Reframing Success In 2020

“What does success look like for HBCUvc?” This is a common question asked to us by funders and other potential stakeholders. In the past, I’ve answered the question with the standard variety of jargon — increase diversity in venture capital / technology, increase access to capital, close racial wealth gap. However, even if these things were solved for — our work would still not be done.

This week the HBCUvc team went to New York for our first staff retreat of the year. A huge focus of the retreat was exploring what success looks like for HBCUvc. We focused on the below statements as starting prompts to reframe success for HBCUvc.

1. We create innovation economies where Black people can equitably take up space to create, fail, and thrive.

2. What does it look like for Black people to equitably take up space in the innovation economy?

3. What does it look like for Black people to successfully fail in the innovation economy?

4. What does it look like for Black people to successfully create in the innovation economy?

5. What does it look like for Black people to thrive in the innovation economy?

These are questions and prompts I’m using to guide our programming and outcomes in 2020. Innovation can happen out of neccesity. But it scales where there is freedom to create, fail, and thrive.

I welcome productive thoughts and feedback.

*late night brain dump, please excuse typos

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About Hadiyah

Software Engineer, Entrepreneur, and Startup Aficionado. I co-founded a student venture firm for students at historically black colleges, HBCUvc, software development agency, Playpen Labs, and Black Founders nonprofit.