This has been a big week for tech conferences and celebrity sightings in San Francisco, and Wednesday brought both comedian-turned-venture-capitalist Kevin Hart and royal-turned-entrepreneur Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex.
First we had Serena Williams making an appearance at TechCrunch Disrupt on Wednesday to talk about her firm Serena Ventures. And in a different session at that conference, titled "The Art of Inclusivity," Kevin Hart talked about his firm, Hartbeat Ventures and how he got into venture capitalism.
"I had to learn why investing was okay,” Hart said during the panel discussion, as summed up by TechCrunch. “From my understanding, the world of investing — well, it was attached to the space of a con. You’re trying to con me out of my money. I don’t trust you. I’m not giving nobody my money so they can run off and do what they want — that was my challenge. The biggest learning curve for me was understanding that the investment has a timeline attached to it and because I invested today, does that mean I get anything tomorrow?”
Hartbeat Ventures has invested in at least two Bay Area companies, per Crunchbase: SF-based Snackpass, and Fremont-based Pathwater.
And Hart touched on being a newcomer to the white space of investing.
"Where I come from, I'm not supposed to be in those rooms. I'm not supposed to be at those tables, but the fact that I am is insane to me," Hart said. "It's a relationship business and forever will be and I am true to the word of taking a step back when needed."
Also in SF on Wednesday, Prince Harry came to town as the "surprise special guest" at a panel at the Masters of Scale Summit — a conference put on by Wait What and hosted by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, who also has a podcast with that same name.
There's no video of the panel discussion, which also included Alexi Robichaux, the founder of the mental health and coaching startup BetterUp for which Harry is the "Chief Impact Officer."
As Bay Area News Group reports, the internet and Twitter have been atwirl over a remark Harry made during the panel, saying that he never heard the words "therapy" or "coaching" while growing up in the royal family. Some have pointed out this may be a bit of an exaggeration — and Harry has said publicly that he sought therapy to help process his grief over his mother death. Though it's not clear how old he was when he started that therapy — it may have been when he was around 28, 16 years after Diana's death.
… and then Prince Harry made a surprise appearance and the Black corner of the conference screamed! #MastersofScaleSummit pic.twitter.com/gYiKq5K7fU— Myles Worthington (@MylesTW) October 20, 2022
BetterUp provides coaching and mental-wellness programs for corporate entities, and some of this panel sounds a bit like a sales pitch for BetterUp.
Harry reportedly said, according to a tweet, speaking to managers and founders, "From a boss standpoint, if you see your people as numbers, you will fail. You can’t treat them as numbers, but folks who need a human connection to fire on all cylinders."
The session, titled "Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First," was moderated by Hoffman. It preceded an opening night party for the conference on Wednesday evening.
Most importantly, anyone have a lead on where Harry had dinner last night? Or did he fly right back to Meghan's side in Santa Barbara?
Photo of Prince Harry via MylesWorthington/Twitter, photo of Kevin Hart via TechCrunch/Youtube