This is the second of a three-part series about Economic Sovereignty and the future Growth Warrior Capital envisions for a more prosperous world, with entrepreneurship as the driver. Read the first part here.
As I made my way to the main stage at Austin Startup Week, I looked out at the crowd of entrepreneurs – all races, so many women, excited faces… there was a hum. I was invited to do a fireside chat with my friend and colleague, Brandon Allen of TXV Partners, a prominent Austin-based venture firm focused on human performance, that has backed winners like Oura, Open and Juno. We were both excited about the sit-down, and neither of us was prepared for the intense engagement from a standing room only crowd.
After questions about fundraising and selling companies passed, there was a momentary pause which usually signals the shift from the surface down to the soulful conversation. Then, a question asked during the panel stopped the music (metaphorically): “So, Why are you a venture capitalist?” By the tone of the question, I knew what was really being asked; “Isn't there a path with fewer obstacles for you? Why be a venture capitalist?” This question brought me back to my purpose.
Something I live by and have studied over the years is the importance of Economic Sovereignty, which I touched on in my last post. Economic Sovereignty is the concept that if we have a diverse collective of people who are all powerful and sovereign, they have the ability to manifest destiny not only for themselves but for future generations. It’s a much better world when everyone has a voice and power. And make no mistake — power is a function of money, resources, and who you know.
The new generation of VCs is made up of many women, LGBTQIA+, Black, Latino/a, Indigenous, and otherwise “non-traditional” folks carving out the path for diverse asset managers who will follow in their footsteps. They are improving the landscape today so that tomorrow, emerging VCs who come after them will take a less treacherous path. Instead of focusing on the competition, they support each other as they make an impact and achieve a more Economically Sovereign world.
Why does that matter? For generations, diverse asset managers — those of us that don’t look or play like the status quo — have been in a room where we were the singular “other.” But now we're actually opening the door, widening the table, and pulling up more seats so there isn’t just one diverse person in the room. Instead, it’s a diverse collective of people who are laying the foundation so that anyone can join them for generations to come.
A few folks I’ve admired as I build Growth Warrior Capital…
These incredible leaders, and many others not listed, have defied the odds and broken through in a financial and corporate environment that wasn’t necessarily hospitable to people who didn’t fit into the traditional mold. And yet they’ve built outstanding businesses that not only generate wealth, but also intrinsically pay it forward to the rest of the community of women and people of color, who now have a better chance — more opportunity — to follow their path. That’s really the engine of Economic Sovereignty.
Now is the time to un-bucket us as “minority” capital managers, board members, CEOs. We are delivering results and oftentimes outperforming our peers. It comes naturally — we’ve had to be scrappier, more resilient, more patient. We have to go from being the “other” to being the standard. Are you on board?