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“A lot of times when people are trying to pivot into a new industry or even get into venture capital, I tell them not to tap out on their first-degree network. How can you leverage these secondary and third-degree networks? Because from those, you’re going to learn new things and get exposed to new networks themselves.”

– Earnest Sweat

Are you a business owner or entrepreneur looking to get funded? Our guest this week on The SimplyBe. Podcast is venture capitalist Earnest Sweat. He is here to demystify the venture capital process and talks about the importance of your personal narrative when seeking funding. Earnest is also on a mission to open up the venture capital space to more Black investors and discusses his community, BLCK VC. Listen for his advice!

When you think of venture capital you may automatically think of the tech industry, but the truth is, business owners from a wide variety of industries may one day reach the point where they are seeking to get funded. Earnest Sweat had a non-traditional path toward becoming a venture capitalist and has since leveraged his networks to found the BLCK VC community to encourage more Black investors to get into the VC space.

Earnest joins Jessica to talk about how the VC process works, what investors look for, and talks about what it’s like to be one of the only Black people in the room. Listen in for his insights on crafting your narrative, branding, and just being a nice human.

In this episode of The SimplyBe. Podcast:

  • [02:54] – Cutting through on LinkedIn

  • [05:48] – Three core functions of a CEO

  • [07:20] – Who is Earnest Sweat?

  • [16:46] – Breaking into the venture capital industry

  • [22:10] – Founding BLCK VC

  • [27:05] – Fundraising 101

  • [35:56] – Mitigating demographic challenges

  • [46:03] – Instituting change

  • [52:31] – The power of narrative

  • [56:57] – What’s next for Earnest?

  • [58:31] – What does SimplyBe. mean to Earnest?

More about this episode's Guest:

Earnest Sweat has more than 12 years of experience in client services partnering with large institutions to invest in the best opportunities in public and private equities. Over the last 5 years he has been investing in Series A/B startups looking to digitize and enhance the capabilities of legacy industries like real estate, logistics, retail, insurance, and healthcare.

Earnest is passionate about opening up the venture capital space and founded the BLCK VC community.

This show is produced by Soulfire Productions


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