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For more equitable startup funding, the “money behind the money” needs to be accountable, too

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As protests continue across the U.S. and beyond, there has been chatter this week in Silicon Valley and the venture industry more broadly about race and which venture firms have done a better job of diversifying their ranks and founder bets. There have been mea culpas, promises by firms to hold themselves more accountable, vows to “listen and learn.” SoftBank and Andreessen Horowitz have even announced new funds to invest in startups led by founders of color.

It’s heartening to see, but these efforts will only go so far in leveling the playing field for people who’ve largely been left out of the trillions of dollars of economic value produced by the global startup ecosystem. Let’s face it, the vast majority of VCs, like other business leaders, tend to forget about diversity when they aren’t being questioned about it.

In fairness, inertia is powerful. It’s also the case that venture teams are more fragile than they might appear to outsiders, and because they involve long-term partnerships of highly competitive alphas, changing their composition isn’t an overnight exercise. Still, the bigger obstacle is really perception: investors won’t say so publicly, but many don’t buy the argument that diversity generates returns. They need proof.

One surefire way to get it? Legislation.

Already, most VCs today sign away their rights to invest in firearms or alcohol or tobacco when managing capital on behalf of the pension funds, universities, and hospital systems that fund them. What if they also had to agree to invest a certain percentage of that capital to founding teams with members from underrepresented groups? We aren’t talking about targets anymore but actual mandates. Put another way, rather than wait for venture firms to organically develop into less homogenous organizations — or to invest in fewer founders who share their gender and race and educational background —  alter their limited partner agreements.

It may sound extreme, but study after study has shown that diversity pays dividends. Need one from an Ivy League economist to be persuaded? Try Paul Gompers of Harvard Business School, who has examined the decisions of thousands of venture capitalists and tens of thousands of investments in recent years and found that “diversity significantly improves financial performance on measures such as profitable investments at the individual portfolio-company level and overall fund returns,” as reported by HBR.

A separate Harvard-led study involving a broader basket of asset classes — hedge funds, mutual funds, and private equity funds among them — found that, in most asset classes, women and people of color in the finance industry performed at levels equal to their non-diverse counterparts.

Critics might note here that the world of academia is one thing while the business world is another. It’s the very reason we propose legislation that, for starters, would force state pension funds to incorporate diversity-related caveats into their dealings with asset managers, including VCs.

As for the private universities like Stanford and Princeton and Yale that also help fund the venture industry — and which say they are committed to diversity yet refuse to share the demographic data that would prove it — they receive billions of dollars in federal funding each year (and as nonprofit institutions, they don’t pay taxes on investment gains their endowments might make).

In short, if there is a will, there are legal levers that could be applied here, too.

We aren’t talking about funding exclusively or even predominately emerging managers. We’re aware that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, for example, recently ratcheted back its emerging manager program owing to slipping returns. Think instead of a hybrid approach that sees both new and existing managers required to diversify their teams and their portfolio companies in order to win over future commitments.

It’s seemingly the direction the U.S. needs to move in if it’s ever going to truly eradicate inequality and the conscious or unconscious bias that plagues many money managers. If the approach is codified into law, there might finally be enough data to establish with certainty that investing in more diverse teams pays, especially when investors are forced to make them work.

Some limited partners may lose access to certain venture managers, it’s true. But it wouldn’t be a good look for those managers. On the contrary, you can imagine how such moves would benefit both the institutions that implement them, and every asset manager they fund.

Talking and tweeting and carving out pools of dedicated capital is certainly better than nothing. But black Americans, women, and other underrepresented groups have waited long enough for the powers that be to figure out solutions. It’s time to consider fundamental change within the power structures at the root of the startup world — the money behind the venture firms. It’s time to turn theory into practice.

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Hawaii Tech Company MobileGrindz Offers Restaurants an Alternative to Food Service Tech Platforms

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MobileGrindz offers enhanced benefits and lower cost than other food ordering platforms

Honolulu, Aug 2, 2020 – MobileGrindz, a Hawaii based Technology company, has announced the upcoming debut of their foodservice platform that aims to redefine the way food ordering systems and restaurants work together. This venture, spearheaded by Hawaii Local and Black Entrepreneur Lyron Foster, aims to bring additional job opportunities to Hawaii.

With food delivery apps continuing to gain popularity – more than 20% of smartphone users are expected to use food delivery apps by 2021 – restaurants are looking for better ways to offer such services while also boosting their bottom line. 

Many food ordering platforms charge restaurants up to 20% of their orders, which tends to undercut sales severely and adversely affect restaurants. MobileGrindz wants to offer a better solution for restaurants. With their platform, a flat technology fee is charged per month instead of a percentage of sales. This fee structure intends to help businesses better control their costs, make more money, and remain competitive. 

The MobileGrindz team isn’t stopping there. They are working to help restaurants earn more sales in general. One way they are doing this is by offering completely custom and free mobile apps for iOS and Android. This will allow restaurants’ customers to place orders and track their deliveries seamlessly.

Unlike most competitors on the market today, MobileGrindz will offer native apps for restaurants that will let them set up geo-based triggers for promotions that target foot traffic. In addition, this will allow restaurants to offer push notifications which restaurants can utilize to keep their customers informed of special offers and discounts. 

MobileGrindz will also eliminate third party funds disbursements by integrating third-party payment gateways, including Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, and others. The inclusion of additional payment gateways will allow restaurants to easily process payments independently and receive revenue more quickly.

The MobileGrindz team says that they will begin on-boarding early adoption users in mid-August, with a general launch of the platform slated for September 1, 2020.

More information can be found at https://www.mobilegrindz.com/

About MobileGrindz

MobileGrindz offers a cost-effective alternative to food ordering platforms for restaurants, helping them better promote their businesses while saving money. 

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Lyron Foster, CEO

MobileGrindz

Instagram: mobilegrindz

Twitter: mobilegrindz

Website: https://www.mobilegrindz.com/ 

Media Contact

Lyron Foster*****@lyronfoster.com

Source : MobileGrindz LLCCategories : Business , Food , Mobile , Restaurants , RetailTags : COVID19 , Restaurants , Food , Delivery , Mobile Order , Food Service , Food Delivery , MobileGrindz , Hawaii , Lyron Foster

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Being a Black Entrepreneur in the United States. Learn lessons from Lyron Foster

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Lyron Foster
Lyron has encountered discrimination and other business setbacks. But with determination, successful entrepreneurship in the United States is possible.

Lyron Foster is a very determined and prolific entrepeneur. Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t as easy as one thinks it to be. The journey is full of many challenges, roadblocks, hurdles, and can even turn into failures. However, people who are determined enough, overcome these challenges and establish themselves as entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs create new business while bearing most of the risks and enjoying the rewards, at the same time. Such people innovate as they become a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business procedures. Entrepreneurs play a key role in the economy where they use their skills to bring new ideas into the market. If their ideas are successful, they are awarded profits, fame, and continued growth opportunities. Lyron Foster is one such successful entrepreneur who has made a name for himself in the business world. He is the CEO of Code Armada, along with 87 other technology brands across 4 countries. He was also the co-founder/CTO of Hostgator.com. He is a renowned serial entrepreneur, author, investor, coder, and technologist.

Lyron had always been interested in technology. According to his family, he had always possessed a natural aptitude for it. He started programming at the age of 12 and started experimenting with Slackware Linux at the age of 13. Over the years, he mastered the skills required to become a technologist. He was only 21 years old when he got his first real “technology” job at BurstNet working as a Linux Engineer. Soon he emerged as a successful technologist, having mastered all the skills. His passion for technology remained constant throughout his life.

Apart from being a successful technologist, Lyron is largely known for his serial entrepreneurship. As a serial entrepreneur, Lyron is continuously coming up with new ideas and starting new businesses. A serial entrepreneur often comes up with an idea and works on setting things up. Once things get started, they give the responsibility to someone else and move on to a new idea and a new venture. Throughout his career, some of the most memorable experiences had to be focused on his business failures and successes. He has often been lucky enough to found or co-found some of the most amazing ventures, such as Code Armada and Hostgator.  However, he has also had the misfortune of experiencing multiple business failures first hand. But Lyron never let this get to him as he learned from his mistakes and always performed better later on. He has learned lots from both his successes and failures. To this date, he has founded or co-founded over 87 businesses across 4 countries.

Despite experiencing multiple business failures, Lyron Foster has never given up and continues to thrive. His peerless determination rivals that of some of the biggest names in business.

One of his most successful business has been HostGator. HostGator was founded in a dorm room at Florida Atlantic University. HostGator has now grown into a leading provider of Shared, Reseller, VPS, and Dedicated web hosting. It is headquartered in Houston and Austin, Texas, with several international offices throughout the globe. Whether you are looking for a personal website hosting plan or a business website hosting plan, HostGator is the perfect solution for it. Their powerful website hosting services do not only help people achieve their overall website goals, but also provides them with the confidence they need in knowing that they have been with a reliable and secure website hosting platform. HostGator is the easiest website hosting platforms to use where Lyron served as the CTO for HostGator.

Currently, Lyron has extended his services to Code Armada, where he serves as the CEO of the company. The Code Armada is a leading US Based Technology Services & Staffing Solutions provider. They train and nurture the world’s top IT talent and then put them to work for businesses around the globe. Lyron has been successfully provided IT talent to the world.

Despite being such a busy man, Lyron finds time for his personal life as he showcases it on his Instagram. He can be seen sharing pictures of his delicious food, his friends and family, and his adventures around town.

For more information, people can follow him on Twitter at @LyronFoster or on Instagram at @lfoster96720.

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Exploiting wormable flaw on unpatched Windows devices is about to get easier

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Exploiting wormable flaw on unpatched Windows devices is about to get easier

Enlarge (credit: Windows)

A researcher has published exploit code for a Microsoft Windows vulnerability that, when left unpatched, has the potential to spread from computer to computer with no user interaction.

So-called wormable security flaws are among the most severe, because the exploit of one vulnerable computer can start a chain reaction that rapidly spreads to hundreds of thousands, millions, or tens of millions of other vulnerable machines. The WannaCry and NotPetya exploits of 2017, which caused worldwide losses in the billions and tens of billions of dollars respectively, owe their success to CVE-2017-0144, the tracking number for an earlier wormable Windows vulnerability.

Also key to the destruction was reliable code developed by and later stolen from the National Security Agency and finally published online. Microsoft patched the flaw in March 2017, two months before the first exploit took hold.

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