For the past six years, Mandela Schumacher-Hodge has been navigating the tech ecosystem of Silicon Valley and beyond. As a VC-backed startup founder, Global Director of Startup Weekend Education, featured author, and keynote speaker, Mandela has gleaned unique insights into what it really takes to succeed in the tech industry.
In October 2015, Mandela joined Kapor Capital as the firm’s first Portfolio Services Director, charged with supporting the success of 110+ companies in the portfolio. A few months later, Mandela teamed up with esteemed D&I expert and Kapor Capital Partner, Dr. Freada Kapor Klein, to launch the Kapor Capital Founders’ Commitment, the first ever D&I pledge upheld by a VC firm. To date, 84 tech startups in the Kapor Capital portfolio have signed on, and Mandela has worked alongside Dr. Kapor Klein to create custom workshops and resources to ensure that D&I is baked into the DNA of the companies.
In July 2016, Mandela published, My White Boss Talked About Race and This is What Happened, a story that outlined her lived experiences as a woman of color in tech during the recent slew of police shootings of unarmed black men, women, and children in America. The article went viral, accumulating over 550,000 views in the first two weeks and was republished in Black Enterprise, Huffington Post, and LinkedIn, as well as cited by CEOs and diversity and inclusion leaders throughout the country.
To date, Mandela has spoken on over 50 stages and has been featured on Forbes 30 Under 30, LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in VC and Entrepreneurship, Medium.com’s Top 10% of Writers, The Registry’s 40 Under 40 in Silicon Valley – Tech Diversity, Case Foundation’s Top 50 Inclusive Entrepreneurship Champions to Follow, and Hackbright’s 10 Black Female Leaders in Tech to Watch.