Morgan DeBaun was one of the only Black women working in Silicon Valley when she quit her job and started Blavity, a news media company focused on serving Black Americans. But as Morgan found out, raising money isn’t easy - especially when so little funding goes to women and women of color in the first place. This week, we spoke to Morgan about raising capital, overcoming obstacles, and selling your story to investors.
Morgan: You have to really believe in yourself. You have to really believe that it's going to be worth that short term discomfort of eating, boiled eggs and oatmeal, and living in downtown San Francisco and walking places because you don't want to spend your cash flow on Ubers and Lyfts.
You need to move fast, and you need to have discipline, and feel like I actually would prefer to be uncomfortable for a short period of time. So then I can be very comfortable later in life. And I think that's the trade off in entrepreneurship.
Morgan: I was so encompassed by wanting to make an impact. It was like, I know that there's a problem with information and media and content for Black people in this country, for millennials and anyone coming after us. But when Mike Brown got killed, it was like this is the soul. This is the why. This is why I'm willing to be broke for seven years and maybe fail, because even existing is going to make an impact. And I think entrepreneurship and being a founder is very trendy right now, and caring about Black people is also very trendy right now, but this is something that my team and our early employees, my co-founders, have dedicated our whole lives to.
Skimm'd by Alex Carr, Andrew Callaway, and Ciara Long.
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"I was broken in 2014. Building Bumble and finding a way to build this product that had intention, purpose, passion — that rebuilt me. It literally put me back together."
"I come to work in order to develop, in order to become a better version of myself…. It is an identity project."
"I just really encourage people to find time to meditate, to sit down. Does it feel good to pursue whatever it is that you're pursuing? You're successful because it feels good."