Episode 3: Nash Ahmed, Founder of Undock
In 2020, startups in America raised about $150 billion in venture capital funding. That is a huge amount of investments until you realize how much of that went to Black-led startups. Get this: Only $1 billion of the $150 billion went to Black founders, which come out to less than 1% of the total funding according to the site Crunchbase.
In the past 20 years, only 200 Black and Latinx founders have raised more than a million dollars according to Fast Company. Our guest on this episode of Diverse Disruptors, Undock’s Nash Ahmed, happens to be one of those very rare founders. He recently raised $1.6 million in funding led by the Black-owned Lightship Capital and including other investors like our previous guest Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital.
You may ask yourself why is this so important. If you listen to our other podcast By Every Measure and the episode on Racial Wealth Gap, you would know that entrepreneurship is one way that can help close that gap. According to a 2016 report from Global Policy Solutions, America is losing out on over 1.1 million minority-owned businesses which equate to over 9 million potential jobs and $300 billion in collective national income due to biases and structural racism.
Let’s get back to our guest Nash. Being an anomaly in this space by being a Black-led startup raising more than $1 million dollars, we wanted to know more about his story and his startup, Undock. I first became aware of Nash’s startup thanks to Hannibal Buress. Yep, the comedian. Hannibal partnered with Undock on his "Miami Nights" special, which was released on YouTube for free in 2020. I went to learn more about Undock and its founder. The best way to describe Undock is to think of it as Calendly on steroids. Undock uses AI to connect people across different organizations, calendar applications and geographies to make meetings that work.
I wanted to know more about Undock but importantly about the founder Nash Ahmed who is a son of Nigerian immigrants and his journey to becoming a founder of a growing startup which includes a stint as a producer for artists like Dipset, Ashanti, Jim Jones and others. But we will begin where he got his first taste of entrepreneurship as a paperboy in New Jersey.