Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Know Your Worth. Then Get The Bag.

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"I'm overcharging n-- for what they did to the Cold Crush/ Pay us like you owe us for all the years that you hoed us/ We can talk, but money talks, so talk mo' bucks" - Jay-Z

You don't get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate.

Over the course of his career, Ghetto Gastro CEO Jon Gray has been about advancing and negotiating the value of what he, his culinary company and even Black culture has to offer. For too long, he posits, many have accepted the Western, white, male perspective as the validating force for determining what's valuable and not. That goes for food, art, business, and more. For Gray, challenging those attitudes has meant being his unapologetically Black self, upholding his prices and even sticking with the word "ghetto," despite early concerns from others about its negative connotation.

The approach has paid dividends. Gray took his Bronx-headquartered company—whose offerings include food-based experiences—from hosting underground parties to eventually collaborating with The Oscars, Williams Sonoma, the late designer Virgil Abloh, and other big-name organizations and people. Forging those partnerships and charging six figures for events wasn't exactly what Gray had in mind in 2006 when he decided to turn his life around following a drug charge, he said, but he knew his value to the world was far more than sitting in the penitentiary. Gray spoke recently in a Black Culture and Capital interview about his journey and his views on value. Read more here.

Speaking of value, please read this incredible story by on the two African immigrants behind fintech startup Chipper, which has $2.2 billion valuation and 5 million users. One of the co-founders, Ham Serunjogi, was making a pitch to investors in 2018 when one asked: "Why don't you go look for donations and grants to fund this?" Because, Serunjogi replied, this will be a profit-making business. The clueless partner persisted: "Why don't you talk to Unicef or an impact investing firm?" Serunjogi discreetly declines to name the firm, but said he was later told by a VC that "regardless of what the metrics are, I have to apply a discount to this business because it's in Africa." Staff writer Jeff Kauflin has more.

We'd be remiss if we didn't highlight the news that LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar, now has a net worth of $1 billion, by Forbes' official count. The designation made him the first active NBA player to make the billionaires list. He has commanded more than $385 million in salary from NBA clubs, as well as upwards of $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures. James has long negotiated deals to give him equity in brands he partners with (Blaze Pizza, Tonal, Lyft), giving him a cut of the upside instead of a quick paycheck. Forbes' Chase Peterson-Withorn has the story.

Stay up!

Jared Council

Jared Council

Senior Editor, For(bes) The Culture

Jon Gray Went From Selling Drugs To Shaping 2022 Oscar's Ball. It's Been A Long Journey In Redefining Black Value.
 
 
Jon Gray Went From Selling Drugs To Shaping 2022 Oscar's Ball. It's Been A Long Journey In Redefining Black Value.

For Ghetto Gastro CEO Jon Gray, choosing the word 'ghetto' was a refutation to attitudes about where value comes from. Today, the culinary company runs six-figure dining experiences and offers consumer products.

Read The Full Story Here →
How Two Africans Overcame Bias To Build A Startup Worth Billions
 
 
How Two Africans Overcame Bias To Build A Startup Worth Billions

A pair of twenty-somethings from Uganda and Ghana thought there was a fortune to be made bringing transnational financial services to Africa's 1.2 billion people. With 5 million users, San Francisco-based Chipper Cash is just getting started.

Read The Full Story Here →
LeBron James Is Officially A Billionaire
 
 
LeBron James Is Officially A Billionaire

LeBron James, 37, now has a net worth of $1 billion, by Forbes' count. He's also the first active NBA player to make the billionaires list. He has commanded more than $385 million in salary from NBA clubs (Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers), as well as upwards of $900 million in income from endorsements and other business ventures.

Read The Full Story Here →
Credit Rich Partners With Visa To Offer Physical Cards
 
 
Credit Rich Partners With Visa To Offer Physical Cards

Fintech company Credit Rich hashed a deal with financial services giant Visa to have it provide credit and debit cards to Credit Rich users, the companies recently announced. Credit Rich started a few years ago as a credit-optimization service targeting Black and Brown millennials, but it has since expanded its offerings, including payments and bank accounts. The terms of the Visa agreement were not disclosed. Compared to services such as Cash App and Venmo, CEO Angel Rich said her company goes beyond banking by incorporating features that help users assess and build credit. Rich and Courtney Keen (pictured right and left, respectively), are its co-founders.

Read Past Coverage Here →

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Envisioning A Better Future: How The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Is Expanding What's Possible For Patients And Their Families
 
 
Envisioning A Better Future: How The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Is Expanding What's Possible For Patients And Their Families

A hematologist pioneering blood cancer treatments. A young survivor giving back after beating leukemia. A patient advocate organizing to achieve equitable care. Meet three standouts who are partnering with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to fight the battle against blood cancer, and learn what inspires them to give their all for a brighter, healthier future for patients and their families.

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"We're not code switching. If anything we're going even super harder on the vibes, on the essence of bringing the streets."

Jon Gray

CEO and Co-Founder, Ghetto Gastro culinary collective

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