Andrea Marquez, Senior Story Producer at Amazon and host of "This is Small Business" podcast, joins Jewel Burks Solomon, a tech entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and managing partner at Collab Capital, in a conversation about how Jewel started, grew, and sold her business along with her tips for other business owners. Jewel's impressive journey includes being the founder of Partpic, acquired by Amazon in 2016, former Head of Google for Startups in the US, and a notable former Amazonian. She's been recognized by Forbes, Ebony Magazine, and is one of Atlanta's influential figures. Hear from Jewel Burks Solomon on her entrepreneurial journey, decisions that shaped her career, insights from her experience at Amazon and Partpic, and her role in bridging the racial wealth gap with Collab Capital. We’ll learn about the making of Partpic, strategies for businesses aiming for acquisition, and tools that were pivotal in building her company.
Jewel's session is followed by an Ask Me Anything panel featuring Jewel, Danyel Surrency Jones (Director of Black Business Accelerator at Amazon), Pernell Cezar (Co-Founder & CEO of BLK & Bold), and Simone Jordan (Global Head of Purpose & Brand Partnerships at Unilever). Watch as they answer questions from the audience about finding the right funding path, pivoting, and knowing your worth in and out of your business.
Carefully curated bite-sized takeaways from our Founders Table event.
Jewel Burks Solomon
Managing Partner at Collab Capital
Jewel serves as Managing Partner at Collab Capital, a $50M venture capital fund she launched to close the funding gap for Black entrepreneurs. Jewel’s work and mission are about creating more access to the technology innovation ecosystem. Jewel Burks Solomon is the former Head of Google for Startups in the US. In this role, Jewel worked to level the playing field for underrepresented startup founders and communities by connecting them with Google’s products, people, and best practices. In addition to this role,Prior to leading Google for Startups and Collab Capital, Jewel was the Founder/CEO of Partpic, a startup that was acquired by Amazon in 2016, which streamlined the purchase of maintenance and repair parts using computer vision technology. After the acquisition of Partpic, Jewel became a product leader at Amazon’s Visual Search and AR team. She led the integration of Partpic’s technology and launched it as Amazon PartFinder in 2018 to the over 150M users of Amazon’s Mobile Shopping App. Before founding Partpic, Jewel held management and sales roles at McMaster-Carr and Google, Inc. Jewel was named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2016, one of Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 in 2018, and one of Atlanta’s 100 Most Influential People in 2020. Jewel serves on the boards of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, where the mission is to lead and inspire philanthropy to increase the vitality of the region and the well-being of all residents, and Endeavor Atlanta, which helps the fastest-growing entrepreneurs create lasting enterprises by providing the resources they need to scale without dilution. She is a member of the 2019 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute. Jewel received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Howard University. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband, Zekarias, and their newborn son Mekai.LinkedIn
Danyel Surrency Jones
Director, Black Business Accelerator at Amazon
Danyel Surrency Jones, is the head of Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator (BBA) program, which aims to empower Black entrepreneurs with financial assistance, strategic business education and coaching, and marketing and advertising support. She's the co-founder and former CEO of POWERHANDZ Inc, a global athletic training and rehabilitation product tech company. Mrs. Jones is a global business strategist, philanthropist, speaker and entrepreneur, with over two decades of executive experience in Fortune 500 companies such as Philips Medical Systems and Medtronic, where she led cross-functional teams in sales, marketing, product management, operations and diversity equity & inclusion. She is also the co-founder and president of The Power to Give Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides athletic and September 2023 academic programs to youth in underserved communities. Mrs. Jones has been featured in several national media outlets such as Forbes, AfroTech, CNBC, Sports Illustrated and Essence. She has also delivered a TEDx talk on diversity and inclusion called The Black Elephant in The Room. Mrs. Jones lives in Dallas-Fort Worth with her husband Darnell Jones, who is also her co-founder at POWERHANDZ, their two children Hartley Rose and Harper Jaz, and their French bulldog Billion “The Hero” Jones.LinkedIn
Co-founder, CEO of Blk & Bold
Pernell started his career in Target retail merchandising, helping manage inventory across their supply chain. In that role, he made buying decisions and negotiated with packaged goods companies. He knew this industry quite well before starting his coffee journey. Cezar has worked on the other side of the table as well, working with a packaged goods company, SheaMoisture,helping them find national distribution. Seeing both sides of the business, prepared him to launch his own brand, Blk & Bold.LinkedIn
Global Head, Purpose & Brand Partnerships at Unilever
Simone Jordan is blazing the trail in social impact work with more than 15 years of deep experience supporting Black communities through community partnerships and corporate investments. In her role as the Global Head of Purpose at Sundial Brands (a Unilever company and maker of SheaMoisture), she advises executive leadership on long-term strategies in creating sustainable impact for underserved communities while also growing their business. Simone leads her team in designing community-driven programs, particularly focused on women’s entrepreneurship, education and empowerment, and also guides strategic partnerships. Annually she governs SheaMoisture’s $1 Million Fund, which has demonstrated the power of small businesses to help their communities stay healthy, safe, and protected. The Fund has provided relief to more than 100 businesses and created opportunities for thousands of others during the 2020 pandemic. Under SheaMoisture’s longstanding Community Commerce model, Simone has managed $10MM in investments throughout the U.S. and Africa. Hailing from Prince George’s County Maryland, Simone moved to New York in 2012 to work on Wall Street with the nation’s oldest civil rights organization dedicated to empowering communities of color through economic and social empowerment. There she oversaw digital strategy and integrated marketing as its VP of Marketing, helping to develop strategies to support sponsorships and affiliate programs. She was particularly successful developing online campaigns that positively impacted brand awareness and visibility for corporate sponsors. Simone graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Politics, and received her Master’s degree in Marketing from the University of Maryland after studying Political Affairs abroad at Westminster University in the U.K. Simone currently lives in downtown Brooklyn.LinkedIn
Senior Story Producer and Host of This is Small Business at Amazon
Andrea Marquez is an award-winning, Mexican-American storyteller. She’s currently on a mission to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs as producer and host of This is Small Business, an Amazon podcast. Prior to her time at Amazon, Andrea created and hosted LatinEQUIS, a bilingual podcast seeking to motivate audiences to get involved with the Latinx community. While hosting LatinEQUIS, Andrea had the honor of interviewing notable Latinx including Ellen Ochoa, Sonia Manzano, Enrique Acevedo, U.S. government officials, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, industry-thought leaders, and more. Andrea’s previous work also includes working as a marketing strategist at Cien+ and the Hispanic Communications Network, where she drove societal impact by infusing cultural intelligence into long term strategies for her clients such as Merck, Prudential, Pfizer, the CDC, UnidosUS, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and more. Earlier in her career, Andrea worked for singer and producer Marc Anthony, by developing a rebranding strategy, improving communications, and engaging Marc’s fanbase, at A&E Networks, the parent company of AE Network, the History Channel, and Lifetime — as a digital editor, and as a freelance writer and production assistant in Texas and Mexico City, working with the Secretariat of Agriculture of Mexico, the Penguin Random House Publishing Company, and various production companies.LinkedIn
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