Fundraising 101, Gender Disparities and The Future of Diversity in Tech with Venture Capitalist Earnest Sweat

The SimplyBe. Podcast

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Fundraising 101, Gender Disparities and The Future of Diversity in Tech with Venture Capitalist Earnest Sweat

The SimplyBe. Podcast

“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

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.

  • [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?

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.

Jessica Zweig, award-winning entrepreneur, personal branding expert, and founder and CEO of SimplyBe. will help you grow your brand and business. All-day, every day at SimplyBe., Jessica and her team of experts teach people how to grow on and offline by leveraging the most powerful marketing tool on the planet: authenticity. Now, she’s bringing the inspirational strategies and tactical marketing tools that have helped skyrocket her and her clients’ businesses to you.

Jessica has been featured as a leading entrepreneur and personal branding expert in Forbes, Crain’s, MarketWatch, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Refinery 29, Tasty Trade, BizTech Magazine, Today’s Chicago Woman, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX News 32, and more.

She is currently writing her first book, Be. A No-Bullshit Guide to Creating Self-Worth and Net Worth Just by Being Yourself. Follow her on Instagram @jessicazweig or send her a note at [email protected].

If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to The SimplyBe. Podcast in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.

Podcast production by Dante32.

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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

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.

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.

Jessica Zweig, award-winning entrepreneur, personal branding expert, and founder and CEO of SimplyBe. will help you grow your brand and business. All-day, every day at SimplyBe., Jessica and her team of experts teach people how to grow on and offline by leveraging the most powerful marketing tool on the planet: authenticity. Now, she’s bringing the inspirational strategies and tactical marketing tools that have helped skyrocket her and her clients’ businesses to you.

Jessica has been featured as a leading entrepreneur and personal branding expert in Forbes, Crain’s, MarketWatch, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Refinery 29, Tasty Trade, BizTech Magazine, Today’s Chicago Woman, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX News 32, and more.

She is currently writing her first book, Be. A No-Bullshit Guide to Creating Self-Worth and Net Worth Just by Being Yourself. Follow her on Instagram @jessicazweig or send her a note at [email protected].

If you'd like to receive new episodes as they're published, please subscribe to The SimplyBe. Podcast in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving a review in Apple Podcasts. It really helps others find the show.

Podcast production by Dante32.

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