Travels from Los Angeles, California, USA
Marlon Nichols's speaking fee falls
within range: $10,000 to $15,000
Marlon Nichols breaks new ground in venture capital every day. As one of “Silicon Republic’s” most innovative venture capitalists, Nichols’ impressive investment history includes Gimlet Media (acquired by Spotify for $230 million) and MongoDB (a revolutionary database technology).
Nichols’ company, Cross Culture Ventures focuses on cultural investing where popular culture meets technology. Instead of focusing on a product vertical, he looks for unique and underrepresented voices and ideas following market trends other firms don’t see – resulting in wild success and a company portfolio whose leaders are 66% female, black or Latinx.
Nichols is a member of a rare group of venture capitalists who are people of color, a number totaling less than 3%. He’s addressed this, telling Forbes that he has to “push past unconscious and at times explicit bias to raise funds.” He serves on the board of HBCU.vc, which helps to set up students of color up for massive success in technology, venture capital and business.
Marlon Nichols is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Cross Culture Ventures (CCV), an early stage venture capital firm with a focus on cultural investing (global trends and shifts in consumer behavior).
Before founding CCV, Marlon was an investment director at Intel Capital where he completed his Kauffman Fellowship. Prior to his time in venture capital, Marlon led successful careers in software and strategy consulting in the technology, private equity, media and entertainment sectors. Some of Marlon’s investments include Afrostream, Gimlet Media, Hingeto, LendStreet, LISNR, Mark One (Vessyl), Mayvenn, Mirantis, MongoDB, mSurvey, One Preschool, ReplyYes, Sidestep, Skurt, and Thrive Market.
Marlon earned a Bachelor of Science in MIS from Northeastern University and a MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.
Marlon currently serves on the board of directors for private companies LISNR, Shottracker and Sidestep, and was recently appointed to the board of directors of the Kauffman Fellows Program. Marlon was named to Silicon Republic’s list of 26 venture capital professionals spearheading change in technology investing, was a recipient of Digital Diversity’s Innovation & Inclusion Change Agent award, and was named a member of theRegistry’s 40 under 40 Top Diverse Talent. Marlon has been featured in Fortune, Black Enterprise and a number of other magazines, blogs, and podcasts.
Marlon Nichols is a speaker and venture capitalist specializing in identifying companies and trends that others overlook by focusing on the “convergence of global popular culture and technology with the intention of understanding consumer behavior.” This breaks the mold of traditional venture capital which focuses on verticals and industries. By reverse engineering the concept, Nichols has assembled a diverse portfolio where 66% of leaders in his companies are women, black, or Latinx.
Nichols believes that “culture is currency.” Black and Latinx populations are growing, spend 30% more on consumer goods and technology and make bigger splashes on social media. His philosophy is that “lived experiences matter” and that “diverse teams win.” You can find untapped markets in these communities worth billions.
This new approach can yield huge dividends – Nichols’ companies have raised more than $100 million in follow-on financing this year alone. And by looking at these underserved communities you can find billion-dollar opportunities that encourage entrepreneurship, bring communities closer together and save lives.
“Marlon brings an ability to simply and articulate complex problems a company such as Sidestep can face. From operations, to scaling, financial analysis, and finding talent, Marlon provides our board a new set of experiences that have already made a significant impact to our growth as a company.”
– Eric Jones, CEO & Co-Founder at @Sidestep Technologies Inc.
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