Tech

Although Maisha Leek Says She Cares About The World — She Also Says, ‘But I Am A Capitalist’


The world may refuse to pay attention to Black founders, but here at AfroTech, we’re always looking for ways to help others launch that next big idea, and Maisha Leek has the same mind.

During this week’s episode of Black Tech Green Money, Maisha Leek joined host Will Lucas to discuss her work at the time as a partner at Human Ventures, a New York City-based venture capital firm and startup studio. 

As someone who operates in her gift, Leek has a spot for helping startups work through their business strategy along with opportunities and operations. Her work has included helping corporate innovation teams build entrepreneurial and residence programs as well as identifying founders that align with their respective investment thesis.

“I emphasize the ‘C’ in capitalist and just so I am clear, I care about the world, but I am a capitalist,” she explained. “I don’t like to align myself with these people because even if they’re icons of American history, they also did terrible things to human beings but it’s sort of like that Carnegie or Rockefeller mindsight, right?”

She further explains how one can prioritize building a great industry, but also knowing that there’s an obligation to the broader community.

“We straddle that line in that some of our companies are solving problems for corporations, for customers. And they also have a good social impact,” she continued. “There’s a way to solve a problem that’s affecting people in masses and let the commercial outcome be one of the motivators but still do good by others.”

Leek also explains how she leads the charge when it comes to social impact, thanks to her own life experiences.

“A lot of people along the way pushed me to consider social impact as a core value for myself and the reason why I describe it that way is that I grew up relatively poor,” said Leek. “When I got the opportunity, I was really focused on economic stability and not on impact so along the way people were saying ‘no, no, no, you’re bigger than that. It’s not just about the money.’”

Today, Leek is the managing director at A/B Partners, a digital storytelling agency.

Listen to the full Black Tech Green Money episode below for more on her journey as well as more on capitalism with heart, opportunity in flyover country and distributed teams.

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