FWD Feature | Rajiv Nathan FWD | For Women and Diversity | Collective

Rajiv Nathan, The Startup Hypeman: Pitch Storyteller I Keynote Speaker | Podcast Host | Hip Hop Artist

FWD Collective is excited to announce that Rajiv Nathan has joined the speaker roster for our Chicago Summit on September 13th 2018!

We had the pleasure of connecting with Rajiv to ask a few questions!

What does diversity, equity, and professional inclusion mean to you?
I think we'll be at the point of reaching true inclusion when businesses, entertainment, and other entities can feature predominantly minority groups without it being a minority thing. For example, a TV show featuring an all-black cast doesn't automatically get billed as a "black TV show". I also think this comes with being able to laugh at ourselves a little bit more.

How have you experienced and/or dealt with adversity in your professional and personal life?
I used to be terrible at dealing with it in my personal life, but as I've gotten older I've learned to use humor as a tool to diffuse situations and convey a point, as well as heeding the advice I once received to call in, instead of call out.

What would be one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Stand up for yourself. Don't let someone get away thinking that what they just said to you is okay. It only makes it okay for them to say that to other people.

Name three things that you do everyday to help lead you to success.
Meditation, no social media, phone, or email before 9am, yoga (almost every day)

Who inspires your professional ambition? Why?
Lin-Manuel Miranda from Hamilton, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

Lin-Manuel's creation opened the doors for me to bring my artistic and creative side to the business world, where I had previously hesitated. He showed me pushing the envelope on traditional expectations is a good thing. The Rock is just the coolest person on earth. I'm impressed and inspired at how well he goes out and lives his "Why" every day.

What is your favorite book? Or the one you'd recommend most?
Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight

What are the top 3 things you'd like us to know about your business or company?
Startup Hypeman:
1) Our mission--9 out of 10 companies fail. Only 2% of women-owned startups receive investments. With the odds stacked against you, the importance of having and owning your compelling story and pitch isn't optional, it's the lynchpin of success. Our mission is to use the power of story to make success inevitable, NOT the exception. We're building a world where the 3 inevitabilities of life are death, taxes, and your startup making it.
2) We build Hype for growing SaaS startups by training them to create content and run demos with The showmanship and storytelling of a TED Talk + The confidence and artistry of a rapper + The acumen and savvy of a sales & marketing thought-leader.
3) We also build Hype for early-stage startups looking to raise their first round and acquire their first customers with our new affordable, equity-free, pitch training virtual accelerator, Hypeman Academy.

Anything else you'd like to highlight or think we should know?
Just because you disagree with, or don't like someone's opinion, doesn't mean you should shut them out or not listen to them. We don't advance society by building silos of thought. We don't advance society by only seeing one opinion. We advance society through discourse, and challenging ourselves to think critically by interacting with those we don't see eye to eye with.


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