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He was born in Jamaica & received his undergraduate degree from Northeastern University. After working a few years in consulting, he decided to move to London to pursue career and athletic opportunities.
After returning from playing professional basketball in Europe, he received his MBA from Cornell University only to have unsuccessfully pitched an investment deal to his team at Intel Capital that has now achieved exponential growth. Fast forward a few years and now he is a successful venture capitalist at Cross Culture VC, a board member of Kauffman Fellows Program, and a a mentor to several entrepreneurs.
How we Met:
Marlon and I met at the Platform Conference held at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He spoke about disruption, diversity and access.
Needless to say, we've been friends ever since.
Marlon Nichols has the type of drive and vision that most people can only dream of. As a partner in the unique firm, Cross Culture Ventures, Marlon knows what it takes to turn a dream into a reality.
In this frank discussion with Roshawnna, Marlon talks about the personal journey that has carried him to his lofty position. Though Marlon is highly technically educated, much of what he chooses to illuminate in this discussion is the inter-personal dynamics that can make or break a person’s success in reaching their goals.
Marlon shares insights in to what investors look for in an idea and a team, as well as illustrating the points from his own path that could be used by anyone that wants to take their career to the next level. Marlon’s dedication to his craft is inspiring and the knowledge that he shares in this conversation with Roshawnna would be a great help for anyone looking to take their career to the next step!
Roshawnna and Marlon discuss:
- [3:30] Marlon shares the story of his beginnings as an entrepreneur.
- [11:00] As a Venture Capitalist, Marlon outlines some of the tech industry trends that he is excited about right now.
- [12:30] There are always some bumps in the road. Marlon relays a story about a regret in a deal that he could not land and the lessons that he learned from this and used moving forward.
- [14:30] Marlon talks about how he built his inter-personal skills to further his career success.
- [16:30] How differing perspectives can teach you things about yourself.
- [17:00] Mentors have played a huge role in Marlon’s life and career.
- [24:30] Marlon talks about what makes Cross-Culture Ventures unique and the types of investments that the firm prefers to make.
- [27:00] Marlon talks about what he and his team look for in a founder, idea and company to invest in.
- [35:00] The importance of networking and making friends for getting in front of investors.
- [37:00] Marlon talks about the impact that maintaining his health and fitness have on his mental clarity and productivity.
Marlon Nichols is a co-founder and general 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, 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.
BEHIND THE SCENES:
Marlon's episode was recorded via video Skype. Check out our behind the scenes interaction for more.