Happy Monday:

If you haven’t, please take our Black Wealth Survey, which really helps us to develop and refine our investment products. June 10th is the last day the survey will be open!

Halcyon Residency Ends

I’m excited about the week and I hope you are too. Still coming down from an amazing  experience at Halcyon and still kind of in shock that it’s ending. I’ll miss my fellow founders dearly but I’m so thankful for the opportunity to grow Southbanc via the incubator and all the great people I’ve met there. You can take a look at the fantastic companies in my cohort here. Invest in these people, folks. They’re absolutely outstanding.

Last Week

Speaking of people I met there, I met Alex at Cooley and he invited me to the African American Executive Dinner last week, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I got a chance to sit at the same table as Marla Blow (whom I’d also met at Halcyon) and she made a great speech about her experience as a founder with a successful exit. Marla sold FS Card’s assets to Continental Finance in 2019. It was a pretty big exit, especially for a black female founder.

One of the great nuggets she left us with is the meeting that got her the investment she needed to really scale the company. I’m paraphrasing here but something to the effect that “I’d done this pitch 300 times and they were all practice for this one.” I thought that was a really powerful statement on perseverance and preparation.  It was great to be in a room full of such a talented group of people from all walks of life. Cooley is planning on expanding the dinners to New York and San Francisco and if you have the opportunity, I’d absolutely recommend it.

Speaking of dope black female founders, Backstage Capital’s Arlan Hamilton has a new podcast out, Your First Million. If you’re in high growth stage in your startup, or any business, really, it’s definitely worth the listen.

Last week, we also finalized our Delaware Incorporation for the holding company, and we’re currently finalizing the open of our Opportunity Fund for accredited investors. We’re also working on the really exciting part of our model, the crowdfund, which will allow small investors to get access to the kind of deals typically reserved for the big guys. Deals we have open:

48 unit multifamily conversion in Baltimore

148 bed co-living space in Washington DC 

Art Gallery and training center in Miami

I did an interview for WUSA9 which apparently has aired and I’ll share the link when I have it, and had a great meeting with the owner of a blockchain company who has some great ideas about how we can increase transparency and lower costs using their platform.

This Week

This week, we have a bunch of meetings set up with some impact funds with whom we’re looking to co-invest. We’re also working on a really exciting partnership with a black woman owned marketing firm whose work I love, and we’re bringing on some new advisors. We’re starting to refine what our tech platform looks like, so we could really use some help discovering talent in the tech field, especially those with experience developing UI/UX platforms, marketplaces, and back end operations. Please reach out if you know people. If you’d like to schedule a call, please send a note here.

Upcoming Events:

Halcyon By the People Festival

June 15-23, 2019, Washington DC .By The People 2019 will take place across Washington, DC. The Arts Lab cohort from Halcyon is spectacular and really looking forward to see all the creative expos they’ve worked on.

DCBIA Young Leaders Rooftop Networking Event

June 20, Washington DC. DCBIA is a great organization, and they have some really top notch programing. If you’re in real estate in the city, it’s a great resource for networking and professional development.

Women of Color and Capital Conference

June 14-15, New York City. This conference is focused on the success of women of color as it relates to financial resources and opportunities. The four pillars of this initiative are wealth building through financial freedom fundamentals and advisors, investing, capital for businesses (seed, growth and late stage) and learning how to become investors and investment managers and more! Look for Morgan there!

Impact and Opportunity Zones

We’ve been looking with great interest at some great new work coming out about how to create positive social impacts in communities. While a lot of it is focused on Opportunity Zones, most of it can be leveraged anywhere. Here are some good resources and if you find something amazing, please send it to us.

LISC Opportunity Zones Playbook

Excerpt: This playbook, targeted to community partners, is the first in a LISC series that aims to lay out possible trajectories and best practices for the range of Opportunity Zone (OZ) actors.

Project Snowball Impact Management Project:

Excerpt: The Impact Management Project (IMP) is a forum for building global consensus on how to measure, manage and report impact. This report is part of the IMP’s ongoing effort to enable the widespread adoption of impact measurement and management by developing and sharing best practices. Our community of 2,000+ investors and enterprises are an integral part of this endeavour.

The IMP also facilitates the IMP structured network, an unprecedented collaboration of standard- setting organisations that, through their specific and complementary expertise, can provide end- to-end guidelines for impact measurement and management.

How West Oakland bought its own grocery store

Using a process known as a direct public offering, or DPO, Community Foods Market has raised more than $2 million directly from more than 650 shareholders in and around West Oakland, some for as little as $100. Many have never invested directly into a company before, but were lured by the promise of a modest financial return while also getting to own a piece of something that would make their neighborhood a better place to live — and their investment was the key that opened doors to other investors. (This is the kind of spur for follow-on investment we’re trying to accomplish at Southbanc.)

Building entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Communities of Color

Been following Rodney Sampson’s work a lot and this is a meaty and important addition to the public sphere of knowledge around the importance of these kinds of ecosystems for POC.

Excerpt: This guide gives ecosystem builders and local developers an overview of key concepts, and general recommendations on how to use entrepreneurship ecosystem building to develop high-growth entrepreneurship in communities of color. The information in this guide was compiled through conversations with industry leaders, prior research and current ecosystem builders who have designed and led successful inclusive ecosystem building strategies in communities of color. The guide has three main sections:

• SECTION I – Understanding Inclusive Entrepreneurship Ecosystems. This section describes why inclusive ecosystem building is important to local economic growth, particularly in communities of color.

• SECTION II – Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Communities of Color. This section discusses key concepts, programs and processes that need to be in place to develop ecosystems in communities of color.

• SECTION III – Ecosystem Builders in Communities of Color. This section discusses the specifi c role key individuals who specifically are dedicated to building local ecosystems play in supporting ecosystem building in communities of color.


Y’all have a kick-ass week