Welcoming All Raise’s New CEO, Mandela SH Dixon!
By Jess Lee on behalf of the All Raise Board of Directors
Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon is a dynamic leader, founder, investor, and mentor to hundreds of entrepreneurs around the world. Today she is adding another line to her bio: CEO of All Raise. We are thrilled for Mandela to lead All Raise’s next chapter, and for All Raise to be the platform that enables Mandela to continue her life’s work.
All Raise’s mission is to create a more diverse tech ecosystem. We believe that an inclusive industry ensures that a myriad of perspectives are well represented among the founders, funders, and operators who will lead us into the future. When we set out to find the next All Raise CEO, we knew we needed a leader that possessed both a nuanced understanding of the VC-backed tech ecosystem, as well as, a deep empathy for what it is like to be marginalized and excluded. We prioritized someone whose equity work illustrates a genuine passion for diversity and a learner’s mindset. We were searching for a founder mentality: a clear vision, strategic thinking, and the ability to will into existence something that’s never been done before.
“The first time I met Mandela was in an angel investing class. During a spirited debate about an investment in a non-obvious founder with an unusual business model, Mandela spoke up. As others chipped away at the TAM and CAC/LTV ratio, she took the other side. She commanded the room, spoke with conviction, and made the case for a founder who did not fit the traditional Silicon Valley mold. Where others saw lack of credentials, she saw distance traveled. Where others saw failures, she saw grit and perseverance. From that point onwards, the tide subtly shifted in the debate. Though I did not realize it at the time, what I had just witnessed was a quintessential Mandela trait: championing the cause of the underdog. (Years later, it turns out Mandela was right — that company is doing very well!) It is clear that Mandela has been aligned with the mission of All Raise for a very long time.” — Jess Lee, All Raise Co-Founder & Board Member
Mandela is all these things and more. Her career has given her an unparalleled perspective from all vantages within tech, as a two-time founder, advisor, angel investor, VC operator, and most of all, a champion for overlooked and underestimated talent. Born to two civil rights lawyers united in an interracial marriage, equity has always been a cornerstone of Mandela’s life. After joining Teach for America, she earned a master’s degree in education, and began her Ph.D. studies towards a professorship. However, the startup bug bit Mandela after a hackathon made her realize she could make reverberating impacts by using technology to amplify her efforts in education. At age 25, she co-founded her first company, a professional online network for educators. She then became an operating director at both Startup Weekend (acquired by Techstars) and Kapor Capital (a pioneer in DEI initiatives in venture capital). Most recently, as Founder and CEO of Founder Gym, the leading online program training underrepresented founders to raise capital, Mandela helped 650+ underrepresented founders raise $130M and coached 10% of all Black women to ever raise $1M+. Achieving a far reaching influence with a deep impact is in Mandela’s DNA and in perfect alignment with the All Raise vision for equity.
Mandela, we are so excited to have you as our CEO. Our community welcomes you and we can’t wait to see what we accomplish together!
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