Bill Spruill minted 25 new millionaires among his company’s employees when he sold his business in April for a whopping $300 million to the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG). But the Black tech founder said that was just the beginning.
His next focus will be on helping create more opportunities for Black and other marginalized tech founders to have as much or more success as him. He’s renovating an office complex in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, to do just that.
“I call it the ‘House of Good Deeds,”’ Spruill told WRAL TechWire. “We’ve got a lot of active founders doing different things, but I’d argue we don’t have proactive exited founders who have made it their sole mission to lift up the Triangle. I’ve decided that is my mission.”
The Triangle refers to the geographical area that spans the North Carolina cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill because if lines connected them on a map, it would look like a triangle.
He plans to use a three-pronged approach of angel investing, education and community outreach to fulfill his mission. He’s already actively implementing it, despite being advised to take a year off before jumping into his next endeavor.
“I ignored it,” Bill Spruill told CNBC Pro about the advice. “I already knew what the next step would be. … The flood of investment is not reaching all people. It’s hard to find peers, mentors and others who are executives at these organizations at the enterprise level. My intent is to change that curve.”
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Spruill co-founded Global Data Consortium, a global identification verification platform, in 2012. Initially, he and his co-founder Charles Gaddy had challenges raising capital. So, they bootstrapped the business until they raised $5.5 million from LSEG, WRAL reported.
Aside from Spruill, none of the 25 employees who became millionaires due to having equity in GDC were Black. It’s a reality he is intimately familiar with, noting “no one looked like me at senior levels” in the organizations he worked at before becoming a founder.
He aims to change that with his new company, 2ndF, which is short for “Second Foundation.”
“It was a challenge for me to find Black mentors, both locally and nationally,” Spruill told Axios Raleigh. “One of my goals is to create more Black mentors and senior leaders.”
His goal to have “national dominance by 2033” is ambitious, especially since Black founders receive far less venture funding than their white counterparts.
“Startups with at least one Black founder have received 1.9% of deal counts and 1.2% of overall venture dollars invested in the U.S. so far this year,” according to a report by Crunchbase.
Spruill also plans to use his recent appointment as board chair for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development to help him reach his goals.
“If I do this right, I’m creating a pipeline of people who will go out and start their own companies,” Spruill said. “If I can convince enough people to work in startups, to succeed in startups and maybe even start their own, then that will be a job well done for me.”