Full Transcript: Partpic Founder And CEO Jewel Burks On GHOGH Podcast Part 1

Full Transcript: Partpic Founder And CEO Jewel Burks On GHOGH Podcast Part 1

Jewel Burks
Jewel Burks Solomon is an advocate for representation and access in the technology industry. As co-founder of Partpic, a startup designed to streamline the purchase of maintenance and repair parts using computer vision, Jewel and her team built groundbreaking technology poised to change the way people everywhere locate products. | Image: Anita Sanikop

In episode 43 of the GHOGH podcast, Jamarlin Martin talks to Partpic founder and CEO Jewel Burks about how she developed an idea to streamline the purchase, repair and maintenance of parts.

Partpic was acquired by Amazon in 2018.

You can listen to the entire conversation right now in the audio player below. If you prefer to listen on your phone, GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin is available wherever you listen to podcasts — including Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 43: Jewel Burks
Partpic founder and CEO Jewel Burks discusses how she developed an idea to streamline the purchase, repair and maintenance of parts. Partpic was acquired by Amazon in 2018.

This is a full transcript of the conversation which has been lightly edited for clarity.

Jamarlin Martin: You’re listening to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin. We have a go hard or go home approach as we talk to the leading tech leaders, politicians and influencers. Let’s GHOGH! Today we have the great Jewel Burks. Thanks for coming on the show.

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Jewel Burks: Thank you for having me.

Jamarlin Martin: Let’s dive right in to your story in terms of where you come from and how did you get into tech?

Jewel Burks: Sure. So where I come from, I was born in Mobile, Alabama. I was there for a few years until my parents got divorced and so they moved to Nashville, Tennessee and grew up primarily in Nashville and spent summers in Mobile with my dad. And then I went to Howard University. So I was a business major at Howard, graduated in 2010 and started my career in Silicon Valley. So I worked at Google for a few years.

Jamarlin Martin: Did you go to Google right out of Howard?

Jewel Burks: Right out of Howard, yes. So actually interned at Google when I was still a student at Howard and then when I graduated, moved out there to work full time, and that was really my introduction into the technology ecosystem and industry, and I fell in love. So I was out there for a few years and was exposed to the whole idea of people starting businesses from ideas, as I had coworkers that I would see one day in the office and then I would here that they quit. And then months later I would read about them on Tech Crunch. So I was really interested in how people were just starting these technology businesses and I think that kind of planted a seed and later, obviously I would start my own tech business. So moved to Atlanta in 2012, took a good job for an industrial district…

Jamarlin Martin: What prompted the move out of Silicon Valley?

01:44 — Jewel Burks: Yeah. So actually it was personal. I really enjoyed working at Google but didn’t enjoy being so far from family. So my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer and my younger brother was ill. It was just a lot of family things going on. I want it to be closer to my family. And so decided to move to Atlanta. And at that time I wasn’t able to transfer with Google, so actually reached out to a recruiter I talked to when I was in college and she was working at the company I ended up working for, which was called McMaster-Carr. And it’s a big industrial distribution company, so totally different than Google as far as what they do and the culture there. But it gave me an opportunity to manage people at an early age. So I was 23 years old and had a team of 12 people working for me. And so that was great experience at that time. And also just exposed me to a totally different industry. So this was a parts distribution company, selling nails, bolts, screws, all that type of stuff. And so that’s really where I got the idea for Partpic because I was managing in the call center and was the person who got all the escalations when people got the wrong part. So a big part of my job was trying to field those calls and try to figure out what went wrong on the initial call. And so I had this kind of light bulb moment where I kept hearing the same thing where people were just struggling to recognize or struggling to articulate what they were trying to find. And sometimes they would say, “Well, I have one that what I’m looking for, is it possible for me to send in a picture?” And we didn’t really have any way for them to send the picture in and do anything meaningful with it. So if they were really great customer, we might say, okay, you can send us a picture via email or fax and we will take it to the one guy in the warehouse that knows all the parts. But you’ve got to imagine it’s like half a million parts that they were selling. So that type of knowledge, people just can’t look at a picture of something and know exactly what it is. So I started to think, why can’t there be an app for this? Why can’t you just take a picture?

Jamarlin Martin: And there wasn’t an app in the marketplace at the time? This is totally an original idea.

Jewel Burks: Yes, absolutely. So yeah, at that time, so this is 2012, 2013, there were apps where you could take a picture of a bottle of wine for example, and find where that bottle is located or the same technology that goes into taking a picture of a check and being able to deposit it, underlying technology. So I knew that existed, but there was no one that had done that type of application for the parts industry. And so that’s what I set out to do.

Jamarlin Martin: What was your process for setting up the company? Fundraising, getting it off the ground?

Jewel Burks: Yeah, so I started really diving into customer discovery. I read this book, “The Lean Startup” pretty early on. And I figured that I needed to talk to a lot of potential customers first before I built anything or try to do anything. So I really changed…

Jamarlin Martin: You got that knowledge from that book in terms of guidance and going in that direction?

Jewel Burks: Yeah. I think, I think I got that idea from the book. I’m not sure if I got the idea from the book or someone told me to read the book when I was thinking about the first steps. But that’s something I did pretty early on.

Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. My Experience as entrepreneur is there’s all these tips and do this and do that. But reading, spending just a lot of time reading is underappreciated, under-priced from my perspective. Go ahead.

05:34 — Jewel Burks: Yeah, so I would say I learned a lot reading books in the beginning. Because I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Both my mom and dad have run businesses during my lifetime. But to start a tech company is pretty different. Both of their companies have been in different spaces. So I started out with customer discovery, which was easy for me because I was working in the industry already. So what I would do is I would take extra shifts in this thing called the will call, where customers would come in and actually pick up products and I would talk to the customers just about the problems they were having. Just learning more about what I had in my mind as an idea. But I didn’t want to lead the witness. I was just talking to them about any problems they were facing. And I would hear just these recurring themes that, if they didn’t know the exact part number, then they had difficulty locating the products that they wanted to find. And so, I actually went to a program that they were offering at Georgia Tech as just a community program is, something called ATDC and they have community offerings where you can pay just a small fee and go to all these different events and programs. And so I went to that and they had this one program that was on Friday mornings at 7:00 AM and this was a customer discovery program. And so they encouraged me to interview I think like a hundred people per week and just prove or disprove my idea, the thesis that I had about folks maybe wanting to be able to have an easier way to search for products. And when I finished that program, it was very clear to me that people want an easier way to search for these types of products. And so I’ve thought, okay, I’m going to pursue this idea. And the next step for me was how do I build out this type of technology because conceptually I understood it. But as far as the background to actually build it, I did not have that. So like I said, I was a business major in school, never built a computer vision system before. So I did more research to figure out what would be needed to build this type of application or technology. And I found that Georgia Tech has one of the best programs in the country for this particular type of technology. So, artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, all of those, Georgia Tech has really great programs for that. So I just spent more time on campus at Tech, trying to find people who might be interested in the problem that I was looking to solve. And then, so this is where I would say I kind of try to start building a team. And also one of the first calls I made was to one of my former coworkers at Google who had left Google around the same time I left to work at Shazam. And so from a product perspective…

Jamarlin Martin: Shazam, is that the music app?

Jewel Burks: Yes. Tap a button if you’re playing a song and it’ll tell you what song is playing. And from a product perspective, I wanted Partpic to feel like Shazam. So making it really simple, press a button and get an answer. And so I reached out to Jason Crane who was working at Shazam at the time and just wanting to get his thoughts on the idea and see, given that he worked at Shazam, did he think it was a feasible idea? And so us going back and forth evolved into him becoming my cofounder, eventually leaving Shazam and joining me to build out Partpic. So that’s kinda how we got started.

Jamarlin Martin: Your fundraising, are you just kind of bootstrapping in the beginning?

Jewel Burks: Yes.

Jamarlin Martin: And where’s that funding coming from?

09:18 —Jewel Burks: So I came up with the idea for Partpic on 12-12-12. I’ll never forget the day cause I sent my mom an email about it. It woke me up out of my sleep. And then I decided that day that I wanted to pursue it, but I knew if I wanted to pursue a business I would need to save money. So I started to try to change my lifestyle a little bit. At this time, I’ve just moved to Atlanta, young, having fun. And I really just decided, okay, I’m not going to be spending money on the things that I was spending money on at that time. Getting my hair done, going shopping, all that stuff. I just wanted to save money so that I could have some padding to pursue my business. So that was initially what I did. And then when I actually quit my job, maybe six or seven months after I had the idea. And I had at that time saved up what I thought was enough money to last me for maybe about a year. But I quickly realized that it was going to take me longer than a year to get the technology to a place where customers will actually pay me for it. So then are actually took out a loan and eventually, so this is like the first year I was just going based on my personal savings and then a loan that I took out. And then maybe almost a year in, I had a family friend who invested.

Jamarlin Martin: Can you share how much you pulled from family or friends?

Jewel Burks: Yeah, so my, I guess people would call it the family and friends round was $100,000. Two family friends both wrote $50,000 checks. The Singhs, that are really dear to my heart, family friends, and then someone who was a customer of my mom’s who had just seen me grow up through the years and trusted that I would build something cool. They were the first checks in.

Jamarlin Martin: Did you share your deck or business plan with them?

Jewel Burks: Yeah, I did. I did. So at that time, I also did an accelerator, which I’m always hesitant to talk about because I don’t know how helpful it was for me personally. But I will say one thing I got out of it was that I was able to really refine my pitch.

Jamarlin Martin: Who was giving you feedback to refine your pitch during this process.

11:41 — Jewel Burks: They accelerator was in New York, so I kind of used that as the destination. After I quit my job I was like, okay, I’m getting into this accelerator. I think it started Jul. 1 or something. And so I quit my job and then moved up to New York to do the accelerator. And the people there who were running the accelerator plus a network of mentors, we would have pitch practice maybe once a week and they would say, this makes sense, you should refine this, work on that, and that over the course of 12 weeks got me to a point where I think I had a pretty solid pitch.

Jamarlin Martin: I want to highlight two things for the audience is one, Jewel became a researcher and not just reading in terms of books about business customers, but she went out into the field to talk to customers before she started investing money into the idea. And I think that’s an important point in terms of becoming a researcher, talking to potential customers of your product. What type of problems are they seeing? And then the second one is giving stuff up. This is just a part of life where if you want something big in terms of doing big things like Jewel has done, she had to give up some important personal stuff. There’s no free lunch.

Jewel Burks: I completely agree. Yes.

Jamarlin Martin: You have your family and friend round and then what happens?

Jewel Burks: Yeah. So I want to say one more thing about the family and friends. When I mentioned I, I sent my mom an email. The email was to tell her about the idea and it was also to ensure that she had my back in this journey. So I feel like that’s important too because a lot of times we set out on doing things and haven’t really talked to our support systems and really I’ve had to lean on folks a lot through the course of the time that I started my business. And so I think that’s just something to say. I didn’t have a huge family and friends round as far as money that was put in. But I did have my mom rooting for me and saying, if you need to come home and if things get rough, you can, I think that’s a critical piece of it too.

Jamarlin Martin: You felt you had a buffer if you failed?

Jewel Burks:A buffer in the sense of, I had a crew, a small crew, folks that were encouraging me throughout the process. So I never felt like some people are hesitant about starting businesses because maybe their parents are saying you need to keep that steady paycheck or something to that nature. And I felt like I had some room. If it didn’t work out at the end of the day, I was young, I didn’t have much to lose. So, I knew that if it all falls down, I can at least go back home and my mom won’t be mad at me about it.

Jamarlin Martin: Your parents were entrepreneurs?

Jewel Burks: Yeah, so my mom, she’s been an insurance agent, so she’s had her own insurance agency for the past 20-plus years. So I grew up watching her build that business up and now she’s one of the top agents in the country.

Jamarlin Martin: And culturally, of course Ryan’s parents were entrepreneurs. And your parents are entrepreneurs. How big a piece of that in terms of that kind of parenting education and culture is relevant for African Americans to kind of scale success in entrepreneurship?

15:17 — Jewel Burks: Yeah, I mean for me, I can only speak on my experience. I think it’s been critical because I saw examples, I saw when I was a little girl, my dad ran our family businesses that my grandfather had started and he started these businesses in the fifties and sixties in Alabama. And so I watched my dad run those businesses when I was a kid and not just watched, but I also had to participate. So I remember as early as five and six years old being the cashier and the teller and being involved in the businesses from a very young age, and same with my mom’s business. I was knocking on doors and handing out flyers and doing all types of things for them. So I think that being exposed from the perspective of what does hard work look like, and what does it look like when things are going very well in the business. And what does it look like when things are not going very well and kind of the resilience to stay on that roller coaster throughout the years. I had that in the back of my mind when I was starting. So I do think that exposure early on to business and what does it look like…

Jamarlin Martin: At the parenting level.

Jewel Burks: Yeah. And also the sacrifice. I mean, I remember when I was growing up, my mom was just starting her business, so I saw her sacrifice and I became very independent at an early age because my mom was running her business. So I was cooking dinner at home. And I think that kind of shaped me as far as my mindset going into it. I knew it was going to be a sacrifice and I knew that I was going to have to work hard if I wanted it to be successful.

Jamarlin Martin: You raise your family and friends round. It’s time to build a team. And how did you think about that and can you highlight any mistakes you made in terms of building a team?

Jewel Burks: Yeah. So I mean, I thought about it from the perspective of what am I really good at and what am I not really good at. So I started with myself and kind of doing an analysis of my pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, and trying to fill in the gaps with people who either were strong in the areas where I’m weak or from a skill perspective, were good at things that I’m not good at. And so that was the fundamental for the first few people was how do I find people who really can round out what we’re trying to do here. So as I mentioned, Jason, we had previously worked together, so we already had a relationship from that perspective. And he was exposed to the product side of things that I hadn’t yet been exposed to.

Jamarlin Martin: And that was your co-founder?

Jewel Burks: Yes. Dr. Nashlie Sephus, she became our CTO and she is a genius when it comes to algorithms and building technical systems. She has her PhD from Georgia Tech…

Jamarlin Martin: How did you find her?

18:12 —Jewel Burks: She has been my biggest blessing because you don’t come across… She’s one of like 10 Black women in the world that has her background as far as her degrees and everything. But I found her through talking to people, I met a couple guys and told them what I’m working on and initially had brought them on to help me and then realized over time that actually she was a better fit in terms of skillset for our team. So was able to work with her directly. So that was a process.

Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. So that’s another thing I want to highlight. You didn’t just go out and say, “Oh, I got to hire someone”. You started sharing with your network what you needed so they could be of assistance and maybe they’re close in proximity of somebody that could do a great job like you found of course.

Jewel Burks: Yeah. I think a lot of people hold their ideas very close to the chest. And for me, initially, I remember I was a little bit nervous to share, but then I was given some good advice early, which is nobody is going to drop their baby to take care of yours, which means if you have something that’s good, that you’re passionate about, most other people do too. So don’t worry about them stealing the thing that you’re trying to pursue.

Jamarlin Martin: Do you believe that could be a cultural thing where maybe that’s elevated in our community? I remember hearing about there was a time where a lot of our people would not put money in the bank. They would keep cash under the bed. And do you think that there may be an elevated paranoia of sharing ideas, but hey, this is just how it works. You’re going to have to open this up for you to get this thing going, and that’s the norm, that’s marketing.

Jewel Burks: Yeah. I think absolutely. There’s an elevated paranoia, but it’s something that we are going to have to get over because you can’t build a successful business 100 percent by yourself. You have to find people that can help you. So, especially in my case, I did not have the skill set to build out what I had in my mind. So I had to find people who could help me build it. And honestly, I shared my idea with people and I got threats early on. I remember this one guy that I met, I can’t remember how I met him, but I figured out that he wasn’t the right person. He didn’t have the right skill set for what I was trying to do. And so I said, “Oh, we can’t work together just because from a skills perspective, you’re not the right fit.” And I remember he was like, “Well, I really like this idea so I’m going to just pursue it myself.” And that happened actually a couple of times throughout the course of Partpic.

Jamarlin Martin: Were you signing NDAs though?

Jewel Burks: Yeah. But honestly I feel like NDAs are nice. But they’re not really enforceable.

Jamarlin Martin: Yeah.

Jewel Burks: But the reality is, of the people that said, “Oh, I like this idea, I’m just going to pick it up and try to do it.” None of that worked because for whatever reason, number one, it was a really hard problem to try to solve. Number two, it wasn’t their idea and they didn’t have the right story. So in my case, I have a very compelling reason why I decided to pursue the idea. I worked at Google, so I had this exposure to using technology to solve problems. Then I worked at an industrial distribution company and saw firsthand the problem. I had a personal story where my grandfather couldn’t find this part for his tractor and I wanted to help him find it. So there was a lot of different things that worked together for me to be the person to pursue this particular idea. And it’s not something that someone else could just pick up and be like, “Oh, I’m going to do this”, and not have any background in it. I say that to say, it may be that someone says, “Oh, I like decide, yeah, I’m going to pick it up.” But at the end of the day, it’s all execution. Millions of people probably have the same ideas, but the winners are the ones who actually go to work every day and try to make it happen.

Jamarlin Martin: You build your team and it’s time to raise some more money at some point. Talk about that experience.

Jewel Burks: Raising money is probably my least favorite part of being an entrepreneur that needed to raise money. And I say that specifically because I don’t think all people who start businesses need to raise money. I think that that’s something that media has made to…

Jamarlin Martin:The bubble culture out of Silicon Valley.

22:44 —Jewel Burks: Right. It makes it seem like that’s what you have to do if you want to start a tech business. But that’s not true. But for me and what I was doing, I didn’t feel like it was appropriate for me to raise more capital because, one, the computer vision engineers are not cheap to hire. So, I’m paying people six figures out the gate, I need to have some more money in the bank to be able to pay them. And then a really robust artificial intelligence system takes time to build, right? So we had to grow a database of millions of parts. We had to build algorithms specific to recognizing things like threads per inch. There were a lot of different pieces to make the system work. And so we were going to have to expand the team to be able to do that. And so that’s why we ended up raising money. And we also believed that the business model was solid. So what we were doing was we were licensing the technology as an API out to distributors, retailers, manufacturers for them to embed inside their mobile apps and put on their websites. And we were charging them lots of money to do that. So we believe that we can scale it up and build a big business that way. So that’s why I raised money. And what that looked like was… My strategy was getting investors to come to me. So I did a lot of pitch competitions, tried to get myself out there, so that they would know who I was and what I was trying to do. And just because also I didn’t have a great, huge network in the venture capital space. I didn’t know a lot of investors, so I had to figure out ways to get in front of them so that they’re would be a buzz going. And that’s really how I ended up raising about $2 million.

Jamarlin Martin: And how many investors did you pitch to?

Jewel Burks: I pitched to over 200 investors.

Jamarlin Martin: Another important point. It fits with the sexism in the industry where the successful entrepreneurs that I have talked to that have raised capital, it seems like 100 is the magic number. And then you come and say, “I pitched to 200.” With a totally original idea. So talk about some rejections that were memorable for you.

Jewel Burks: I try not to think too much about those, but, I’m trying to think. So the biggest objection I got was that we were not located in Silicon Valley.

Jamarlin Martin: Why did they take the meeting then?

Jewel Burks: They knew that the whole time.

Jamarlin Martin: It was a convenient excuse it sounds like.

Jewel Burks: Exactly. I would think, you know I’m flying here from Atlanta because a lot of times I would have to fly out to Silicon Valley or New York or wherever. I hated that reason cause I was like, you’ve known this whole time, this is where we’re located. Anyway, that was one. I did get people that were very blunt about, I’ve never invested in a female entrepreneur.

Jamarlin Martin: Just straight up. Like, I don’t see you.

26:07 — Jewel Burks: Yeah, exactly. I mean that was a nuanced thing, but sometimes investors would be like, look, I like this idea. I think you’re smart. I like your team. But I think you’re going to have too much trouble selling into the industry you’re trying to sell into being who you are. So I can’t invest in this business because I don’t think you’re going to be able to get the clients because I don’t think that the old white men who run these companies are going to listen to you.

Jamarlin Martin: And was that more of a race thing or a gender thing?

Jewel Burks: People ask me that all the time, and I don’t, I mean I live in this body and I walk in the world like this. So I don’t know. I never know if it’s because I’m Black, because I’m female or because I’m young. I don’t know.

Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. I remember talking to bankers at Allen & Company where I was raising capital and one of their media bankers, he said, “Look, your business, because it’s African American-focused, you’re going to get lower advertising CPMs”, in terms of revenue per thousand impressions for the audience. And he said, so your valuation because you do Black media is going to be discounted because you’re Black. And he was I think being honest, where as I went along, I kind of saw what he was talking about. He’s actually being honest. Yeah. I took it as certain way. Why should I have to accept the lower valuation? That that stuff is out there for sure.

Jewel Burks: Yeah. I took some of what was told to me depending on when I heard it. Sometimes I took it personally. So earlier on I would say, I think maybe I shouldn’t be running this company because I’m holding us back because I’m Black and I’m a woman and people are holding that against the company. And then later on I started to build up some armor around it and say, look, I’m the person, I have the unique experience to build this. So it’s me. I can’t put a white dude in front of it just because that might make the meetings go better. Cause I actually tried to hire an older white male as a sales lead.

Jamarlin Martin: Based on some of this feedback.

Jewel Burks: Based on some of the feedback and that turned out to be a disaster.

Jamarlin Martin: So how to you judge the feedback in terms of the white man, he’s saying, look, the realness is because you’re a Black woman, I see a lot of discrimination and that’s going to hurt my risk-reward profile, my money. I’m just being real. It’s not like I want this to happen, but how do you judge him telling you that? Are you negative towards him because he tells you that or neutral? How do you judge that?

Jewel Burks: Yeah, I mean at the end of the day he’s not wrong. It is true. The industry that I was trying to sell into is a very racist industry, very sexist industry as well. So he’s not wrong. However, now I can say, well, I sold my company to Amazon, so now what? Yeah. So next time around it’ll be different.

Jamarlin Martin: You don’t believe that that was a valid reason to kind of evaluate…

Jewel Burks: I don’t think it was a valid reason. Yeah. I think now that I’m on the other side of the table as an investor, if I were me evaluating Jewel in 2013 and 2014 I would say, okay, we’re going to pair this company with folks who are well connected in this industry to make sure that she has the right people walking her into the rooms. Because at the end of the day it’s an, it’s a matter of who makes the introduction, right? So, that’s how I would approach it if I was investing in Partpic.

Jamarlin Martin: And how did you get so many introductions? I imagine most of your pitches came through introductions, but how did you manage that process and get that type of opportunity to pitch to 200?

29:56 — Jewel Burks: Yeah, like I said, my main thing was using pitch competitions. So I knew that I could get on stage and talk about what we were doing in a way that was compelling for people. And most of the time the people that were judging the competitions were venture capitalists. So I did Tech Crunch Disrupt in 2014, and that got me in front of people from just about every VC firm out in Silicon Valley. And I stayed out there an extra week to take meetings with folks because they were coming to me after I got off stage at Tech Crunch. And so from there I got introductions. So even if they would say, “We like what you’re doing but you’re in Atlanta so we can’t invest.” I would say, “Okay, that’s fine. Can you tell me five other investors who might be interested in what we’re doing?” And so I would just use one event to snowball into more introductions and then I would also follow up with people. So maybe they say no today because location might be one thing or they might say, we want to see you get three more clients. And then I would go get three more clients and come back and say, okay, we got three more clients…

Jamarlin Martin: What are other excuses you got now?

Jewel Burks: Yeah. So I was notorious for going back and just keeping people up to date on how we were progressing. And so there are some people that I met. I remember I met William Crowder, who was previously at Comcast Ventures and now has his own fund. I met him at the very first pitch competition I ever did, which was before I had anything. It was like an idea pitch. So that was early 2013 when I initially met him. He ended up writing a check in mid-2015 so it took two years of me knowing him, sending him updates, running into him, different places for them to actually invest. And sometimes it takes building that relationship over the course of time, for it actually to come into your company as an investment. But I was just, I was on people.

Jamarlin Martin: Yeah, that’s another thing I hear from successful entrepreneurs on GHOGH, is that when they get a no, they’re not like, “Man, I’m mad. And they should’ve said yes.” After the no, there’s a post game strategy in terms I still have can work this investor, some of the investors after the no.

Jewel Burks: Oh yeah. Yeah. Cause if they give me a reason why and it’s a reason that I can control. like Go get some more customers. Okay, I can do that. That’s easy.

Jamarlin Martin: Yeah. What about investors saying this opportunity is not big enough. I don’t see a billion-dollar business. How much of that did you get?

Jewel Burks: I got that from people who didn’t understand the industry, but given that I had worked in the industry and could tell them hard numbers about it, I was easily able to say, you don’t know about the industry, but let me show you that the industrial distribution space is a hundreds of billions of dollars industry. It’s huge. It is one of those sleepy ones where every single thing in this room is put together by these parts, but nobody thinks about it.

Jamarlin Martin: So valuation runway, or business runway, that wasn’t really an issue for you. When you pitch, you’re saying that this fits into the unicorn kind of lottery ticket that they’re looking for. So that wasn’t really an issue for you.

33:32 — Jewel Burks: That wasn’t a huge obstacle as far as how big is the industry because once I showed people, okay, this industry is not top of mind to you, but if you look at the data you’ll easily be able to see that this is a huge space. So we’re really a computer vision company in the industrial distribution space. So we could come at it from both angles, and we could say, right now we’re talking about computer vision for parts, but our technology could go across multiple industries if we play it correctly. So the pitch about how big can this business be, that was never really the objection that we got. It was more about can you execute? Can you build the technology? Is your team the right team? Are you in the right location? Those are the types of things that we had to work against. But, if this industry is a big enough, usually wasn’t it, but a lot of people just didn’t have understanding of the space so they would be like, I don’t know much about that space so I can’t invest. That was one thing that we got a lot.

Jamarlin Martin: Thanks everybody for listening to GHOGH. You can check me out @JamarlinMartin on Twitter and also come check us out at Moguldom.com, that’s M O G U L D O M.com. Be sure to subscribe to our daily newsletter. You can get the latest information on crypto, tech, economic empowerment and politics. Let’s GHOGH!