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Chris Bennett: Wonderschool, a platform for early childhood education

In this Episode on Startup Foundations, we speak to Chris Bennett, the founder and CEO at Wonderschool.

About This Episode:

During the pandemic, Wonderschool has been helping more and more families find quality child care and early education. Chris also chats with us about being a minority in the startup community and how issues of racial inequity can be addressed in the world of venture capital.

Episode transcript

Greg Miaskiewicz: So how do you think VCs can solve this sort of pipeline problem and invest in more black led startups?Chris Bennett: It's really good question Greg, some of the best ideas I've heard that resonate, that align with my sort of views are one idea called hire or wire, which is hire more black individuals into companies, so that they're able to get access to technology. Fund more black entrepreneurs. So they're able to get a shot at creating a company.

And I personally have lived this. I have hired number of black individuals at Soldsie and at Wonderschool. And I'm about to invest in an early black employee at Soldsie who's gone on to have an illustrious career in tech and has been able to get to a stage where she's able to raise a very competitive round, because she's been able to just get access. She clearly had the skill, the competency, it's just a lot of it is an access issue.

QUESTION • 3:40 min watch
How do VCs sort the pipeline problem and invest more in black-led startups??
Greg Miaskiewicz: Do you have any sort of parting words of advice for any founders just starting out about how to get their venture off the ground and make it successful?Chris Bennett: I mean, the game of entrepreneurship is just really like a persistence game. It's a grit game. And what's interesting is that if you show that grit and you show that persistence, investors are more willing to fund you because they know that you're going to pivot. They know that your idea might not work, but they're looking for folks who are going to stick it out and figure it out. And so the best advice I have for folks who are starting companies, is just don't give up. Keep going and try to arm yourself with the best knowledge as possible, which typically lives in books. Most recent books that are being created, but typically the best information is in people's heads who are running companies who are ahead of you. So network with those individuals, listen to podcasts that they're on and learn from them and apply those best ideas to your company.
QUESTION • 1:12 min watch
What advice will you give to startup founders who are looking to get their first venture off the ground?

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