The term “Black entrepreneurship” was coined by Trevor Wallaces mother to describe his son, a black businessman who was raised in an impoverished and segregated inner-city community.
“He was a great student,” says Wallace’s wife, Jessie Ward, who also describes her husband as “tough, resilient and funny”.
Wallace began attending college in 2000 and graduated with a degree in business administration in 2009.
Wallace became a founding partner at the Wallaces Family and Management Company in 2012, with the aim of transforming his son’s career into a sustainable, profitable enterprise.
“We started this company in 2009 with the idea that the future of black America was to have a thriving business that had a chance to become a sustainable business, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” Wallace says.
The business has been successful.
In 2013, it was valued at more than $1bn.
It has been growing at double-digit rates since, and Wallace believes it is the fastest-growing venture capital fund in the country.
“I don’t think any of us thought we would get to where we are today,” Wallaces wife says.
“We didn’t think we’d get to this point, and we still don’t.”
Wallace started his own venture capital firm in 2009, the Wallace Family & Management Company, which invests in high-growth technology companies.
The family-owned firm is among a number of private equity firms that have invested in companies that are now profitable, like Uber and Facebook.
Wallaces son, Garrett, is one of them.
“It was like I was in a dream, I was like, ‘I don\’t know how I’m going to do this.
I can’t be here,'” Wallaces says.
Wallace’s first venture into the private equity world came with an offer from a friend.
The friend said Wallace had already raised a $5m round of financing.
Wallaces father, Tim Wallace Jr, was a venture capitalist and had also been a founding member of the Black Enterprise Council.
Tim says he knew Wallace would be the right person to invest in the business.
“My dad would have been a great partner for us to do it,” Tim says.
“In the beginning, he was very skeptical.
He was like ‘I can’t afford to do that, I’m not going to invest this money’.
I said ‘okay, I will.
I’m a billionaire and I want to invest’.
I have the money, and I’m willing to risk it on somebody who can make a lot of money.
Tim Wallace founded the firm and the Wallacses had a hand in creating the firm’s unique investment philosophy.
“The hedge fund business is different,” Wallacys father says.
“We do a lot with our money to help small businesses succeed and make money.
So that’s why we started this firm.”
Wallace and his father built the firm on the principle that they could make money for the company that was already successful.
“Our idea was, ‘if we’re not doing this, what’s next?'”
Tim says, explaining why he chose the name Wallace.
“You can do anything that you want.
We just want to do things right, and do it well.
We’ve done that for so long, and it’s really the best way to build a business.”
The family has a deep understanding of how to work with venture capital firms.
Tim Wallacess father, who is also a partner in the firm, says Wallacese have been very supportive.
“They’ve been really supportive and we’ve had a lot less of that in our life,” Tim Wallaces father says, describing his experience with the hedge fund firm.
“They’ve given us a lot more than just, ‘Hey, can you give us $100m?’
We’ve actually done it with them.”
Wallace is not alone.
In 2017, the fund was valued for the first time at more then $50m.
The investment has raised more than a million dollars, but Wallacises venture capital funding is not limited to venture capital funds.
He is also involved in private equity ventures, with private equity firm Blackstone being a major investor in the investment.
Blackstone is a private equity company based in New York, and has a portfolio of businesses ranging from healthcare to energy and telecommunications.
Blackstone’s private equity partner is John Paulson, who was previously the US Treasury secretary.
Wallachs father also owns the hedge funds investment in Blackstone.
Tim Wallacesses father is also in charge of Blackstone investments in the US, including in BlackRock and Citadel.
Blackrock has invested in numerous companies including Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb.
Wallaced is an investor in Airbnb, which has become the largest ride-sharing service in the world. Trev