walls together.

Coinbase CEO, Brian Armstrong, recently published a post, “Coinbase is a mission focused company,” drawing a line in the sand for its activist employees. He and Coinbase won’t take a stand on anything that’s outside of building “infrastructure for the crypto economy.” This includes broader societal issues. Armstrong wrote, “we don’t engage here when issues are unrelated to our core mission, because we believe impact only comes with focus.” Not allowing employees to take on activism outside of Coinbase’s core mission is essentially telling them to not bring their full selves to work and ignoring major crises in the country like systemic racism. His note sparked a firestorm. …

monthly newsletter

Image for post
Image for post
Kwokchain

humble is a venture development firm that drives innovation forward in partnership with startups, investors, and established organizations. In this monthly newsletter, you’ll read original articles, press that references humble, and highlights in addition to what we’re tracking in investing, innovation, diverse founders, and those building solutions for diverse audiences.

Curated by Harry Alford

top stories by us

Making Water Visible

Why a beginners mindset and racial humility can drive us towards racial equity…

How Student-Athletes Can Honor Dr. King’s Legacy and Manifest Change in this Country

Wednesday, August 26 was one of the most widespread days of sports activism that the Nation has ever witnessed. …

Image for post
Image for post

It’s with great pleasure that I welcome students to the Southern Management Leadership Program (SMLP) at the University of Maryland for the 2020 fall semester.

SMLP has always had a commitment to inclusion since it was created in 2006 at the behest of David and Suzanne Hillman. Formerly known as the Hillman Entrepreneurs, SMLP was rebranded in late 2019. SMLP is a program that fosters the success of entrepreneurially-minded transfer students from Prince Georges Community College (PGCC) and Montgomery College (MC) with academic mentoring and scholarship support. None of this would be possible without the leadership and support of Southern Management. As of April 2020, Southern Management is the 40th largest multifamily apartment owner in the country. …

About

Harry Alford

Harry Alford is Co-Founder of humble ventures, a venture development firm accelerating tech startups in partnership with large organizations and investors.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store