Founder And Managing Partner, Engineer, United States discussed on Business Rockstars
On the planet. Welcome to Business Rockstars joining me. Now, we've got Tracy gray founder and managing partner at the twenty two. Thank you so much for stopping by. Thank you for having me. Appreciate it. So if you could start out by telling us, what is the twenty two. The twenty two capital group is a venture capital firm, and our investment strategy is to invest in companies to increase their export capacity, which means to do international sell. Companies that export are more successful than those who don't business one on one diversified in different markets. So when the US is having a problem in another country is that you can still sell and you can sell twenty four seven great. And of course, you are an advocate for female and minority entrepreneurs. This is something that you specialize within the twenty two. And then also you have the nonprofit we are enough can explain what we are. Yes. So the twenty two I we target women and minority owned businesses. And we are now is a nonprofit that. I started at came out of Ted talk. I did when I realized that women are fifty one percent of the population. Almost fifty one percent yet. We get very little capital for businesses. Even though our businesses are more successful. And they're growing faster. And there are more women starting businesses and men at a rate of one point five times. So when I saw all the kind of inequities that existed for women entrepreneurs, I thought, okay? Well, the way to get more women to invest in women owned businesses or what they call it gender lens. So we are enough all we do is educate women of the power. They have with their pocket book. Let's talk about some of those inequities. And why there are so many gender gaps that still exist within entrepreneurship if you could point out what some of those are. And maybe why you think they exist? Well in the venture capital world, which is where I play women starting companies that are could grow big tech companies are consumer products that can be large with the call unicorn one billion dollar company women receive from over the last fifteen years only four percent of the capital, even though as I said for their more successful sixty three percent more successful than male and businesses. They receive only seventeen percent of the angel investments, which are investments four venture capital. And there's only six percent of women who are venture capital. Six percent of the venture capitalist are women, and that's down ten percent from nine hundred ninety nine which is when I entered this industry, and then people might say, well, that's venture capital on tech. And that's you guys are more tech oriented, which isn't true. But if you look at commercial loans women receive about four percent of commercial loans, and they have higher interest rates. And they have to pay back faster. And there's no reason for this other than. Some valley says there's unconscious bias I'm conscious. I don't know what I'm doing with these numbers. Typically, you can't organically have numbers that low unconsciously. There's something happening consciously that. Not having women and men are comfortable with women. They're not interested in women. You know, I don't know what it is. But something consciously is happening. I know one theory out there is that it's HAMAs love of the same. You're more likely to invest and people like you and to your point if there's such a low number of female venture capitalists, then if this theory cracks then there going to be a low number of entrepreneurs who getting that venture capital funding. Yes. And that's that's where you need more women as venture capital. But I also think it's laziness because my network is my network, and it looks like me, and I'm just gonna keep reaching out to Joe and Bob who are right there. I see them. It takes some work to go reach out to Jane and Judy. So I think part of his laziness you have to be very intentional when you market and reach out to women and people of color because they're not in those natural networks that teams white men who are in Silicon Valley or in any other pockets of tech around the country. They don't play in the same network. And so. Glazing it. And then to your point of laziness often, I would imagine women are pitching products or services that are more from the female perspective or maybe benefit women. And then maybe it's harder. To for the mental relates see why there's need for it that might be some of it. But I was an engineer, you know, in my younger days, and there's plenty of I'm not the only woman is here on the planet. And there's play a women in tech who are wanting to solve problems. Just like any other entrepreneur that isn't just focused on women issues or women products. There's a lot of those since we're the ones who actually by most of the products. Control, most of the consumer discretionary spending, you should want to no matter. What get those entrepreneurs in your portfolio because that's pie. Let's talk about that. Because investing in female entrepreneurs is not just altruistic. It's beneficial for you as the investor is unofficial for our world. So can you tell me a little bit more about those some of those benefits? Well, I I was an engineer. A math major business person. I look at numbers, and it is I do have a social impact five to me. Like, my firm is a social impact firm because I'm looking at job creation also for underserved communities, but I also want to make money. You know, there's nothing wrong with that. I want to make a lot of money. And I know for a fact that you can research shows, you can make more money off of women and people of color and diversity within this leads to diversity in thought, create more creativity. More innovation which leads to more products being sold. Right. So. To me. It's all about the numbers. And then the added bonus is your social good your when you invest in women, they invest more back into their communities women's spend eighty percent of their capital on their families. And then spend thirty percent. So what are they doing with the other seventy percent of their many? When there must be breadwinners. They're investing it, and they're usually investment back in people. They know part of their network and it keeps going right? And then women are not able to do that. Because there's not enough of us investing. Let's talk about that right now, the power structure is more supportive of men white men specifically. So it's not about separation and saying I'm not going to tap into that network is actually about how do you be a part of that network? And then give back outside of that network is what you were mentioning to me before we even started the segment. So can you explain that a little bit more in depth? Well, I think you know, I'm not gonna to just put it all on the men, right? I want to say that women and people of color, you've got to go into these networks the power now to change it for the future. So I don't I've never my whole life is entrepreneur. I never stayed in women networking groups or in minority African American networking groups. It didn't make sense to me what I say getaways yourself into little area. When all this big pie stuff is happening in this little slice. So you need to go into the networks where the money is where the tech is where you can learn to these entrepreneurs learn from each other, and that's why they're successful around each other. They land they fail and more women need to get into those networks, and then once they become successful give back and certainly west step women. So it's not to say that there isn't power and women's partying women. There's a lot of power. Yeah. But it's just saying be a part of the powerful networks and give back so women and women and minorities tend to give back to their communities, hire women and other minorities. And so it changes that cycle. That's happening. The white man going around picking their white man, they come together to pick the next one up around if we're in there. We'll reach back out and bring more people of color and women into this network. Yeah. I love his perspective because it makes women and minorities more powerful. There's something that they can do. They don't have to sit back and and feel like the victim. There's something that they can just change this cycle. And one of those things that you're so passionate about is. Of course, invest in female companies minority companies, can you tell me a little bit more about the non-profit side. And why this is so helpful well with we are enough when I discovered that the power of women in their purse same with minorities, I felt we didn't have to spend a lot of time you're saying like playing the victim blaming men shaming men pleading with men to change and invest in us but in aggregate, women control more capital than men do. The we don't.