Addressing the funding gap for undernetworked founders by using video and data science to facilitate connections where networks have failed.
Hello First name / there!
It's amazing how busy you can be without ever leaving your house! My to-do list grows exponentially but the daily hours remain finite. I'm sure many of you can relate. Being this busy is indicative of good things, though, and I don't take that for granted.
They're about to get even busier once Demetri Harrison starts full-time as Scroobious' CTO in the new year! One of the hardest challenges a non-technical founder faces is recruiting a technical partner who aligns with your mission, is skilled, is up for the start-up challenge, and whom you enjoy working with. I am so fortunate to have crossed paths with Demetri and elated that he will be leading our technical development moving forward!
Demetri has incredible character and contagious ambition. He matches my passion for helping Black, Latinx, women, veteran, and other undernetworked founders be discovered by and connected to angels, venture capitalists, and corporate investors in a human-first and personal way. Together, we are going to grow Scroobious and affect systemic change in how cold sourcing is conducted.
Scroll down for more updates, and don't miss this month's featured founder! I wish each of you a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season.
Thank you for reading this. Thank you for helping me. I appreciate you.
Allison Byers, Founder & CEO
In Your Words
Each newsletter features the perspective of one of our members.
Today I'd like to introduce you to Toyosi Babalola, the founder & CEO of Abulé. Toyosi is the very rare technical founder with an MBA who can both build her own MVP and run the company. ParentTech investors - take notice! Finding sustainable and affordable childcare is too often unachievable for many parents. It keeps moms out of the workforce, and we're seeing them leave in droves during this pandemic. While many have tried to create platforms that enable hiring service providers, that hasn't solved the problem.
Toyosi took a different approach. She looked at how in past cultures childcare was a community-based effort and not a separate paid occupation. She has used technology to formalize that approach, make it accessible to modern parents, and reduce the awkwardness often associated with asking others for help.
“We all know that being a founder isn’t for the faint of heart - the ups and downs, the victories, and the lessons learned. That said, being a black female technical founder takes the struggles to a whole new level. One investor said, "You mentioned you have a technical background but I’m still not sure I’d invest in you– for starters you’d need to have a cofounder,” as he smacked away at his lunch over zoom. Not only do I have a degree in computer science, I have an MBA, and I’m a mom. Another investor said, “Your product is exceptional and I’m very impressed with your progress thus far. I don’t think you need funding because you’re close to launching." I’ve bootstrapped for two years and have built this on a negative empty tank. I need the investment to hire my core team and for the upkeep of my basic survival needs. Why would I not need the funds?
The reality is that even when the opportunities are glaring, we are still overlooked. We don’t need handouts, all we ask for is to level the playing field –without judgement, bias, or pigeon-holing us to fit a certain mold. We need to be funded based on the value of the opportunities we bring to the table."