Urban Tech Connect // Forward 2022 Beta

Founder Highlight The PISLA Beat

“Founder Highlight: Ade Adesanya”

Ade Adesanya. A name that now ripples through the tech community. Co-Founder of Moving Analytics. Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Adesanya came to America for college to study electrical engineering at the University of Houston. He then earned a master’s degree in engineering management and a diploma in finance from the University of Southern California. and quickly become enamored with Silicon Valley. Before launching Moving Analytics, Ade assisted researchers at the University of Southern California to commercialize their research into startup ventures.

Now his own venture, Moving Analytics is a virtual cardio rehab app that tracks the progress and recovery rates of victims of cardiac-based episodes. Speaking to Forbes Adesanya says, “Nigeria, where I am from and the rest of the world does zero cardiac rehabs”. This app is easy to access for recovering victims everywhere. In a study done by the CDC, heart disease is the number one leading cause of death for women, men, and people of color in the United States. This can be traced to poor dietary practices, exercise, and genetic predisposition. Most of the listed reasons can be solved with Moving Analytics.

Not only is this app a literally life-saver, but a financial one too. Ade found though that 30-40% of medical costs may be avoided if healthcare providers could persuade individuals to live better lifestyles. It would also reduce the 40-50 percent of persons who have another heart attack within a year of the first. Adesanya has now been listed by Forbes as a top 30 under 30 in healthcare by Forbes magazine. Adesanya has also been in UTC’s “Powerhuddles Lunch and Lesson”. More recently Adesanya has been listed in Pitchboook’s “Black Founders and Investors to Watch” list.

Founder Highlight The PISLA Beat

Steps To Being A Successful Black Founder.

We as African-Americans come from very different backgrounds both culturally and economically. As a result, we often have a variety of worldviews. We frequently encounter a variety of large-scale challenges and handle them using a variety of approaches. Pattern matching is the term you are looking for. You’re probably not used to hearing about market prospects you don’t understand if you don’t meet many Black founders.

In the wake of COVID-19 getting your business back together may seem like a hardship, one that you may or may not be able to overcome. For generations, those founders who didn’t even have to put up with the cruelty of COVID-19 still had a difficult time having to navigate the hardship that is being a founder of a new startup. Looking to the future I have taken it upon myself to come up with ways to overcome the challenges that might await new generations of founders.

Believe it or not
If you believe in a Black founding team’s abilities but you don’t understand the unique market opportunity they’re presenting, recognize that you should go and learn about that market and verify whether or not you’re missing out on returns for investors. Recognize that even when our companies focus on a more common market opportunity, we will still likely have different solutions. The reality is, most of the large competitors don’t have any people of color in leadership or on their product teams. There is a reason they don’t see the opportunities we see, and they won’t until we’ve made it relevant.

It’s all about the money
Black founders typically do not have access to the same caliber of VCs that most companies do. So more often than not we have to innovate how we receive our funds. Crowdfunding is one of the most innovative ways you can do this. It’s even gaining traction as the Issac Hayes III founded company, Fanbase has proven.

Speak the language.

Speak the vehicular! We each have our own set of cultural norms. “Blacks and whites read verbal and non-verbal cues differently, resulting in frequent errors in communication,” says Thomas Kochman, author of Black and White Styles in Conflict. The founder, however, bears the entire responsibility for identifying and bridging these communication gaps. Say what you mean and mean what you say. More often than not that will take you where you want to be.

Following these examples right here there should be nothing that you can’t achieve making your life as a fonder easier to navigate while avoiding all the Indiana Jones-inspired pitfalls.

This story was originally covered by the Harvard Business Review.

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Founder Highlight

“In the land of VCs these two Latinx members choose to break the mold”.

When Co-Founders and Co-Presidents Maria Salamanca and Rami Reyes founded LatinxVC they wanted to not only change the tech industry but overcome the statistic that only 2 percent of partner-level development professionals were Hispanic as reported by the Pew Research Center.

Early in his career, Reyes found himself in a situation when he was a freshly appointed partner. Reyes was at a Venture Capitalist convention he happened to meet two VCs at two different companies, At the end of their meetings with me, they asked me if I spoke Spanish. And they were super-shocked, as they said I was the first Latino VC they’d ever encountered. And they were much older than me so that was pretty shocking to hear.”

Only 14 percent of VCs have Latinx investment teams. A number not looked upon fondly by many. This is what inspired Reyes to launch an organization aimed at giving Latinx members a platform where they can finally take a seat at the table.

Salamanca had her beginning working at All Raise, a non-profit aimed at supporting female investment partners. Early they both noticed that there was not only a discrepancy with partners but with junior investment professionals as well, “One of the things we started to notice, from both pulling the data as well as from our own networks and understanding of what was going on, was the analyst and associate class is pretty light. We actually have a significantly larger number of folks at the partner level and up or founding GP partners,” Salamanca said.

Salamanca and Reyes though are choosing to combat this problem head-on. They plan on using capital acquired from the Silicon Valley Bank to staff fully employ their company which was managed by volunteers. It will also be used on other projects too like grow its existing fellowship program, job platform, and mentorship platform.

LatinxVC also has ties with the larger minority programs. They engage in Bi-monthly meetings with All Rise and BLCK VC to double up their efforts and engage in more thoughtful conversations that affect the community as a whole.