“The Urban Entrepreneur”

DIVINE is a “hustlepreneur” in every sense of the word with his relentless grind and hustle mixed with his real street life sensibilities and raw entrepreneurial thinking. His “The Urban Entrepreneur” moniker was born out of his own observation and experience of evolving in the streets where he says, “I started out as a ‘drug dealer’ where I was totally immersed into crime culture and the production, distribution, and sale of narcotics, that was my entire life for the most part,” eventually, he says he became more business minded and began to move toward being partially legitimate, “as I became more and more experienced as a drug dealer and started looking at it from a perspective of running an actual business operation, I saw lucrative opportunities, beyond simply selling drugs, with legitimate business and started investing into it, for me that’s when I elevated to a ‘street hustler’ where I had one foot in the streets and illegal business, and the other in legitimate business, because I was a street wise individual bringing that real street hustler mentality to legitimate business in a similar way as I operated in the streets,” eventually he would evolve from illegal activity and criminal behavior altogether, as he so often frames it, as the tagline to his life, he went “from crack to rap to tech”, “The last time I was in prison is when I became one hundred percent dissatisfied with my life and was determined to change it and break the negative psychological cycle of recidivism.” While in prison Divine came across an article about famed Silicon Valley billionaire and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz , who loved Hip-Hop/Rap music and was known as “The Hip-Hop VC”. This intrigued Divine, being a Hip-Hop/Rap recording artist, and upon his release he would eventually reach out to Ben via Twitter, but instead of ask Ben to invest into his music business and career, he asked Ben to mentor him. This started a longtime friendship that would develop over years and lead Divine to Silicon Valley himself. “After I read and learned more about Ben while in prison I was determined to meet him when I was released, and technology enabled that connection to happen. We come from two different worlds but Ben has a strong and keen knowledge, understanding, and connection to the background I come from, which I found impressive.” Divine would eventually find redemption through overcoming recidivism and launching his own entrepreneurial and startup endeavor from which he says his current moniker was derived. “After I went fully legitimate and founded my first startup, I knew I had evolved from a ‘drug dealer’ to a ‘street hustler’, to now an ‘urban entrepreneur’, where I still have that street edge and elements of the streets but it’s refined and now being leveraged in legitimate business and entrepreneurship and building a startup, where there exists a lot of parallels between the two.” He says that he found the same hustle that exists in the streets was necessary in legitimate entrepreneurship and startup building. “Going from a drug dealer to a street hustler to now an urban entrepreneur, the hustle is the constant and exists and is necessary in every stage to become successful.” Divine further states, “One of my personal missions is to pay it forward by providing affordable services that assist and empower others from backgrounds similar to mine, who are underrepresented, and even more so, underestimated, and especially system impacted, to engage and become successful in entrepreneurship and startup building.” Divine is very optimistic about those in these groups being able to become successful with the right tools and resources given their innate sense of hustle. “I feel our ability to succeed is absolute once we have the awareness, access, opportunity, mentorship, framework, and pathway, because we’re natural hustlepreneurs.”