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Author in Residence Series: Build the Damn Thing

September 29 @ 12:00 - 13:00 CDT

Join Kathryn Finney, Author of Build the Damn Thing: How to Start a Successful business if You’re Not a Rich White Guy for a fireside chat.

According to a recent TechCrunch study, women-founded companies receive a mere fraction of venture capital investments compared to all men-founded companies. When looking at BIPOC representation in the VC space, the numbers are even more abysmal. Kathryn Finney, managing general partner and founder of Genius Guild, a venture studio and fund that invests in scalable companies led by Black founders, a Gates Foundation Goalkeepers Advisor and author of the The Wall Street Journal bestselling book book, BUILD THE DAMN THING: How to Start a Successful Business If You’re Not a Rich White Guy (Portfolio; June 7, 2022) will discuss how BIPOC and female entrepreneur-hopefuls can disrupt, remake and build their own rules of entrepreneurship and investing.

Kathryn Finney offers hard-won, battle-tested advice for every entrepreneur who the establishment has left out. Finney is not here to encourage entrepreneurs to wait for opportunities, but to break down the door and build their damn thing. With over a decade of experience, Finney empowers entrepreneurs to take advantage of their unique networks and resources; arms readers with responses to investors who say, “great pitch but I just don’t do Black women”; and inspires them to overcomes naysayers.

Finney will guide us through the following questions: What are the first steps in identifying that your startup is worth it? What are the “five bald-faced lies” entrepreneurs need to ignore when starting their business? Bias, unconscious or otherwise, is real. As a result, why do BIPOC and female entrepreneur hopefuls need to build their own rules of funding and investing?

From this session you will gain the following key takeaways:

  • What are the first steps entrepreneurs can take when searching for funding and how can entrepreneurs decide when, and when not, to accept funding?
  • Why is it important for entrepreneurs to perform a self–assessment to recognize their core values, and define what constitutes a violation of them?
  • What is a personal advisory board and what kind of people should a board consist of?


Kathryn Finney

Author of Build the Damn Thing: How to Start a Successful business if You’re Not a Rich White Guy

Kathryn Finney, author of The Wall Street Journal bestseller, BUILD THE DAMN THING: How to Start a Successful Business If You’re Not a Rich White Guy (Portfolio; June 7, 2022), is an investor, visionary entrepreneur, philanthropist, and startup champion who is Founder and Managing General Partner of Genius Guild. She is the chair of The Doonie Fund and founder and former CEO of digitalundivided, a groundbreaking social enterprise focused on creating a world where Black women own their work. She is also the founder of The Budget Fashionista (TBF) and became one of the first Black women to have a successful seven-figure startup exit when she sold TBF. A Yale-trained Epidemiologist, she has been recognized for her pathbreaking work by the Aspen Institute, Entrepreneur Magazine, Marie Claire, Ebony, Inc. Magazine, Black Enterprise, and more. More at: kathrynfinney.com

The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is a 501c(3) public charity whose mission it is to make entrepreneurship accessible to all. We deliver world-class resources and mentoring to enable every entrepreneur across the globe to realize their maximum potential. Please join us and make your gift to ensure these transformative programs may continue to reach the underserved.

All Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least 48 hours in advance of this event; please send an email to [email protected] with the subject header ACCOMMODATION REQUEST. For assistance with registration or other technical difficulties, please contact [email protected]


September 29
12:00 - 13:00 CDT
Event Category:


Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center