Kevin Dedner met with hundreds of venture capitalists over three years, pitching his BIPOC-geared telehealth startup as good business. They told him to change his offering and expand it to everyone.

But the founder and CEO of digital mental health platform Hurdle pressed forward to address systemic racism in healthcare. After years of coming up against venture capitalists’ biases, he raised a $5 million seed round in January.

For today’s Plug In South LA Beat, our curation of must-read tech and innovation articles, we’re taking notes from Dedner’s crash course on navigating Silicon Valley culture:

Investors Told this Black Founder that BIPOC-geared Teletherapy Was Too Niche. Here’s How Kevin Dedner Raised $5 Million to Start Hurdle Anyway.

Photo: Hurdle founder and CEO Kevin Dedner. Credit: Hurdle on Facebook