Beauty Empire Founder Britney Winters Explains How She Is Using The Network To Raise Millions In VC Funds
Britney Winters is the Founder and CEO of Upgrade Boutique, a wig and hair extension company in the United States. She uses her network to raise funds to fund her business and support other black-oriented businesses that are struggling to raise venture capital funds.
His journey to date has been one that can best be described as difficult and intimidating. Winters had tried on several occasions to raise funds to invest in her business, but she had had many refusals.
The Harvard graduate complained to a classmate about dissatisfaction with her job and the challenges she faces in raising venture capital funds to grow her business. His partner, Kate Lazaroff Puck, came to his aid by investing $ 50,000 in Upgrade.
Black-owned businesses in America are struggling to raise funds, according to a Harvard Business School study. Since 2009, black female business owners have received only 0.6% of all venture capital investments.
“A lot of black women don’t get that first injection of capital to prove that there is a demand for their business,” Winters told Forbes. “I have been very lucky.”
Winters was fortunate to get further help from fellow Harvard Anya Hayden who is an investor in Founders Fund. She introduced Winters to the fund partners. Once again, Winters’ Harvard Network gave her access to capital when she attended a networking event in honor of Emily Keeton.
After giving his pitch at the event, Keeton offered to help Winters raise money to support his business. In a matter of months, the CEO of Upgrade secured three VC engagements, thanks to Keeton. “Mercury Fund and The Artemis Fund co-led the $ 1.7 million funding round, with additional investments from Next Coast Ventures. The seed investors are joining existing investor Stray Dog, a Founders Fund investment vehicle led by Anya Hayden, ”Forbes reported.
Since 2019, Upgrade Boutique has raised nearly $ 2 million in venture capital. “I think of all the people with great ideas who don’t have access to networks [like Harvard’s alumni]Said Winters. “I feel immense pressure to do well and be successful so that I can open the door to the next black founder.”
Winters considers networking to be very critical as it has not been the place to turn for help growing your business. “It’s surprising how critical networking is. When I got to business school, I was really open-minded. I connected with everyone, I made friends from all walks of life and all walks of life, and it has served me really well, ”she said.
Now the entrepreneur wants to create more opportunities for people like him.