订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

领导力

26岁黑人小伙的传奇故事:从门房成为风投资本家

 Richard Morgan 2019年01月29日

他能使自己显得与众不同,并让他的热情和才华变成了一整个世界。

约翰·亨利·马托斯主持的真人秀节目《Hustle》将于2月10日首播。图片来源:Courtesy of Levi Walton/Viceland

电视演员塞德里克·亚伯勒坐在那里貌似有些困惑,但这是可以理解的。此时他正在参加一年一度的“《乌木》杂志最有影响力的100位黑人”(Ebony Power 100)颁奖典礼,典礼地点是曾经举办过金球奖颁奖典礼的贝弗利希尔顿酒店的宴会厅。两边的桌子上坐的是亚马逊和BET公司的高管,与他同桌的是风投公司哈莱姆资本的四个年轻的黑人合伙人和他们的配偶。坐在他身边的是哈莱姆资本的实际负责人约翰·亨利·马托斯。马托斯年仅26岁,是一名多米尼加移民。不一会儿的工夫,马托斯就消失了,等他回来时,他说自己刚刚溜进了后台,祝贺了一下今晚充当主持人的克里斯·塔克。

马托斯边给自己倒酒边说:“只要你端着一杯白葡萄酒,你在这儿想做什么都可以。”

亚伯勒睁大了眼睛,对马托斯说道:“不管你是卖什么的,我都愿意做你的下一个投资人。”

马托斯又端着酒去跟晚宴上的其他重量级人物打招呼了,其中有演员大卫·奥伊罗、政治家安德鲁·吉勒姆,还有美国全国保险公司(Nationwide)和联合航空等大公司的高管。

哈勒姆公司的一位合伙人亨里·皮埃尔·杰奎斯看着他跟这些大人物谈笑风生,叹道:

“这哥们儿真是天不怕地不怕。”

但这种性格却也令马托斯十分受用。

马托斯说,他的人生是“从门房到地主”的一生(他在宾西法尼亚州艾伦镇的两栋公寓楼里拥有17套房产)。马托斯是一名社区大学的辍学生,曾经当过爵士吉他手,辍学后在布鲁克林的威廉斯堡当过一阵子门房。当时,那栋楼里的一名租客给他提供了一套干洗设备的使用权。令人意想不到的是,马托斯的第一个干洗客户竟然是马丁·斯科塞斯导演的电影《华尔街之狼》的道具部——当时剧组里有几百套道具服装需要干洗。从此,马托斯就跟当地的各个影视剧组建立了业务关系。(后来他由于向小区租客兜售他的干洗服务而丢掉了门房的工作。)再后来,他的干洗业务越做越大,他干脆做了一个按需干洗服务软件Mobile City,最后他以一笔未披露的价格将软件成功出手(有一家独立评估机构称这笔交易的收购价是100万美元)。

马托斯用这笔钱创办了一个名为Cofound Harlem的孵化器。在短短9个月的时间里,它就孵化了四家创业公司,其中包括职场预约服务软件Croissant和音乐协作网站Bandhub。之后他又协助天使投资人大卫·罗斯运营一家名为Area的房地产技术基金。再后来,马托斯加盟了哈莱姆资本公司。2018年,这家公司因承诺未来20年将资助1000名少数族裔创业人而名声大噪。(2018年6月,该公司推出了一项2500万美元的投资计划,到11月已敲定了500万美元。该公司计划在2月底前冲击1000万美元,到2019年6月底前完成2500万美元的目标。)

哈莱姆资本的风投方式

这家公司主要用三种方法寻找投资目标。

The television actor Cedric Yarbrough looks understandably perplexed. Between tables for Amazon and BET at the annual Ebony Power 100 awards, in the same Beverly Hilton ballroom that hosts the Golden Globes, his tablemates are the four young black partners of venture firm Harlem Capital and their dates. Next to him is the group’s de facto front man, John Henry Matos, the 26-year-old son of Dominican immigrants who goes by only his steel-driving, two-part given name. Matos disappears and returns with a tale of slipping backstage to personally congratulate Chris Tucker on his job as the show’s emcee.

“You can do anything at these things if you hold a glass of white wine,” he says as he refills.

Yarbrough’s eyes widen. “Whatever you’re selling,” he tells Matos, “I’m your next investor.”

But Matos is off making a run to glad-hand the A-list tables: actor David Oyelowo, politico Andrew Gillum, and executives from Nationwide and United Airlines.

“Daaamn,” says Henri Pierre-Jacques, one of the Harlem partners, as he watches.

“The brother is fearless.”

It has worked for him so far.

Matos bills his life as going “from doorman to landlord” (he owns 17 apartments in two buildings in Allentown, Pa.). A community college dropout and erstwhile jazz guitarist, he worked as a doorman in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where a tenant gave him access to dry cleaning equipment. Matos’s first dry cleaning client was, astonishingly enough, the costume department for Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street—there were hundreds of costumes—and Matos became a local film industry fixture. (He was subsequently fired from the doorman job for hawking his dry cleaning services to tenants.) The dry cleaning business became Mobile City, an off-hours on-demand dry cleaning app he sold to a wholesaler for an undisclosed sum (although an independent assessment puts it at $1 million).

He used that money to create incubator Cofound Harlem and accelerate four startups for nine months, including workspace booking service Croissant and music collaboration website Bandhub. From there he helped run Area, a real estate technology fund for angel investor David Rose, until he joined Harlem Capital, which spent 2018 soaking up headline hype for promising to fund 1,000 minority founders over the next 20 years. (In June 2018 it debuted a $25 million fund campaign and secured $5 million by November, aiming to hit $10 million in February and $25 million by June 2019.)

The Harlem Capital Way

Three ways the firm finds investments.

 

今年2月,马托斯还将成为Vice出品的8集创业真人秀《Hustle》的唯一主持人。第一集讲的是布鲁克林的一家果酱制作公司的故事。该节目的创作团队与MTV的《嘻哈飙车族》(Pimp My Ride)的制作团队是同一个。

他非常适合这个角色。打个比方,在Spotify公司主办的黑人科技峰会上,他可以结合Instagram上的网络流行语,给大家讲力量、热情、成功、信任、真理和共鸣。在任何时候,他给人的感觉都是“幸福”、“感恩”、“谦卑”和“令人鼓舞”的。他的个人网站(buildwithpassion.com)上这样写道:“马托斯是一个真实的创业人。”。他还将自己比作小说《源泉》里的霍华德·罗克。他在Aruba公司做过主题演讲,他还有用自己的名字首字母做的个人Logo。你可以把他想象成一个年轻版的“了不起的盖茨比”。

与歌手艾莉西亚·凯斯一起参与《Hustle》摄制的知名大厨马库斯·萨缪尔森评价道:“他让自己出了名,他的存在是有感染力的,他有一种无处不在的神奇能力。我很少遇见像他这样既聪明又快乐的人。一旦你见过了他,你就会记住他。”

已故黑人商业大亨雷金纳德·刘易斯的女儿克里斯蒂娜·刘易斯运营着一家名叫“全明星编程”的非盈利机构,该机构主要教育黑人和拉丁裔男孩学习编程。她通过萨缪尔森认识了马托斯。她表示:“在我一生中,我遇见过很多跟马托斯做同样事情的人,但他却能使自己显得与众不同。重点不在与他,而在于他的圈子,他使他的热情和才华变成了一整个世界。”

在“《乌木》杂志最有影响力的100位黑人”颁奖典礼上,当哈莱姆资本公司的名字出现在大屏幕上,享受着在场其他企业家的欢呼时,马托斯已经离开了现场。马托斯将女友——一个长的像奥利维亚·玛恩的美女送到了她的玛莎拉蒂上,然后打了一辆Uber网约车直奔洛杉矶机场。他这次从纽约往返洛杉矶,整个行程只用了不到24小时。

在去机场的路上,马托斯说,有位一线演员表示有兴趣购买他的生平故事改编权。他喃喃自语地说道:“我的生平?再过20年,我说不定能当总统呢!”

在他冲向登机门时,他突然想起了什么。“糟了!”他的衣服口袋里还有一点用于今晚庆祝的大麻,今晚始终没有用掉。“没事的。”他耸耸肩冲过安检口,依旧无所畏惧,胆子比这班飞机上的其他人至少大10倍。(财富中文网)

本文的另一版本发表于2019年2月1日刊的《财富》杂志上,题目是《为激情而活》。

译者:TY

Also in February, Matos is stepping out from his fellow partners as the solo host of Hustle, an eight-episode reality show on Vice that aims to 10x startups—the premiere showcases a jam maker in Brooklyn—from the same development team behind MTV’s Pimp My Ride.

He is perfect in the role. In lectures—at a black tech conference held by Spotify, for example—he speaks in the Instagrammy lingo of energy, passion, success, trust, truth, and vibes. At any given moment, he is likely #blessed, #grateful, #humbled, or #inspired. And he has a giddy, earnest way of name-dropping: “a K in KKR!” for Henry Kravis or “the M in L+M!” for Ron Moelis. “JH is a straight-up entrepreneur,” blares his website (buildwithpassion.com). He socials his own Gillette ads with his father. He casually compares himself to the Fountainhead’s Howard Roark and says he has a radar for fellow Roarks. He keynotes in Aruba. He has a monogram-style personal logo. Imagine a young Junot Díaz as Gatsby.

“He makes himself known,” says chef Marcus Samuelsson, who along with singer Alicia Keys is producing Hustle. “His presence is infectious. He has a beautiful ability to be everywhere. I’ve rarely met a person that intelligent and also just so happy. Once you meet him, you remember him.”

Christina Lewis—daughter of the legendary late black business dynamo Reginald Lewis—who leads All Star Code, a nonprofit that teaches coding to black and Latino boys, met Matos through Samuelsson. She agrees: “For most of my life, I’ve met people trying to do the same thing as John Henry. He’s distinguishing himself. It’s not just about John Henry but about John Henry’s community. He makes his passion and talent a whole world.”

At the Ebony awards, as soon as Harlem Capital is recognized with an on-screen shout-out in a sizzle reel of other entrepreneurs, Matos has departed. After Pose’s Dyllón Burnside stops him to say they should DM, Matos walks his date—an Olivia Munn doppelgänger—to her Maserati and hops in an Uber for LAX, in and out of Los Angeles from New York in less than 24 hours.

On the ride to the airport, he says an A-list actor has shown interest in buying his life rights. “I dunno,” he muses. “My life? In 20 years, I could be President!”

As he dashes to his gate, he remembers—“Oh, shit!”—a celebratory marijuana joint in his pocket that never got used in all the eventful night’s hubbub. “It’ll be fine,” he shrugs and marches it through security without so much as a drop of Chardonnay in hand this time—¬fearless in his own right, and about to 10x the flight of whoever sits next to him.

A version of this article appears in the February 1, 2019 issue of Fortune with the headline “Live For the Hustle.”

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏