Black Investors Gather for Culture Shifting Weekend

Recently, the 9th Annual Culture Shifting NYC Weekend took place in New York City. The summit offered institutional investors, social impact investors, corporate venturers, and the investment community-at-large an opportunity for face-to-face engagement with the burgeoning black venture capitalist community.

Over two days, 21 sponsors and 200 guests, including 50 venture capitalists and 45 investors, gathered at Yotel to exchange information and resources allowing for numerous deals and collaborations in motion among the attendees.

The event was keynoted by Infor CEO Charles Phillips and some highlight attendees included, basketball player Baron Davis; Ashley Stewart CEO James Rhee; Gilead Sciences CFO Robin Washington; Fairview Capital Co-Founder JoAnn Price; Fred and Joanne Wilson od Union Square Ventures; Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners; Rachel Lam, co-founder of Illumination Capital; NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, and top executives from Alabama Power, SAP, Samsung NEXT, Alibaba, Kellogg Foundation, and others.

Charles Phillips, CEO of Infor, Andrea Hoffman, and Denmark West (Image: Culture Shifting Weekend)

Key Takeaways:

Jeremy Liew of Lightspeed Venture Partners made sure to point out that there is so much luck in investing. Investors really don’t know which company is going to pop so they bet on multiples with the spray and pray method and hope for the best.

Aaron Holiday, co-founder and managing partner of 645 Ventures suggests that investors engage more with entrepreneurs. He says that they should find out what these founders are looking for in an investor and spend time with them. It should never be one-sided but an equally beneficial relationship.

Fred Wilson, managing partner of Union Square Ventures spoke directly to his peers, stating that they should never block any investor from getting into a round. It’s not good business etiquette.

Rachel Lam, co-founder and managing partner at Imagination Capital talked about moving now. “I’m moving now and not waiting for an opportunity.”

The evening was amazing and everyone seemed to have felt like they left with some valuable resources to bring back to their own communities.