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Beyond the Tank: Investing in Your Community | SXSW 2021

Kendra Scott
Fashion designer at Kendra Scott, LLC
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SXSW 2021
March 16, 2021, Online, Austin, USA
SXSW 2021
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Beyond the Tank: Investing in Your Community | SXSW 2021
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About speakers

Kendra Scott
Fashion designer at Kendra Scott, LLC
Mark Cuban
Businessman, Philanthropist, Entrepreneur; NBA Team Owner
Stephanie Mehta
Editor-in-chief at Fast Company

Kendra Scott (born March 27, 1974) is an American fashion designer. She is the Executive Chairwoman, lead designer, and former CEO of Kendra Scott, LLC. In 2017, she was named Ernst & Young's National Entrepreneur of the Year

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Since the age of 12, Mark Cuban has been a natural businessman. Selling garbage bags door to door, the seed was planted early on for what would eventually become long-term success. After graduating from Indiana University - where he briefly owned the most popular bar in town - Mark moved to Dallas. After a dispute with an employer who wanted him to clean instead of closing an important sale, Mark created MicroSolutions, a computer consulting service. He went on to later sell MicroSolutions in 1990 to CompuServe.In 1995, Mark and long-time friend Todd Wagner came up with an internet based solution to not being able to listen to Hoosiers Basketball games out in Texas. That solution was Broadcast.com - streaming audio over the internet. In just four short years, Broadcast.com (then Audionet) would be sold to Yahoo for $5.6 billion dollars.Since his acquisition of the Dallas Mavericks in 2000, he has overseen the Mavs competing in the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history in 2006 - and becoming NBA World Champions in 2011. They are currently listed as one of Forbes' most valuable franchises in sports.In addition to the Mavs, Mark is chairman and CEO of AXS tv, one of ABC's "Sharks" on the hit show Shark Tank, and an investor in an ever-growing portfolio of businesses.

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About the talk

Kendra Scott and Mark Cuban discuss the importance of entrepreneurship on the local level, their own passions for supporting entrepreneurship in their communities, what they each look for in an investment, and advice for the audience in how to secure investors and succeed in business - especially during a pandemic.

About SXSW:

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. An essential destination for global professionals, this year’s online event features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, professional development and a variety of networking opportunities. For more information, please visit sxsw.com.

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Hi everyone. I'm Stephanie, Mehta editor-in-chief of Fast Company at Mark Cuban and Kendra Scott are extremely well known as entrepreneurs. And many of you may know them as investors as well from their appearances on the television series shark tank, but both Mark and tenders investment activities and their commercial and philanthropic efforts extend. Well beyond what you see on television and for both of them, Texas has a special place in their hearts. Welcome Mark. And Kendra Text Stephanie, glad to be here. Let me start with you mark, you've

invested heavily in Texas, most visibly through your stewardship of Dallas Mavericks but you've also more quietly invested in a number of texas-based companies. Talked a little bit about how you think about investing in these companies. And do you put a thumb on the scale for offer local businesses? Absolutely. I mean Julian Dallas you know that it's much less friction doing business here than Silicon Valley or other Tech destinations you know put aside the tax element. There's just you got a great Workforce you got a willing Workforce that wants to work people with, like coming to the job

every day. You got, you know, a young vibrant educated Community. You got universities, you got in the University of Texas at Dallas which has the largest engineering school in the country. So, you know, there's a strong development Coral are there. Tina what's not to love about doing business in Dallas, Texas? At the real estate is far cheaper, it's just yellow. It's just you got a better chance of making money when you're doing business in Dallas in Texas, General Lee. Kendall, you're not from Texas but you are so closely identified with Texas and with Austin and particular share with

us. Why Texas is so important to you. And in particular, maybe talk a little bit about the kinds of companies. You look to invest in particularly ones that are in your hometown. Sherwood. First of all, I, I wasn't born in Texas, but I moved here. When I was 16, I started my company here and I have three sons born in Texas. So I think almost to be honorary, I like to say that I feel so fortunate. That I started my business in Austin, Texas. You know, I started going door-to-door with my jewelry in a tee box. And I said, if I had done that, and it would probably be

asleep on me to see what's happening with this, emergency coming from both coasts coming into Texas, cuz it is a friendly state to do business in. You really make this place for our company. Able to share that success. With other entrepreneurs is really exciting. Austin is University of Texas, obviously. It's a very good place to start a business. Rihanna really impressive. Kendra what are some of the network effects that you've seen in Austin in particular, as Austin has really grown as an entrepreneurial Community, not just for the tech sector, but for luxury and lifestyle

Brands. How do you see the entrepreneur's in Austin, sort of supporting each other and and how were they able to get a set of create an ecosystem that benefits all Really amazing. Their groups like Capital Factory? Obviously aren't as organization is others that really connect founders with seasoned entrepreneurs and when I love so much as I feel like in this state we know something is very critical. We know that we're competing against the world. So why not join forces? Why not help each other? Why not share ideas are best practices with one another

successful together, and that really being able to encourage something. That's very, you need to, to Austin to Dallas to Houston. So I can literally pick up the phone and call and say hi to, you know, something about this. Mark, you have a really robust portfolio of companies that you invest in that you support. Are there ways that you try to bring your Texas Investments together to do some of the things that tender just referred to share best practices. Give each other tips. Maybe even help hire

people who are looking for a new adventure order to shift Industries. No question about it Stephanie. I mean, we really try to Leverage The skillset and being, you know, being the holding company or being an investor and more than 250 different. Companies were able to hire such great talent here in Texas. And based her out of Dallas, we bring every possible skillset to as many of those, as those of those companies as needed and yellow to Kendra's point, no one is shy in the state of Texas. Everybody seems to be your best friend unless, you know, you're a direct competitor. Whether it's Liana

Tiff treats or weather is Charlotte Jones Anderson at the Cowboys were always sharing ideas and and Dallas is such Great Community to get expertise, you know, it allows us to show some of my companies in in other cities that looked we got that extra cheese here and you know, several times we've had companies moved here to Dallas. Mark, I know there's a lot of interest right now in apps that are facilitating sort of live conversation and an audio in particular I know clubhouses. It is on fire right now. You confirm that your co-founding Fireside, which is a chat app that aims to drive

social impact through meaningful conversations at scale. Can you to share a little bit about what you're trying to build with Fireside and put of what the white faces that it, it feels like hanging out after a keynote at a conference and everybody's just chit-chatting with each other. Where is with Fireside? It's more podcasting 2.0 where we take the best clubhouse in the best of podcast and pulling together. So everything's recorded its transcribe. We have monetization opportunities for the the

podcaster from tips to other types of opportunities from the porch. It's a very controlled environment where with Clubhouse, even though it initially. It was kind of a lead if you will. Now, pretty much everybody comes in and like every social media when you get that Network effect and it grows too big, you get people who are out there for their own interests as opposed to participating to do to make the conversation better with fireside chat. The, the podcast for the DMT is in charge of everything, they completely control the invitation list and people have to be vetted before will allow

them to have a chat and so that they're just so much more control because we really want, you know we want to call you want the information to have quality. We want the interface in the interactivity to have quality and said us. That's more important than just seeing how many people we can reach. I wanted to ask both of you to talk a little bit about philanthropy because we both have really robust philanthropic arms and are engaged in a lot of philanthropic activities. There are so many big problems in the world that Kendra. When do you think about

using? Enterprise in entrepreneurship to solve a big societal problem versus philanthropy and Grant making an and charitable contributions because you do have a number of companies in your portfolio that that's certainly are try to change the world. But through a for-profit model rather than a not-for-profit model, I'd love to talk a little bit about investing in local philanthropy, as well as local businesses. Business and philanthropy. You know, I lost my stepfather to brain cancer. I

really just felt like I wanted to do what we started out. Just lending our time, just left behind Community and its product or doing the 20%, give back or more. And that was simply just wrong because the connection that we made within our communities, the relationship with our customers so much deeper so much more real, right? Because we were going through things with amazing over the last 18 years. Those little items are Breast Cancer Research Foundation. We've been given a million-dollar research France.

Could we run a business that can also change the world for the better, help the lives of women and children and through education, empowerment health and wellness and continuing A priority for us into our employees and their sole job is to go out and find out where is the greatest need, and how that we had a company can support that, and I think it's great to have a great business, right? But people is today they want to be more than just great value, but I don't think he's

showing up and showing up in a great way. We're in 31, hospitals, across the country, with my Kendra cares program, When they get those in the hospital, they want to think about how they can do it. Mark, same kind of question for you. You have so many different Outlets through which you engage in philanthropic activities. Whether it's the Mavs Foundation, you got a family Foundation when it comes to supporting North Texas and Dallas specifically, what lens do you look at those

charitable contributions through and again, when does it make sense to to just write a check versus saying? Can we start a business to solve this problem to Dallas in particular? I try I try to look at writing. The check is to deal with an emergency. What's the right now that needs to be solved where people are challenged? You know, we saw with the, the weather issues we have with people not having power just Devastation throughout Texas and so, that's something that I'm happy to write a check for and myself in the Mavs, gave 1.25

million dollars to the city of Dallas Dallas emergency fund. And then there's other Times where you want to, you know, start to attack longer-term issues. You know, like Kendra mentioned attacking breast cancer and I'll donate to a variety of organizations that I think and have long-term solution. And then there's a time. When you use Commerce, will you think that you can come up with a better solution? We started that the Mark Cuban Cost Plus drug program where we go out there and either license or manufacture electric building a manufacturing plant in deep Deep Ellum in Dallas.

And we either a license or build and we sell them at Cost Plus 15% and everything is transparent and we started with a drug called albendazole which is to treat hookworm in believe it or not in West Texas in particular in Alabama where they're still horrible, sanitation, problems, people kids and Patchouli get hookworm and the companies that were selling these things were selling them at $200 to $2,000 per dose and we know we gave away $10,000 to start and we sell them for 12 to $20 depending on what our cost is to get there. What's 15%? And so trying to come up with solutions, that solve

problems and make life easier for people, do those are kind of the three ways. I look at things in our small amount of time remaining, I want to ask each of you to provide a little bit of advice to the folks who are listening, who may not have the benefit of being a texas-based business. How do entrepreneurs find their Mark, Cuban's or Kendra Scott? How do they find investors? Who are willing to invest in them in part because they share a local connection start with you. And then Kendra, I'll let you have the last word. I mean,

she went door-to-door, she hurt her back was against the wall, you know, damage on one of our fellow sharks close at the power of broke. I got fired from my job and I was living sleeping on the floor six, guys, in a three-bedroom apartment, I had no choice and if you look at some of the biggest and best businesses, they were started. When when people really their backs against the wall, they had no capital. And so, rather than looking for effort for Capital Say, if you can get to Dallas, you can get to Austin. You can get somewhere in Texas or if

you're already here, just go for it. You know, create that product or service that you can sell that you can do on your own start small, like Kendra did like I did and build it just one step at a time and then you'll see you have so many resources available to you that you can grow it from there. And if you're growing so quickly, you need funding. That's when the funding will find you. How do I find my Kendra Scott? I remember, how do I find these angels in

great need for focus on building, an amazing business and when you build it they will come and that was the best advice I could have ever had with just like, make it work. You have to be able to do something. Put yourself out there and ask for an investor in so they can see has the legs to do something. So focus on building something great and everybody starts with the million-dollar Sweat Equity into your business. Then you'll start to pay attention. I promise you're going to start getting them. Really inspiring advice for the Southside Southwest Community. I want to take a moment to thank Mark Cuban

and Kendra Scott, and thank you all for joining us today. Thank you. And it's great to talk to you, step and great to talk to you is Kendra Stephanie. I like to call Mark the papa shark song. Our guys, I got a boy.

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Kendra Scott
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