Hustlers Make the Best Entrepreneurs

Hustlers

Marlon Nichols is the definition of a hustler. After being turned down by his now business partner, Troy Carter, his tenacity and conviction led him to become one of the founding members and the general partner of the thematic VC fund, Cross Culture Ventures.

That’s exactly what Nichols wants to see in any entrepreneur he decides to fund. He sat down with BE The Code and gave it to us straight, no chaser.

“Do you have to have tenacity, fortitude, a certain level of scrappiness, and most importantly, hustle?” asked Nichols. “Are you ready to make those hard decisions like fire you best friend that you started this company with?”

Marlon Nichols (Image: BE The Code/Marlon Nichols and Sequoia Blodgett)

 

In addition to those character traits, he looks for founders who have personal and professional backgrounds that directly connect to their product. “What’s the unique experience that you have that makes you uniquely qualified?” asks Nichols. This not only gives the founder a competitive advantage but also fuels his or her passion for sticking it out when things get hard—because they will get hard.

Nichols certainly practices what he preaches. During business school, he almost flunked out because he was hit with an ailment that would have caused most of us to throw in the towel and live out our presumed last days on the beaches of Tahiti. Instead of giving up, he took the class again, on top of a full load. Did I also mention he was running a VC fund simultaneously? Now that’s the definition of #Hustle.

To learn more about Nichols story, watch the clip below or tune in to Episode 4 of BE The Code on iTunes or SoundCloud and be sure to subscribe for more inspiration.

 

 

 

 


Sequoia BlodgettSequoia Blodgett is the Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed, pop culture.

How to Watch Black Enterprise’s New Tech Podcast on Any Device

podcast

BE The Code is a new podcast on all things tech, hosted by Sequoia Blodgett, Black Enterprise’s tech editor in Silicon Valley. The podcast explores matters related to technology that are important to African Americans and those within the African diaspora. The podcast lets the audience in on winning strategies and game-changing advice from Silicon Valley’s top innovators, celebrities, and rising stars.

Blodgett is a tech entrepreneur with insight and access to the venture capital scene. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform focused on personal development guided by informed pop culture.

Now available on iTunes, you can also access the podcast across any device. The episodes are available on SoundCloud and YouTube.

The first episode features Monique Woodard, a venture partner at 500 Startups. Rodney Williams, founder and CEO of LISNR, stopped by for the second episode. Williams provides insight into how he raised over $14 million in VC funding, while living outside of the tech capital of the world.

“In the forthcoming days, we’re going to expound on some of the subject matter discussed in this episode. We will teach you exactly how to pitch, what to say, and we’ll go into detail on when or if you should be seeking venture capital in the first place,” says Blodgett.

You can check out the episode on YouTube at the below links:





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BE The Code: From NFL Player to Tech Entrepreneur

NFL Player

Mike Brown, a former NFL player and Duke alum, recently launched his startup Win-Win, and as smooth as the opening sentence to this paragraph sounds, this was no easy feat. After being confronted by a streamline of trials and tribulations: moving out to Silicon Valley, attempting to start a company, failing, taking a tech job and getting laid off, all in the midst of personal family trauma, Brown has finally hit what seems to be a win.

His new company, a sports gaming platform, allows fans to connect with their favorite athletes and influencers while simultaneously donating to charitable initiatives. The breakdown goes a little something like this: pro athletes host game tournaments such as fantasy sports and fans pay an entry free to join the tournament. That entry fee is then used as a donation to a charitable cause chosen by the host athlete or influencer. Not to worry. In the event you don’t play fantasy, Win-Win tournaments have various game modes for all sports fans.

Some past wins have included flying fans down on a private jet to sit on the sidelines of the Alabama and LSU game with pro baller Patrick Peterson. When all was said and done, the money was donated to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to support flood victims, an initiative very dear to Peterson’s heart considering his strong connection to LSU.

 

Mike Brown (Image: BE The Code/Mike Brown and Sequoia Blodgett)

 

 

In addition, Tyrone Crawford of the Dallas Cowboy’s tournament gave back to children living in single-partner, low-income households, gifting them with presents during the holidays, which is something that he didn’t get a chance to experience due to personal family circumstances. From that, the fans received VIP access and sideline seats to the Cowboys vs. Lions game.

And there are more tournaments. Can we say NBA, anyone?

This all seems amazing, but we wanted to know how Brown got here. We set down with him on BE The Code, to discuss his story, in addition to giving you some tips and pointers if you are looking into transitioning from one career path to the next. Peep the video below or listen to the podcast on iTunes. Don’t forget to subscribe.

 

 

 


Sequoia BlodgettSequoia Blodgett is the Silicon Valley, tech editor for Black Enterprise. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed pop culture.

A Podcast That Provides Tech Industry Advice? Where?!

BE The Code - Monique Woodard/Sequoia Blodgett

Have you ever been curious about how to pitch to a venture capitalist to secure funding for your tech startup, or what it means to raise $14 million while living outside of Silicon Valley?

Well, look no further. Black Enterprise is bringing you, BE the Code, a new podcast series filled with winning strategies and game-changing advice from Silicon Valley’s top innovators, celebrities, and rising stars.

In our first episode, we sat down with Monique Woodard, a venture partner at 500 Startups. Many of you may already be familiar with her, but did you know that she grew up on a farm, spent her early days working for Uncle Luke Records, and created a startup that delivered fresh meals to senior citizens?

Click the clip below to watch Episode 1 of BE the Code, as we uncover hidden gems and a whole lot of other fascinating information about breaking into venture capital investing, both as an investor and as a founder.



In the forthcoming days, we’re going to expound on some of the subject matter discussed in this episode. We will teach you exactly how to pitch, what to say, and we’ll go into detail on when or if you should be seeking venture capital in the first place. Stay tuned!

BE The Code - Sequoia Blodgett Image: Niranjan Deshpande/Sequoia Blodgett

‘BE the Code’ was created by Black Enterprise Tech Editor (Silicon Valley) Sequoia Blodgett and VP of Digital Shelly Jones. This series, in part or whole, will be available online on Blackenterprise.com, iTunes, and on all of Black Enterprise‘s social media sites.


Sequoia Sequoia Blodgett is a technology editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed, pop culture.