A day early during the pandemic, Dazayah Walker ran into a job she’d never heard of: venture capitalist investor.
The pandemic gave her time, and intrigued by the trade, she began teaching herself the trade. She soon realized it was a way to build wealth, and as a young black woman, it was also a viable career path she was never exposed to.
“This is one of those quietly kept industries where people become multimillionaires for years,” Walker told Marketingwithanoy. “We’re just not involved in that.”
That’s starting to change. While the investor landscape remains predominantly white and male, there has been a resurgence in black VCs striving to fund overlooked founders while simply pursuing a career once hidden from them. This new crop of VCs is starting younger than ever – and like Walker, they’ve set the bar high.
Walker studied economics at Spelman College and worked as an executive assistant at record label Quality Control. Two months after discovering venture capital, she pitched to start the label’s first venture capital fund. Today, at the age of 24, she manages the label’s entire investment portfolio.
“There is a constant need for new perspectives, new forms of creativity and innovation, and this is being done through diversity and inclusion,” said Walker. “It’s an opportunity for [us] to be in a space to make an impact and inspire.”
Another way to look at the world
Walker was initially concerned that her lack of a Stanford degree or Bay Area expertise would hinder her progress, but the perspectives and ideas she put forward helped her establish herself.
Home of Quality Control, Atlanta is an emerging technology hub and the label is one of the most popular in the country. Walker says her young perspective is appreciated as Gen Z’s purchasing power grows.
She has leveraged the cultural relevance of Quality Control and its artists to build her network, knowing that founders and investors always want to associate themselves with what is considered “cool.”
To date, Walker has helped the label close eight deals, many of which focused on consumer apps and fintech, and spent time educating her favorite artists on investing. She once wanted to be a music manager, but has shed her aspirations to focus on opening economic opportunities for others who, like her, were unaware that this path to prosperity existed.
“There’s so much overlap at the intersection of music and technology,” Walker said. “I see the opportunity to make this bigger than the now, but as a way to build generational wealth and define a legacy.”
In Los Angeles, Jonathan Moore, 22, left his Wall Street career to work as an analyst at TCG Capital Management. He presented the idea for the company to launch a crypto fund, believing that the intersection of web3 and the creative economy could tap into a generation of untapped talent. Since the fund’s launch in September 2021, he has closed more than 20 deals and says the outlook for this year is equally promising.