Photo: Clifford Harris better known as "T.I."
Mr. “Rubber Band man himself”, Clifford Harris, who goes by the stage name “T.I.” has added more “bands” to his bag with the launch of Tech Cypha, a new investment syndicate. An investment syndicate operates much like a venture capital fund, only the investments are singular. Most syndicates are private, and consist of experienced technology investors, and sophisticated angel investors.
The new Investment fund will focus on early stage startups in Atlanta.
According to a report conducted by Cushman & Wakefield, a leading global real estate services firm, Atlanta ranked number 4th in the top 25 cities across the country with a high concentration of having talent, capital, and growth opportunities. Home to several universities such as Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Spelman College. Among the top 25 most wanted new-grad alumni in 2017, Atlanta University ranked 4th in the nation. In a 2016 HiredSolved released a recruiting report, stating Silicon Valley recruited from 10 universities, with Georgia Tech ranking in 6th.
“In the past, we were always looking through the glass window and looking at ways we can participate earlier. And that’s by coming together to pool our resources so we can invest more.”
With Atlanta’s affordable cost of living, mild seasonal weather, compared to surrounding states, including a growing tech movement, the city is quickly becoming the burgeoning Silicon Valley of the South.
Harris definitely isn’t “new to this”.
The mogul’s first bid in the startup world was 12 years ago. Harris launched Streetcred.com in 2007, an interactive social media network with a focus on hip-hop culture. Users represented their regions with friends, share images, audio, videos and blogs. The platform consisted of publishing content, and social networking, sharing, including content distribution for all things related to hip-hop.
Unfortunately, the platform dissolved, however, that didn’t discourage Harris and his Co-Founder Jason Geter from revisiting the opportunity of venturing back into the tech space. Fast forward to 2019, the launch of Tech Cypha.
“We learned a lot,” says Harris. “Now we know where our demographic is.”Geter adds “Being in the city of Atlanta and with Georgia Tech producing so much talent, and coming from us being within the hip-hop culture, which is always influencing and promoting things, we saw an opportunity,” says Geter. “In the past, we were always looking through the glass window and looking at ways we can participate earlier. And that’s by coming together to pool our resources so we can invest more.”
Geter and Harris pulled their resources together with a new focus and strategy, “We are a group of guys and girls who’ve been doing business together over time. While we’ve been doing just fine on our own we thought that if we surround ourselves with like-minded individuals and pool our resources together we could do much more together than on our own,” says Harris.
Tech Cypha’s first investment is Culture Gen, a digital media company focused on creating content for urban multicultural audiences. We love seeing entertainers, turned moguls, making entrepreneurial moves.