#FacesofFounders

Share your photo and story. Redefine who is an entrepreneur.

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Jessica Zetzman
Maker
@actuallyjz · Digital Comms, Case Foundation
Hi, I'm Jess from the Case Foundation, one of the makers of the #FacesofFounders campaign. Super excited to share it with all of you and invite you to be a part of the #FacesofFounders movement to redefine who is and can be an entrepreneur. We celebrate our culture of innovation in America and the tireless, dogged risk-taking entrepreneurs that push us forward, putting it all on the line to build a better future for themselves and our nation. America's startup culture was built on the idea that anyone, from anywhere, can bring forward the next big idea, but the data tells a different story: less than 10% of venture-backed companies have a woman founder and less than 1% have an African-American founder. It’s time to lift up all entrepreneurs—regardless of their race, gender or background—in order to create stronger communities, close the opportunity gap and scale new, innovative solutions that can transform communities. Join the #FacesOfFounders movement by sharing your photo and telling your story to champion your own startup or an entrepreneur that you know. Everyone has a role to play and together we can change the face of entrepreneurship. I’m here to answer any questions of feedback you may have – thanks!
Greg 'X' Willis@greg_x_willis · Founder & Developer @ Taste Buff
@actuallyjz I like your idea, but as great as that sounds the next "big idea" extremely subjective. A lot of it just plain luck, and deep pockets at times. What exactly would you like to accomplish with this? What are the benefits of exposure? I'm just curious...
Jessica Zetzman
Maker
@actuallyjz · Digital Comms, Case Foundation
@greg_x_willis Thanks for the thoughtful question. At the Case Foundation, we often use the adage 'Brilliance is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.' Couldn't agree more that access to social capital (networks) and access to financial capital (deep pockets) are a huge part of how entrepreneurs succeed, and we are working on those areas as well at the Case Foundation. But with this campaign in particular we're tackling the idea of "you can't be what you can't see." Right now, it’s become commonplace in America to accept the idea that the most promising entrepreneurs are generally young, white, elite males from Silicon Valley (in a hoodie?). But that's just one small slice of the pie, a narrative that isn't nearly broad enough to encompass the millions of diverse entrepreneurs out there—especially the women and entrepreneurs of color—who are building businesses at a phenomenal rate. The goal of this campaign is to help reshape that narrative, lift up those whose stories aren't often told and inspire people that they too can build the next Uber. With this campaign, we hope that the next time someone, like an investor, closes their eyes and imagines who the next Mark Zuckerberg is, it might look a lot more like Jessica O Matthews.
Greg 'X' Willis@greg_x_willis · Founder & Developer @ Taste Buff
@actuallyjz Thank you. I went thru the whole process on the site, and submitted a story. There is a lot of talent beyond the major cities of New York, Los Angeles, Texas, London, California, etc. I think the biggest thing beyond just showing a face of color is in the industry. Is how do we create affordable access for others too connect in all parts of the world for a "hive" mindset of discussing ideas and issues facing the world. My biggest struggle so far is having those voices to discuss the glory and pain of business with. It's just not a common discussion in family settings, and cultures of people of color and women. Good luck on your teams project, I hope to see and collaborate with others on larger scale in the future without having "deep pockets" to do it.
Jessica Zetzman
Maker
@actuallyjz · Digital Comms, Case Foundation
@greg_x_willis Awesome, thank you for submitting your story! And agree on the geographical point as well. Our chairman Steve Case actually just came off his fifth Rise of the Rest tour, a nationwide effort to work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems outside of Silicon Valley and large coastal cities. High-growth companies can now start and scale anywhere! Building those hives and ecosystems is so important as well, so there can be groups of entrepreneurs to support each other and share the struggles and celebrate the triumphs. Be sure to also check out the resources we've included (scroll all the way down) on the about page also: http://www.facesoffounders.org/a.... Hope you find them helpful!
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
The Case Foundation and others are encouraging founders and aspiring entrepreneurs to share their photo and story, awarding prizes to some lucky entrants. Reminds me of @helena's Techies Project.