);

 

Listen in from yourfavorite podcast spots or read the full transcript  here.

OUR SPONSOR FOR THIS EPISODE:   Valence, a new community built for black professionals
Founders Unfound listeners: get free membership and priority access here
Sign up for the Valence BOOST Challenge

REAL TALK ON THE 
POWERFUL EVENTS OF JUNE 2020

 

In this special episode, Dan brings together former podcast guests from across the US and Canada. These founders process in real-time how they feel — as black men and as entrepreneurs — in the wake of the senseless killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests sparked all around the country. These savvy entrepreneurs and leaders dive into what they think we and others can be doing to address police brutality, racial inequality, and the outcry for justice and social change.

Kahlil Ashanti, Bara Cola, AK Ikwuakor, and Claudius Mbemba…keep it real, as the conversation covers everything from exasperation to optimism, and everything in between.

 

…just as much of an anomaly for her to hear that I’ve been pulled over 60 times, it was crazy for me to hear that she’s never had interaction with police 
~ AK Ikwuakor

In this episode the round table discussed:

  • How it feels to be a black man in America right now (June 2020)
  • What it’s like to be a black entrepreneur in the midst of two American crises
  • What steps are they taking, in light of the protests, George Floyd, and their own mental health
  • Recommendations for others, including allies

 

“It’s been an exhausting last couple days. As a black man, it’s kind of numbing to have to experience this over and over again… 
~ Claudius Mbemba

Reader Resources:

 

“…it’s true that this has been happening, but the difference is it’s being filmed.
~ Bara Cola

 

“I’ve always hoped they could  be alive to see that change because of everything they went through.”
~ Kahlil Ashanti

 

 

 

  

Listen in from yourfavorite podcast spots or read the full transcript  here.

OUR SPONSOR FOR THIS EPISODE:   Valence, a new community built for black professionals
Founders Unfound listeners: get free membership and priority access here
Sign up for the Valence BOOST Challenge

Leveraging Telemedicine to

Enhance 911 Services

 

Shanel Fields grew up around EMS and first responders. And early in her career, she realized that health tech was a place that fed her desire to make an impact. So it makes sense that she combined these two influences when she set out to get her MBA. She was able to mold her business school experience completely around what would become her startup – MD Ally.

The problem MD Ally solves seems so obvious: 911 dispatchers aren’t licensed medical personnel; if you have a health concern, they can’t officially diagnose your situation. So, if you need a band-aid or a defibrillator, they send an ambulance either way. MD Ally is trying to fix this. Shanel wants to make sure EMS responders aren’t tied up with band-aids when time is critical for that defibrillator!

The company now has major momentum, having recently:

  • raised a $1 Million seed round
  • completed the Techstars accelerator program
  • been featured in the New York Times

Listen in to hear more!

 

“…I think that this is a non negotiable in any role or job
or position that I take on 

~ Shanel Fields

Shanel and Dan talked about her startup journey, as well as:

  • What it’s like to grow up with a volunteer EMT
  • How she reverse-engineered her MBA
  • Why the 911 system flaws can mean life or death for underserved communities
  • A different perspective on where to visit Santa during the holidays
  • Why MD Ally had to be envisioned through the lens of an underrepresented founder

 

Episode Shout Outs:
Techstars Seattle

 

“I would start coaching myself early on sleeping more and
taking more breaks.

~ Shanel Fields

 

MORE on SHANEL AND MD ALLY

SHANEL:
linkedin.com/in/shanelfields/
New York Times feature

MD ALLY:
mdally.com
twitter.com/mdallyinc
linkedin.com/company/mdally/

 

“…maybe they didn’t think I was going to be very good at technology or a CEO, especially in a male-dominated space like public safety.”
~ Shanel Fields

 

 

 

 

Full Transcript

BEAUTY SERVICE ON-DEMAND

 

Modjossorica (Rica) Elysee represents why we started Founders Unfound: brave, capable, inspirational, and determined. She pulls no punches. Rica took lessons from her community and nonprofit experiences and transformed herself into an entrepreneurial force.  She’s a sought after speaker on the fireside chat founder circuit. And has boldly helped bring together other women entrepreneurs with @thetable and Female Founders Day. She’s been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, and Black Enterprise.

In this podcast episode, Dan spoke with Rica about her startup BeautyLynk – a company transforming the on-demand beauty market. The conversation ranged across many topics, including of course the wonderful origin story of BeautyLynk. What else did they cover?

Listen in and find out!

 

OUR SPONSOR FOR THIS EPISODE: Perfect Pitches By Precious 

 

How do we innovate the beauty chair?”
~ Rica Elysee

Rica and Dan talked about her startup journey, as well as:

  • her “third culture” life between America and Haiti
  • being on a billboard in Times Square (New York)
  • how music fits into her management approach
  • global expansion
  • what Rick Ross and Cardi B have to do with Morgan Stanley

 

“the fundraising journey when it comes to being a
founders of color is unique ” ~ Rica Elysee

MORE on RICA AND BEAUTYLYNK

Rica’s site:
(always open to speaking opportunities)
http://ricaelysee.com/

BeautyLynk company site:
https://beautylynk.com/

or check them out on Twitter:
twitter.com/BeautyLynk/

 

“There were a lot of people who told me I couldn’t do it,
and I’m still here. ”
~Rica Elysee

 

 

 

Dear Founders,

As Founders Unfound’s Storytelling Co-founder, I am excited to write profiles about you and your awesome venture.

I look forward to understanding your leadership team, the company you created, the innovation and growth you’ve experienced, your traction, and the great revenue potential in your pipeline. 

 And, one additional request for a vivid reply to a talking point I care about deeply:

“What prompted you to start your venture?”

Of all the probing questions we ask our founders this one is my favorite because it honors your origin story, the “why” behind what you do.

It’s an emotional tether for a future customer, advisor, or investor.  I believe a founder’s story has an important role and is an essential element for sustained success when building a company from the ground up. Shared with confident candor, it adds depth and context for customers and investors and helps create champions.

Continue reading “Founding Stories & Peak Moments: Your Hero’s Journey as Entrepreneur.”