Tech entrepreneur Troy Carter is collaborating with Hennessy and WeWork to provide a special opportunity for a tech startup to develop.
For most first time entrepreneurs a startup comes with the tasks of securing capital, staff and projects often omits two very important elements: mentorship and office space. Now one lucky participant will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity thanks to Hennessy’s V.S.O.P. Privilege Lab Competition. Designed to offer free space and mentorship for a year, at a value of $55,000, the competition pairs the spirits brand with New York co-working space provider WeWork in hopes of discovering the next generation of tech entrepreneurship.
An extension of Hennessy’s VSOP Privilège Awards, which for the past twelve years has honored Patti LaBelle, Spike Lee and Magic Johnson, recently recognized start-up investor, celebrity manager and entrepreneur Troy Carter at this year’s ceremony at WeWork’s Bryant Park NYC Location.
The 20-year seasoned veteran, whose client roster client includes Lady Gaga, Meghan Trainor and John Legend and has invested in Uber, Spotify and Warby Parker, became the obvious choice to lend his talent and expertise and will partner to locate a deserving individual for this program. “I’m honored for Hennessy V.S.O.P. Privilège to recognize me for entrepreneurship. Growing up in West Philly, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the American Dream; my goal is to use my privilege to provide access, inspiration and resources to others to ensure they’re not left behind or forgotten about. Hennessy’s ‘Never stop. Never settle.’ mantra rings true in my life and I’m proud to accept this award,” Carter stated after receiving the prestigious honor via press release.
Praised for his lucrative and diverse entrepreneurship, Carter’s newly launched SMASHD Labs, which committed to investing $50,000 in 5 to7 qualifying companies was duly noticed by the 250 year old Cognac giant. “Carter’s business acumen and community involvement complement the intention behind the Hennessy V.S.O.P. Privilege Awards, which is to spotlight individuals who use their expertise and achievements to benefit others. In this case, it is a springboard for developing the next generation of entrepreneurs,” Rodney Williams, Executive Vice President, Spirits, Moët Hennessy USA acknowledges.
Recently, Carter shared with us the importance of mentorship, especially in the African-American community stating, “To me, mentorships and internships are two big pillars in business development. I believe in having multiple mentors. I believe in outgrowing a mentor and getting a new one, and I think that you can never be too old to be schooled by your mentor. Being schooled is the same thing as learning, and you can never be too old to have your coattail pulled when you’re wrong about something. These are people that don’t want or need something from you; they just ultimately want to see you win.”
Carter, who serves as a judge, will provide mentorship with other high-profile executives from both Hennessy and WeWork. Recently a guest judge on ABC’s Emmy-winning reality show SHARK TANK revealed to us the importance of this historic collaboration. “Before I even agreed to work with Hennessy and the Privilege Awards, I wanted to do some research on it, look up past winners and find out more about it. So when you think about the commitment they’re making in the spirit of entrepreneurship, and the past award winners that also embody that entrepreneurial spirit, you think of a Spike Lee, a man who’s been so influential in our culture with his interpretations in race relations and gender relations, it was an honor to be mentioned in the same breath as him. And as far as our partnership with WeWork, it’s an amazing opportunity for someone to not just be able to have free workspace, but to be in an environment to work with some of the best entrepreneurs in New York.”
To participate, submit a 60-second video explaining why your team (limited to six people) deserves to earn the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Lab and what the spirit makers’ slogan “never stop, never settle” means to you and your business. The Grand Prize winner will receive a yearlong WeWork membership, which includes not only a year of physical office space in Manhattan (accommodating up to six people), high speed Internet, private phone booths, premium coffee, but also access to more than 150 perks and benefits from WeWork’s partners to help succeed in business. Applications, including a written portion and short video, will be accepted through November 19, 2015. Individuals may apply for the chance to conduct business in the Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilege Lab by visiting Hennessy.Create. It