Get in touch

Black Girl Ventures began with a tipi in Shelly Bell’s living room and a call to a psychic in California. Shelly Bell chats with Paul and Gina about how she went from building that tipi to building a platform that has now funded over 100 Black and Brown woman-led businesses. Shelly also shares what goes into a strong investor pitch and talks about the importance of giving honest feedback.

Transcript

Shelly Bell I always tell people like your business is not your baby. People are like “Oh, this is my baby.” No, it’s not. Because hopefully one day you sell your business and you never sell your babies. [music fades in, plays alone for 15 seconds, ramps down]

Paul Ford Gina Trapani.

Gina Trapani Hi Paul! How you doing today?

PF Everything is just fine. You don’t want to say great right now. It’s not a great kind of era. It’s just fine. How are you doing?

GT I’m doing great. I’m excited about today’s show actually. 

PF Gina, this is a subject that is very near and dear to your heart that we’re going to talk about, what are we going to talk about?

GT We have a fantastic guest today. She’s the CEO of Black Girl Ventures, Shelly Bell. And I want Shelly to introduce herself. But I wanted to say it first.

PF Excellent. Welcome, Shelly.

SB Hi! Thank you for having me. This is awesome!

PF It’s great to have you. Tell us a little bit about Black Girl Ventures. 

SB Yeah, so I’m Shelly Bell and the founder of Black Girl Ventures, we work to create access to capital for Black and Brown women founders. And when I say create, we mean create where there may not be any. So access to capital for some founders means getting a new job or a better job, access capital for some founders means access to grants, access to loans, access to investment capital. So we really try to work to be sure—access to more customers. So we try to look at access to capital holistically. We believe that with access to capital, financial capital, community, which means new networks, and capacity that founders able to create long term sustainable businesses.

GT That’s amazing. Tell us more. How? How do you do all that?

Pf Just a little mandate.

GT Yeah, you know, just a little something, making the world a little bit better.

SB Well, would it help to tell you the story of like—

GT Yeah, please, how did this come about?

SB Alright, here we go. So I was engaged to a man who did not want me to start a business actually. And so I didn’t at first because I’m like, “Oh, maybe this is what this wife thing is about you kind of compromise sometimes.” So I went to work. And I hated it every day, but I thought I was faking it really well. And so my boss called me in and say, “You know what, you’re amazing. But this is not for you.” I was doing some patent search work. So I went home and I was devastated. So I called California Psychics which was the only responsible thing to do at the time. [Gina laughs] And I was like “Oh, my God, what is happening to my life?” and the woman she told me, “When you find a thing that you want to do, the money will come and you’re not going to be with that guy.” 

PF Woah!

SB And so within about two months my entire world flipped upside down. I moved all the furniture out of the living room and kicked that guy out and then decided, I’m gonna build a teepee, put it in my living room, and rent it out. And everybody’s like, “Nobody’s gonna sleep in your living room in a teepee” And I’m like, “Yes they will!” [Paul laughs]

GT This is amazing! This is AirBnB!

SB I get my materials, I get my little drill, you know, I’m on it, I’m drilling holes, I actually hot glued the fabric to the sticks, okay. And I don’t recommend that that’s the way to do it. But at the time, it sounded really good to me because I didn’t have any other options. Because given I really didn’t know how to build a teepee, this was me following somebody’s DIY, and it was like, the only one I could find online. So I go, you know, build it, you know, in in, of course, Airbnb has a teepee option, but nobody recognized that it is on. So it really took off. I mean, people ask so many people who wanted to stay and I stepped it back, because I wanted to build something where women could—couple things. One, if you’re a single parent, or you just don’t have any extra rooms, you can’t make money off Airbnb, if you’re a woman, and you travel, and you’re looking for safe places to stay, might be safe to stay with other mothers or, but what I learned from that experience of like one woman come and stay and what I learned is safe space, like if you and I, if all three of us walk into a building that is structurally sound, and technically it’s a safe space. Safe space means safe people and other people in that space are not safe, then that’s what makes the space unsafe. And so we use that a lot as a buzzword all of “safe space, safe space.” And it’s like, yeah, it’s not the fact that we’re all together, it is the fact that there are people with empathy, patience, grace, understanding and are together.

PF As I’m listening to, to like right before we started recording, I was looking at your website. And you know, there’s an enormous amount going on. And it’s not that old of an organization and I just sort of—I was saying to Gina, how did they get all this done? And now that I learned about how you built the teepee in the living room. Like as you’re saying it I just went like “Ohhh, okay” like so the teepee and living room is an amazing metaphor. I’m gonna build it, you know, and it’s about making a place for people to come build their community. Right, so okay, get us from there, you build a teepee in your living room. Take us forward, take us forward.

SB Okay, so I built a teepee in my living room. But after we let that one person come and say I was like, actually, I don’t want people sleeping in my living room in a teepee. So what other skills do I have? [Paul laughs] So I started thinking what other skills I had and I learned to do t-shirts, to make t-shirts at a previous job. So I landed on this idea called Made by a Black Woman, put it on a t-shirt, everybody loved it, my mom invested her retirement, some retirement money. I used my tax my tax return to buy my own machine. So I was printing my stuff and for other people, through printing for like small festivals and influencers, landed some connections to like Google and Amazon, expanded into doing custom merchandise and started doing bigger orders. So now I leveled up all of these things over the course of like two years and so at the end of that second year, we made Essence magazine holiday gift guide for our infant bodysuits with the Made by a Black Woman symbol on it. And so I learned so much throughout this time about building business. I’ve lived many lives like I, I sold vacuum cleaners in college, where at one point I call myself a private eye, but that’s a whole nother story. You know, I was a teacher, I was K through 12 teacher for like seven years, I did performance poetry, had my own art organization. So a lot of these things, I feel like when I landed on Black Girl Ventures, it really is like, all the things that I’ve done from workforce development to work on kids from elementary school all the way to high school, teaching computer science, like it was all the things I had done. When the news came out of a black woman not receiving access to capital, I said, okay, well, let’s just do something about it. Like I really, I’m annoyed about all of the like complaints about what’s happening and no innovative ways of fixing it. I say all the time, we can send cars to the moon, but we can’t fix equality for some reason. So the first one was just a branch, 30 women and a house we got together, I cooked all the food, I vowed to never do again. [Gina laughs] And we voted with marbles and coffee mugs. It was like “You like this person’s pitch? Put your marble in her coffee mug.” I ran the whole thing like a poetry slam. I’m a poet. I’m an artist like, and so I wasn’t thinking about it being really anything bigger. It was like oh, people like this, okay, let’s just get together, keep doing it. I kept doing it, went out, got other partnerships to create space, like added a volunteer team. And we went from, you know, 20 people, 40 people, 80 people, landed a partnership with Google to 200 plus people across like seven or eight cities. And we started traveling and popping these things up at Google offices, people will come, we made it so you can vote with your dollars became a Google charity. And then at the end of 2019, because mind you this is only like, all of this is happening, so to 2015 I decided to branch out, 2016 I am moving into the full blown version of the print shop traveling and vending. And then 2017 I’m moving into Black Girl Ventures fully. 2018 I said listen, I’m gonna give Black Girl Ventures 30 days, if it does not pop off, I’m dropping it. I’m gonna put my branch off to the side. And I’m gonna give you 30 days. And if it doesn’t do something that says I should keep it, I’m gonna drop it in. So I gave it like all of my energy and it did, and it worked. So here we are, we funded about 120 women to date, we still got the numbers coming in for this year. But over 100 women, we’ve had about 200 women come through the pitch competition itself. But then we also have five chapters, where we have three to five women on the ground who actually work on behalf of Black Girl Ventures, furthering the effort that I’ve created. So we package the pitch competition efforts and give it to them so that they can do it on their own. Okay, so kind of like an each one, fund one kind of thing. And we have a virtual community. You know, we just been hammering away like what it means to like work through relationships and build people up and create, like, sustainability for communities.

PF How did you know at the end of 30 days? What was the thing that made you say, “Alright, I’m gonna double down on this.”

SB Money! It was great. So we have a revenue generating model behind it.

GT Money is a great answer. [Gina laughs]

PF That is the right answer. 

SB Yeah, if it did not show viability, it was gonna have to be a nice passion. But we have a revenue generating model behind it. And so it’s like crowdfunding meets Shark Tank, right? So it’s like Kickstarter and Shark Tank put together, we have our own proprietary software, women pitch and then they donate through the platform. And then but we influence with them. So crowdfunding has a huge opportunity cost. If you don’t have a network, you gotta like do all the videos, you got to do all the things. So we do the video because they pitch live with us and we record it. We put it up, and then people can go and vote. They also like send out you know, encourage people to vote and then we encourage people vote.

PF As I’m listening, what I’m hearing when you say access to capital, it’s it goes really, really deep and I don’t think people think about this a lot of times with Kickstarter and places like that, but the really good really successful Kickstarter is have 1000s of dollars of investment in just how they communicate outwards. And if you’re a new investor, you don’t have access to that. So is that one of the things that you’re doing? You’re getting people kind of, you know, into this world. So you help them with the video, like what else happens? And I guess maybe talk a little bit about the platform you’ve built? Which is SheRaise, right?

SB Yes! So the the full operations look like we have an application process, we have reviewers that are from the business community, we select about a dozen people. And then we have pitch practice, we actually coach them. So we do two pitch practices with them. After that we do, right now because the COVID, we do like a recording, where everybody’s there at the judges. And then we run through the whole thing, as if it’s live, we have our alumni actually available to watch our people in our BGV Connect community incubator, so that can watch to learn from, and then we have a production team that puts it all together and makes it look amazing. And then we put it out into like a live event where people can go and and use it. So with SheRaise, I could find platforms that will let people vote. And I could find platforms that will let people donate. And I can find platforms that will let people like vote and then donate later. But I couldn’t find anything that will let people attach their vote to a donation and create levels of transparency that I wanted to create. So on the back end that SheRaise, our founders can see everything, they can see how many votes they’re getting, they can see their comments, they can see the fees that we take, they can see the capital that’s coming out to them, we try to create as much transparency as possible, because in a Black community and underrepresented communities in general, trust is really important, and we take it seriously. And like that is our currency, is our brand trust. From a voter standpoint, you can go to the website, you can click through, you can look at the videos that are there, learn about founders that have already pitched, and then there’s the active event you can actually go in, and you can check out. So another thing I couldn’t find was platform, they will let people vote and donate in like vote for more than one person at a time. So you can vote in a checkout function. So you go, you can put in as many dollars, as many people as you want. Hit checkout, you can comment on as many of them like the people that you donate it to. And then as soon as you a donation receipt on the back end, for what you donate, and these donations are 501(c)(3), you know, nonprofit donation. So that’s also a benefit for our ability to influence people to give.

GT Where do you find people are finding out about the events? And like, where are the people who are voting and donating coming from?

SB Yeah, so I have a way that I enter cities. And so I would say like that, originally, the way we would go into series was to do a lot of relationship building. And so then we would create our own version of our own word of mouth. I think at this point, word of mouth, we are word of mouth tenex, meaning like we have like different brands and influencing people and that we’ve worked with that we you know, that just worked with us, like they picked us up. So I have like a huge amount of gratitude for being found in that way. And people just sending it out sharing it and really being willing to get involved. So I honestly have to say like word of mouth for me, we’re big on Instagram, Instagram was one of the places that we started, we double down on Instagram as a major platform for us. But also because this is the mushy stuff, there’s just like “I like them” you know, is really that kind of stuff. And we work through people, we work the people, everything we do, and we try to as much as possible, create automation around working with people as authentically as possible.

PF It’d be good to get a couple examples of funded pitches so that listeners understand kind of what the sort of things that are getting built?

SB Totally. So we have a woman in a one of our alumni, Kai XR is she platform, and she takes children through a filter of experiences using VR. The story is I when I met her about two years ago, she hadn’t pitched at all. And so I pitched coached her for a event that I did as a part of a partnership with the keyboard center out in the bay, and she won. And so then I invited her to come visit the Black Girl Venture South X Southwest competition. She pitched there, she won again. And when she pitched like literally, everybody clapped for like a minute straight. And we knew that like okay, this is the winner. Her story is so amazing considering, like what it means to have not had field trip experiences growing up from not being able to afford them or just like them being taken out of school altogether. And her background is here. She’s been a journalist, she’s had a lot of things and decided to double down on this as a business. We also have a husband and wife duo. They have a company called Spin Debt, where you are regularly shopping you can actually pay utility bills at the same time. So you can decide to a certain amount of, like $1, extra $2, $3 on top of your spending goes to your utility bills every time you shop, you could use other debts too, one of the things I found particularly interesting is that the utility bills as like an ongoing bill, you always have to pay. And considering that even in a pandemic, people have not stopped spending. So you know, how can we help people do a little bit of both, I love what they’re working on in their story. And then the wife also became one of our change agents, which is one of the chapter leads out of Houston.

PF People should check out the Kai XR website, which is, has the best use of really bright color of any startup website I’ve seen in a while, everybody’s really into these sort of drab websites now. This thing is great. Three minute pitch, what’s got to be in a three minute pitch?

SB You know, is so straightforward. Like, who are you? Why are you? Why do we care? And then what’s the model like people want, you know, the investors, even the donors, they want to know, what’s the model behind this. Is this sustainable? Is it going to work long term? A recent pitch competition that we just had, which was, we partner with a group called Rare Beauty Brands, who then brought in Ulta beauty, which allowed us to be able to have the winner have an opportunity to actually sell from Ultabeauty.com. With that three minutes, a place like Ulta wants to know, can you handle the volume? Do you have the traction? You know, do you have the manufacturing that can handle selling from a place like Ultabeauty.com, they’re also particularly interested in working with more underrepresented founders. So you know, those questions may look a certain way. And then investors in general, they also want to know, do you have the traction? Do you have the model? So what is it that you’re doing? What problem is it solving? Or what inefficiency, what is it making more efficient? Sometimes we get too caught up on the problem and the solve. But it’s how is this thing making something more efficient? And then you know, it really depends. People love a good story. If you can tell a good story to draw in, you know, listener, then the story should thread through though. So the story should also say like, “Why you for this?”

GT Right, why are you the right founder to tackle this problem?

PF Shelly, how do you tell people that they need to cut the most important thing in their life? Like there’s always that thing they really want to tell. And then it’s got to go. How do you give that feedback? Because I always find with founders and entrepreneurs like you got to give it, it’s hard for them to hear.

SB Yeah, Paul, that’s a pretty That’s a really great question. Because I’m a hardcore coach, I am pretty straightforward about it. I’m like listen, is because like, the investors are not the most like empathetic kind people, when they’re like, what is this? Why are you doing it? Like, you know, like, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everybody is that way. But they really want to know, how does it make money? And we and I found over the course of many, you know, like, evaluating applications, or talking to different people, we’re pitching or listening to pitches of feedback, at this point, hundreds, literally, from either Black Girl Ventures or others, that will why people have a tendency to not want to talk about their money. But then women have a tendency to ask for less, or step back the money parts of the conversation. And it’s like, how does it make money? Because I’m here to make money with you. So it’s me trying to get people to see or what I try to get people to see is the opportunity in them giving certain information. It’s like, you’re not giving me anywhere to get in on this journey with you. I want to give you money, and I want to get in on the journey with you. Even if that is just my “I want to feel good in my spirit.” That’s part of me getting in on the journey. Or if it is, “I definitely want to get my money back. So I wouldn’t get a return on me investing in you.” So understanding there’s a language barrier between capital raising and entrepreneurs, even in philanthropy, there’s a language barrier there where people just are not speaking the same language. And that’s why they’re not referring to able to get like capital.

GT What is the piece of advice, you said you’re a hardcore coach, I don’t doubt it. What is the thing that you find yourself telling founders when you’re coaching them around their pitches kind of over and over? Like the most common mistake?

SB Yeah, I would say, how does it make money? And why would I care about this? Like, I get it that you care about it, but why would I care enough to give you my money, you’re not showing me where to give you the money. So if you’re not explaining a financial model, you’re not talking about your attraction, you’re not giving me indications of longevity and sustainability. I got to know if I give you this capital, you know, if I, as an investor we’re giving you we’re investing that five years from now you’re going to still be around, you got to be able to communicate that and that takes more than just heart and passion. I mean, granted heart and passion and grit, you know, are the core of that, but at the same time, show me how you understand your own business. One of the things I also think that I’m always saying is that like, people want to hear your understanding of your business. We don’t expect for you to have it all together right now or else you don’t need us. But know that, communicate in a way that if you don’t have the answer, then communicate with them that you’ll answer later, you know, or say things like “Thank you, I didn’t think of that but I’ll, I’ll keep that for next time” or “I’ll look into that now” or you know what “That’s a great point, I’ll actually pull that into what I’m doing.” Like, that’s what people want to hear that you’re coachable, that you’re working through. And as you understand, creating a business, not just a pitch.

PF One of the hardest things about coaching, right is and I’ve been on this side, other side of this where I remember, I used to be a writer but I had this brutal editor. And she just said to me one point, she was like, “That is a really important story to you. And it’s incredibly boring to me.” And once, like six months later, when I was able to feel something again, I remember going like, how important it is, and how important a signal it is to pick up on boredom, like people, those entrepreneurs want to be interested. And actually, you’re lucky if you get one of the ones who’s like, what the hell is this? The worst, now we’re back on the other side of the table. This is me, because I don’t like to confront a lot of the time. And I’ll be the one going like, “Oh, that’s very interesting. Thank you for your time?” Which is a disaster, right? Like no one’s getting any value out of that. We’re just kind of confused. So getting people to kind of be interesting. And it’s the hardest feedback to give. Because you got to say, like, you’re not interesting, right now, you need to do something that other people care about. And they’re sitting there with their whole life in their hands going, “People don’t care about this?” It’s just hurtful. So really, what you’re saying is to be a good coach and get people into that three minute pitch, you just have to be very hurtful.

GT I don’t think that’s what Shelly was saying. But okay! [Paul & Gina & Shelly laugh] 

SB Not necessarily. You know, I wasn’t necessarily saying that, but constructive criticism is hard to take sometimes.

PF Fair. Very fair. 

GT Shelly, do you think that your founders see BGV as a stepping stone toward pitching like venture capital firms? How is that played out? Or what are those conversations like?

SB Yeah, 100% the feedback that we get is they’re more confident in going up isn’t in front of someone else. And I think this is why it’s important for me to keep it real and be really not hard, but like, straight up, because what happens that, and again, there’s a language barrier, a language difference between culturally between these investors and them, investors ain’t everybody, by the way, but it just isn’t. And then because the investor is not there to always, like, understand you, and then they won’t give you the feedback, the straight up feedback, they’ll just be like “Okay, thank you.” And then you’ll be like “what happened? Why didn’t it work? I wonder what they—why did they?” And so I think like in order for you to, you know, we’ve had women say, like, “I sat in 13 week courses, and I’ve never gotten as much feedback or felt as confident as I have through sitting through this one hour pitch coaching.” So I think yes, they they’re, they’re more apt to go out and pitch when they feel like they’ve had some really straight up feedback about what they’re doing. And because really, a lot of what I do, is I reframing, it’s like, “Okay, yes to this and have you ever thought about—consider—move these colors around—this is too much work—too many words—you know, here’s what people are looking for.” If you’ve never been in touch with, you know, certain people then how do you know what they’re looking for?

PF Let me say something, and then you tell me how wrong I am, which is that what I’m hearing is access to capital, the biggest gap is communication skills. Everything else is there to make a viable business. But and not even communication skills, but the ability to communicate to a specific type of investor, that seems to be the big gap that you’re spending a lot of your time closing up. Is that a fair statement? Or are there things I’m missing? 

SB I would add to that like, is not just on the founder side, the investor challenges are there. Like the investors not being able to really communicate well or understand or even feel like they have to understand the founders that they’re about to invest in. That is a problem. So I would say that, like, yes, it is all about communicate, that’s what you’re doing when you pitch, you’re communicating. That’s what your pitch deck is doing is communicating. And this is what they’re doing to give you feedback, they’re communicating. So I never, I don’t know if I’ve singularly put it into one word that way, but it absolutely is all about improving communication, which is the key to equity and inclusion, right, is that we could kind of tweak how we communicate or understand the communication of others, then we can send that car to the moon that’s also equitably, equitable and inclusive. [Shelly & Paul laugh]

PF I know the exact car to the moon you’re talking about. It’s a lot. We’ve been talking about what your founders need to do in order to get their pitch tuned up, help the investors listen better, what do they need to do?

SB Get some Black friends. [Paul & Gina laugh]

PF I mean, we could really stop the podcast there, right? But you know, honestly, when you’re talking about investors, and you give them that advice, that’s a dangerous game as well.

SB It really is a dangerous game.

PF They’re gonna, they’re gonna call someone and say “Can you get me some Black friends?”

SB Or they’re gonna go “Hey Shelly, I have Black friends.” [Paul laughs] And then that’s a whole nother story. So, what I am meaning by that is to invest and start to understand other cultures. We do it when we travel outside the country, you know, we do it when we go to little known places in the world, we’re so intrigued by other people’s cultures, but we have, you know, people right here that we don’t understand. And so I would say if you could take a step back and explore culture, the same way you explore culture when you go to other countries, you don’t go there, taxing all the people in the country to teach you how to be, you read up first, you understand first, you try to find out as much as you can. And then you go and you attempt to acclimate and not interrupt or disrupt. So I think like that kind of way of thinking is we already have it in us. When we travel, why not try and move into this room, I think another thing is really honoring Black history. And I don’t mean Black History Month, or like some particular incidents regarding Martin Luther King, like I what I mean by that is, understand that the Black community has only had about 60 years, uninterrupted to grow wealth. And you know if we count the subprime mortgage crisis level things they really we’re talking, 10 or 15 years, right, if that. Having an understanding of that there’s no way that that founder can fair up against 100 plus year system of growing wealth, right. So in that case, you just got to put different eyes on it, you got to put different ears on it, you got to listen to a different because these founders are coming up with things that will absolutely shape the future of work, shape the future of education, shape the future of the financial industry, and you know, to be so removed from what it means to innovate as an investor, and not be able to see all because of what? Risk? You know, I think it’s so interesting, like, we keep treating investment, like it’s blackjack, but it’s really roulette. We keep acting like it’s so predictable as if we can absolutely determine that the white guy with the backpack is gonna be the right founder because he knows how to just live with a toothbrush and boxers. Like what?

PF We also forget that he fails 99% of the time.

GT But and yet he presents as if he hasn’t at all, I mean, I think about just the confidence gap. Like you know, I’ve seen I’ve seen, not to make broad general gender based generalizations but I’m gonna do that—

PF Do it, Gina. Do it.

GT Men who know very little and present as if they are the absolute experts, and you have women who are you know, proven and just are absolute experts and who will say you know, “I’m on my path, I’m learning” and just that different slightly different presentation, right?

PF No, I know. And the dude, ’cause I mean, the dude is read like five webpages and the woman has a Master’s degree.

GT Exactly! [Gina laughs]

SB You know, that’s what the studies show. You know, look at a job description. They want to meet like 95% of it and a man, a man will look at and say, “Oh, I got two of these. I’m going for it” The research shows, you know that women also make you more money when you invest in them. They also save money better. They also outpace men, I think around 6% when it comes to crowdfunding, successful crowdfunding. And I’ve been saying lately, like investors can’t tell us that they’re looking at the numbers. Because all the numbers say invest in women, all the numbers say invest in diverse teams. And if you are looking at diversity is just skin colored. And that’s also a challenge we got to talk about, right? Like there’s cognitive diversity, there’s neurodiversity, like, there’s just so many ways to be diverse is differently, abled, that we just have totally disregarded when it comes to what it means to be diverse. It’s an interesting journey. I’m optimistic because I’m a serial optimist, that the positivity is there, and people will pick it up and run with it.

PF What I love about this story is it says it goes from, you know, I called the hotline, I built a teepee. [Gina laughs] And now I have a what? Five city platform with total transparency about funding, you seem to have a couple 100 founders in your directory. So that is just a flat out accomplishment. It’s really fascinating to see and you know, is you poke through, I looked at a couple of profiles and it’s just like, these are really interesting human beings who are doing a tremendous amount of stuff. So people should go check this out. Black Girl Ventures.

GT Yeah if someone wanted to donate or support or attend the next event they should go to the website.

SB BlackGirlVentures.org. If you’re a founder and any founder of any color, oh, we also put a lot of resource alerts, a lot of job alerts. So definitely follow us on Instagram @BlackGirlVentures.

PF Any other cities or any other chapters that are growing? What’s your next city? 

SB Ah, yeah, I mean, so right now we have efforts in general across 12 cities. We have the largest presence on the East Coast for entrepreneurs of organization for Black and Brown women. We are about to launch a chapter in New York. We will be working with, actually we’re going to work with Johnnie Walker brands on that and we have a brand called Omaze, which we will be launching in LA and Houston. It has a couple things I can’t quite talk about yet with some really big partners. But yeah, we definitely have a goal to stretch out across the country and then to look at going international.

PF So look, Shelly, if anybody wants to get in touch with you specifically, what’s the best way to follow you, reach out? What should they do?

SB Yeah, @iamshellybell everywhere. So whether you are Instagram, Twitter, my website IamShellyBell.com you can reach out to me on any of those.

PF Good. Well, thank you so much for coming on!

SB Thank you for having me!

PF Alright, Gina. I’m gonna go build a teepee. That was amazing.

GT I know, that was amazing. One of the best origin stories ever. I was like, “Did she say teepee? She did!”

PF Most origin stories don’t have a beginning that awesome. And then a really happy ending, that is very cool. Alright, so good. So people should really, they should check out blackgirlventures.org. That’s a lot of platform to build and not a long time and some unique intellectual property. And the founder directory is just really interesting. There’s just a lot going on in terms of investors who should be listening and reading there is I think a good place to start, at least for me.

GT The investment community always talks about disruptive products but when most investors need to be disrupted, so I love the work that’s going on here.

PF You don’t say?

GT You couldn’t tell from my broad smile this entire conversation? [Paul & Gina laugh]

PF I like when Gina keeps me honest. Um, alright, so hello@postlight.com if you need us, we build wonderful things online, we’re a good strategy partner. And as we noted in here, we do like to stay connected with community. We do like to support people with great organizations like this. Gina, are you gonna get back to work?

GT I’m gonna get back to work. Lot’s to do. This was a lot of fun. Thanks Paul. 

PF Bye! [music ramps up, plays alone for 3 seconds, ends]