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Alba, the co-founder of The Honest Company, sat down with Silicon Valley veteran James White and spoke candidly about her entrepreneurial journey. She talked about everything from taking her company public to the challenge of initially not being taken seriously.
“A lot of people thought I was the celebrity face and didn’t create the business,” said Alba, the youngest Latina to list a company on the New York Stock Exchange. “It was the opposite.”
She also dished out advice to investors, entrepreneurs, and female investors, emphasizing the importance of leading a purpose-driven brand. “I started with a vision to make safer products for everyone, including black and brown consumers,” said Alba, daughter of Mexican immigrants.
She continued: “It (The Honest Company) felt really organic and natural to my life’s journey. I grew up with a lot of health issues. I was in and out of the hospital a ton as a kid. I was on a lot of medication. I had chronic issues, the most chronic was around asthma or allergies.”
Andrea Hoffman, is the founder of Culture Shifting Labs, which has been hosting Culture Shift Weekends in NYC and Silicon for years. CSW recently launched in Miami with support from The Knight Foundation. Hoffman sees the Miami ecosystem as nothing short of “mind-blowing.” Identifying Miami as a “key market where we can make an impact.” Expanding its offerings to support Latinx as well as Black founders and fund managers, Miami offers the perfect location for the summit.
Miami is experiencing an influx of new businesses moving into the market, especially fintech, said David Parker, Chief Growth Officer at Culture Shift Labs. “The ecosystem has also experienced an increase in commercial and residential real estate prompting the rise of economic development in the region. Clearly, our existing clients recognize this as a thriving market. They want to ensure their participation in the growth by leveraging the Culture Shift Labs Latinx community to enhance their brand and local presence.”
Brian Brackeen, General Partner at Lightship Capital, agrees that Miami has huge potential. “If you start a business anywhere it should always be Miami, Chicago, Cincinnati because you name it, because these cities are the cheapest place to start and build a business. It only makes sense to build a company the cheapest way to get to that point [an exit] and then sell for the highest amount.”
Attended each year by over 200 of the hottest and most accomplished Black and Latinx tech executives, entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and social impact leaders, the exclusive invite-only summit enables collaboration and aims for wealth creation.
Enabling more than $1 billion of investment in entrepreneurs and fund managers over the last 8 years alone, Culture Shifting Weekend’s new goal is to make that number $2 billion by 2025.
With summits taking place in New York, London, and Silicon Valley, Miami’s iteration combines the focus on venture capitalists found in New York, with Silicon Valley’s emphasis on diverse leaders in tech, innovation, and social impact. With Miami becoming a booming ecosystem for tech and innovation, Culture Shifting Weekend seeks to narrow inequality in venture capital, entrepreneurship, on corporate boards, and in the c-suite as well as enable access to capital.
Alongside its general session showcasing entrepreneurs of color, Culture Shifting Weekend Miami 2022 also shone the spotlight on health and wellness with a showcase of healthcare, life sciences, and wellness BIPOC and Latinx founders and organized over 70 meetings with Black and Latinx venture capital general partners and investors.
Other events included a fireside chat with Aaron Mitchell, former HR Director at Netflix, and Pamela Brylski, Director at Blackrock, a fireside chat on corporate venture investing between as Jessica Hsieh of AWS and Sanjiv Parikh of Avanta Ventures, and last but not least Emil Michael, Uber’s former Chief Business Officer led a panel discussion on angel investing that included former NFL Player Channing Crowder.
With partners including Knight Foundation and Nextera energy, as well as Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Verizon, Black Ambition, and Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs, the Miami Summit consolidated the importance of Black and Latinx founders and fund managers.
In February 2023 Culture Shifting Weekend goes transatlantic with its London summit title sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank. Guest speakers include X. Eyeé, Product Manager and Responsible AI at Google, and Her excellency Najila Al-Midfa, CEO of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center.
Hoffman says, “In 2023, we plan on driving more impact and outcomes for our consulting clients and for the culture shifting community at large.”
2023 looks big for Culture Shift Labs. Hoffman says under the leadership of Terell Sterling, CSL’s Head of Impact & Community, we plan on tripling the community from 11k black and Latinx SMEs (subject matter experts) to 33k in the next 18 months and doubling the $1b we’ve already enabled for summit attendees over the last 8 years alone.”