Speaking to the World
Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta
Founder & Managing Director of digitalundivided (DID)
Kathryn Finney is the CEO/Founder of Genius Guild and General Partner of the Greenhouse Fund, a $20 million dollar venture fund that invests in amazing Black founders. One of the most influential women in tech (Inc Magazine), her groundbreaking work laid the foundation for generations of black entrepreneurs and investors. Read More >
On the heels of the events of the Summer of 2020, Kathryn created Genius Guild, a business creation platform that uses the venture studio model (Lab & Venture Fund) to invest in Black entrepreneurs building scalable businesses that serve black communities and beyond. Pre-launch, Kathryn and Genius Guild raised over $5MM in investment from a number of partners including Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company founded by Melinda Gates, Impact Seat, an investment company led by serial investor Barbara Clarke, First Close partners, led by former Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and Lowenstein Sadler partner Ed Zimmerman and individual investors such as Andrew Bosworth (Facebook).
In April 2020, Kathryn founded The Doonie Fund with a $10,000 personal donation, to encourage other black women entrepreneurs to continue to build their businesses in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. One Medium post, a few emails and 6 weeks later, the fund grew to over $150,000, providing micro investments to over 1500 Black women-owned businesses.
Kathryn is the founder of digitalundivided, a groundbreaking social enterprise focused on creating a world where women own their work. Kathryn started digitalundivided after selling her company, The Budget Fashionista, the pioneering lifestyle media company. Her pioneering research, “#ProjectDiane”, drew widespread buzz for disrupting the dialogue around women of color and tech entrepreneurship.
She grew the organization from a simple idea to a dynamic organization with a seven figure budget, 20+ staff, two offices (Newark and Atlanta) and partnerships with major institutions such as Pivotal Ventures, Microsoft for Startups, UBS, Surdna Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. After eight years as CEO, she stepped down to become the first black woman business author at Portfolio/Penguin Books.
A Yale-trained Epidemiologist, Kathryn has received numerous honors and awards including the Echoing Green fellowship, Eisenhower Fellowship, Entrepreneurs Magazine’s “Woman to Watch”, Grace Hopper ABIE award, Marie Claire’s 10 Women to Watch, Ebony Power 100, Black Enterprise “40 under 40” list and more.
A White House Champion of Change and a past member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) appointed by the Obama Administration, Kathryn was honored by the Borough of Manhattan with the “Kathryn Finney Appreciation Day”. She has also received an Honorary Doctorate from Mount Holyoke College and was inducted into both the African-American Alumni Hall of Fame at Rutgers University and Spelman College’s “Game Changers Academy." Read Less ^
Go BIG or go home: this is the mantra of Kathryn Finney. For this White House honoree, there is no fault for thinking big. But what does it mean to think big? How does one start becoming a big thinker? Why is this crucial to forging one’s path to success? What barriers to thinking big should one be wary against? Kathryn sets out to challenge the audience to not allow the fear of failure stop them from going BIG.
Decades after the Mad Men era, women leaders remain few and far between in numerous industries. Many companies still tend to associate leadership positions to men, sticking to society’s entrenched gender roles. In this rousing presentation, White House awardee Kathryn Finney examines the true strength and power of female leadership, the valuable role of women leaders in nation-building and economic progress, as well as the missed opportunities for not capitalizing on this crucial talent pool.
Around 137,000 new startups are created around the world every day, thus your idea has probably been pitched by somebody else. Then how does one still thrive as an innovator in a system where everyone else claim to be innovators themselves? There is no person better to ask than seasoned entrepreneur and social media pioneer Kathryn Finney. Since her heydays as one of the first women bloggers, Kathryn has gone on to blaze numerous trails in the tech industry. She started the first lifestyle blog, was the first lifestyle blogger to get a major book deal, and created the first accelerator to find, develop, and fund Black and Latina women founders exclusively. Let Kathryn share valuable insights and takeaways drawn from her decade-long journey as an innovator in the fast-paced tech industry.
Once upon a time, conformity and assimilation were the only way to succeed in many top industries. But with the birth of the innovation economy, more and more companies are starting to recognize the importance of “unicorns”-- people who stand out from the cookie-cutter crowd for how they look, think, and act-- at the reins. Thanks to these unicorns, we are able to enjoy fresh, enterprising solutions to problems we encounter. In this presentation, Kathryn invites the audience to embrace the essence of their inner unicorn and bask in their ingenuity, inspiring them to become inventive, daring leaders of their respective fields.
Everyone from Amandla Stenberg to Willow Smith has been staunch supporters of this awesome movement to celebrate black womanhood. In this inspiring talk, Kathryn Finney (a #BlackGirlMagic icon herself who is an Essence Magazine ‘Woman of Style”) narrates her own moments when she saw herself as most ‘magical’, and shares how other Black girls and women can unveil their own #BlackGirlMagic moments in their lives.
"Kathryn is an authentic and engaging leader. She spoke to our Young Professionals of Color Conference and made a significant contribution to our event. The attendees had numerous questions and she engaged them in a meaningful way. I highly recommend Kathryn for your next event if you desire to engage your attendees in a call to action. Our attendees had overwhelming positive responses to her presentation."
"Kathryn Finney is a dynamic and innovative leader. We had the pleasure of honoring her at The BOSS Network Launch Summit for "Minority Women in Technology." Kathryn spoke about setting goals, and overcoming obstacles through perseverance as a woman in the tech industry. She speaks from the heart regarding her unbelievable journey and how she is paving the way for new leaders. The feedback provided by the attendees was very positive, and most importantly, they connected with Kathryn's message."
"Kathryn is an extremely dynamic speaker who engages her audience from start to finish. She offers a unique but much-needed perspective to technology and entrepreneurship discussions and consistently captivates her audience with clear, understandable and tangible stories and examples to bring her presentation to life. I have heard Kathryn speak at many events and after every presentation, she is consistently viewed as the standout speaker with countless people in the audience asking to follow-up and continue the conversation."
"When Kathryn speaks, she commands a room with a dynamic mix of charm, intellect, and tenacity. She has an incredibly profound ability to connect with and captive her listeners, and more important, to move them to action. Kathryn may be one of our most powerful and memorable speakers, in our three years of running the Lesbians Who Tech summit."
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