First Close Partners: Fireside Chat with Kwanza Jones and José E. Feliciano

July 22nd, 2021 | 11:00 AM

Virtual | Pacific Time

As an underrepresented fund manager in a white-dominated industry, it can be difficult to get to the top. As progressive as the world has become, opportunities are still affected by factors like race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. As a strong advocate for equity, one of the core pillars of the Kwanza Jones & José E. Feliciano Initiative, we continue to be the change we wish to see in the world.

In line with this, our founders, Kwanza Jones and José E. Feliciano, were invited to have a fireside chat with First Close Partners. This is a venture capital firm that does amazing work in empowering underrepresented fund managers by helping them raise their first round of capital.

They discussed some of the problems underrepresented fund managers face and how they can overcome them. Here are some of the tips they gave:

  • Have something to offer. Your performance is the product
  • Know your value. Be very selective with whom you choose to form business relationships.
  • Have a good track record
  • Have discernment because, “not all money is good money."
  • Your purpose is bigger. Keeping in mind that your actions influence the lives of others is a pretty good motivator

It’s great to see POC thriving in the white-dominated investment spaces. Always keep thinking about the future, and remember, every interaction you have is a fundraising opportunity.

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Find ways to overcome the obstacles.

- Kwanza Jones

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