Investing in Diversity and Social Impact

An Interview with Marjorie Radlo-Zandi, Jazzas


What are the traits a company should have that would want to make someone invest their own money? What are investors looking for that makes them willing to put their money on the line? We discuss these traits with our guest Marjorie Radlo-Zandi in today’s episode.

Marjorie is a very specialized angel investor, She restricts her investments into companies that have a social and/or environmental impact as their purpose. Where she invests her time and energy is very important to her; and you can see that in the diversity of her portfolio: currently 50% people of color and 50% women, including members of the LGBT community.

Marjorie values entrepreneurship, education, motivation and drive to make a positive change in society or the environment when it comes to the types of people and companies in which she invests. An integral part of Marjorie‘s model of investing is mentoring. She values the company’s willingness to learn and grow, not only from her but her team and other investors and collaborators.

Segment #1: Marjorie Radlo-Zandi

What is an angel investor? Marjorie explains what an angel investor is and how they can be a company’s best hope after the bank turns them away. Marjorie does things differently in her efforts to support a company. Not only does she put her money where her mouth is, but uses her position to teach and mentor these unique companies in order for them to grow, help, and change the world in a positive way. She shares her expertise and other investors’ knowledge with these companies that have a mission to make the lives of the people on this planet or the planet itself better.

Segment #2: Al Wynant

We follow up Marjorie‘s investing in diversity advice by hearing from the founder of our new sponsor “Ingomu,” Al Wynant. Ingomu itself is a start up company, which focuses on coaching, mentoring, and well-being. Al goes in depth about the new app launching this month. It connects an individual to support services through the app to assist in their personal development, health and wellness, and career development using various coaching sessions.


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“How can HR directors support social entrepreneurship?  From an HR
perspective, there’s a lot of different technologies in the HR arena.”  [15:39]

“It’s about the person and it’s also about the team.” [19:10]

“You need to be coachable” [22:19]

“It’s a very encouraging environment for entrepreneurs out there.” [29:07]

“We know that there have been many studies that show that if you coach, that if you provide those tools to your employees, it has a significant positive impact on retention, avoiding burn out…” [35:15]

Podcast Notes

HR Directors Supporting Social Entrepreneurship

“From an HR perspective, there’s a lot of different technologies in the HR arena.” [15:39]

1. Marjorie references an angel investment organization that she is a part of called “Launchpad” that focuses on funding mainly tech companies. For example, with a lot of people working at home, companies are using surveys to better understand how people are staying connected. She recommends keeping an eye out for what types of new and innovative technologies that companies are using these days.

2. Her advice is to emulate companies of interest that align with your mission. There could be possibilities for acquisition in the future if you are able to get involved with a larger company with similar values. Employers, investors, or any mentor should be helping the company they are associated with and its employees realize their potential and become the best that they can be.

In-Demand Entrepreneur Traits

“Even if it’s about the best idea in the world … It’s about the person and it’s also about the team.” [19:10]

Marjorie answers the question posed by Ira that most entrepreneurs want to know, which is, “what are some of the traits that you (angel investor) look for in order to want to invest?” [18:45] She highlights the importance of having someone in the team who is very strong in the commercial area, and someone in the tech area if it is relevant to the company. Also, be willing to be mentored; open to receiving feedback and criticism if posed. This shows that you respect the reciprocity that is happening and can be indicative of how you communicate with the team, customers, and investors. Lastly, it is really important to know your numbers!

What Are Mistakes to Avoid?

“You need to be coachable” [22:19]

Marjorie shared one experience that highlighted one of the biggest mistakes she’s made. Despite good financials and a good idea, she recalls one entrepreneur that just wouldn’t listen to feedback. You don’t to accept all feedback, but be coachable, be open.

Personal and Professional Development Working Together

“We know that there have been many studies that show that if you coach, that if you provide those tools to your employees, it has a significant positive impact on retention, avoiding burn out…” [35:15]

Al Wynant provides data on how supporting an individual’s personal development, and health and wellness, and not just career development but both alongside each other can benefit the whole company. This mindset is so essential for a company’s HR directors or personal professional developers because it breeds a positive environment that supports their employees so they can then give the most they can back to the company. Al goes on to explain specifically how the app helps companies provide this unique type of coaching and support to their employees; both personal and career development working in tandem.


The Geeks, Geezers & Googlization TV Show is live every Wednesday at 1 PM ET on Facebook, YouTube, Talk 4 TV, and broadcast on W4CY Radio, part of Talk 4 Radio on the Talk 4 Media Network.  The podcast is also available on Talk 4 Podcasting.

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