Today in the guest chair, we have Mandela SH Dixon. She is one of the only black women who has navigated the tech space as a VC-backed tech startup founder, global startup ecosystem builder, and VC portfolio services director.
Mandela began her career in Silicon Valley in 2011 as a startup founder backed by Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, and Imagine K12 (acquired by Y Combinator). Thereafter, she led a global entrepreneurial program called Startup Weekend Education (acquired by Techstars) that spanned six continents and empowered thousands of entrepreneurs to launch edtech startups.
Most recently, Mandela worked at venture capital firm Kapor Capital, where she supported the success of over 120 tech startups and launched the Founders’ Commitment, a first-of-its kind initiative teaching founders how to bake diversity and inclusion into the DNA of their early stage startups.
To-date, Mandela has shared her frameworks for success on over 65 stages, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and Facebook. She has also received several recognitions, including being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List, LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Venture Capital and Startups, and Medium’s Top 10% of Writers. Most recently, Mandela co-founded Founder Gym, an online training center that teaches underrepresented founders how to build successful tech startups (applications for Cohort 2 are now open).
On this episode, we get into:
- What it was like to walk away from her first company
- Why it’s so important to her to democratize access to information in Silicon Valley
- Why there needs to be more transparency among founders
- How seeing both sides of the table and all aspects of the startup ecosystem has shaped her experience
- The start of Founder Gym and more!
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Social Media Info
Connect on Instagram:
Mandela – @mandelaSH
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