Gary Stewart is the founder of FounderTribes, a startup dedicated to diversity and matching businesses or entrepreneurs with the right investors and mentors to help them lead their business in the right direction.
Impact Hustlers’ Maiko and Gary actually go way back with them crossing paths in Wayra, a technological innovation hub that they both worked in. Even before that, Gary took up law in Yale and shortly after school, he went to Spain for some time off post-graduation. He also shares how his first entrepreneurial stint, which was in real estate, began. He briefly was a professor at the IE Business School in Madrid and was then recruited by Wayra to be its Managing Director, and off to the UK he went.
Realizing that the corporate world was not for him nor was working for someone else, he wanted to chart his own path and at the same time diversify entrepreneurship, and so he created FounderTribes. For £9.99 a month, FounderTribes provides its clients with an impressive network of mentors and coaches who will then guide their clients and their companies to becoming investor-ready, by which time they will match them with the appropriate investors based on their stage and vertical.
Compared to the US where Gary could easily find investors, he noticed the stark contrast in the UK where, despite him graduating from an Ivy League university, he experienced difficulty finding investors. This, he said, was partly due to race and also due to class. Thankfully, events like Pitch@Palace helped Gary meet the right people who were willing to give him a chance.
He also gives great advice for young entrepreneurs who are just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey, and in 10 years, Gary says he envisions proportional representation, that everyone gets a fair chance regardless of race, gender, class, or whatever it may be.
Gary’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were:
In this episode, we also talked about: