2020 has been a hell of a year. In spite of all the trials and tribulations we’ve all faced, we’re proud of what our community has been able to accomplish. This year has been an inflection point for BLCK VC–we’ve grown as an organization, as a community, and as a movement.
We've got an exciting night planned for you at our first Annual VIP BLCK VC Holiday party. Our Co-Founders, Sydney Sykes and Frederik Groce, will kick off the party by reflecting on what we've accomplished this year, from the We Won't Wait Event to the launch of the BLCK VC DMV Chapter.
We will then move on to a Aberlour scotch tasting, which was sponsored by Convivialité Ventures, the venture arm of Pernod Ricard, the largest spirits and wine companies in the world. We've also got a few additional surprises in store for you during the event.
We hope you'll join us for the BLCK VC Holiday Party! We wish you all a wonderful holiday season 2020.
BLCK VC Team
Storm Ventures & BLCK VC
Principal & Co-founder
Co-founder & Co-CEO
Eric Jones Magic
National Brand Ambassador
Frederik is a principal at Storm Ventures. After finishing school, Frederik spent two years as CEO of Stanford Student Enterprises (SSE) with more than one hundred employees and total assets exceeding $15 million – including overseeing Stanford’s accelerator program. Frederik is also a mentor with the East Bay College Fund which works with minority college students coming from underprivileged communities throughout the east bay.
He is also the Co-Founder for BLCK VC which strives to connect, engage, empower, and advance Black venture investors by providing a focused community built for and by Black venture investors.
Sydney is an angel/scout investor and the co-founder of Blck VC, a non profit focused on empowering Black investors and increasing diversity in VC. Sydney moved to San Francisco in 2016 after graduating from Harvard undergrad where she studied Psychology and Economics and led the Women in Business organization. She then started working as an early stage investor at NEA, where she became passionate about early consumer companies and got a taste for angel investing. After a few years in venture, she moved to Dolls Kill, to work on the growth and strategy of their native brands. Sydney is currently attending Stanford GSB to pursue her MBA, while continuing to co-lead Blck VC and invest in early stage companies. For more info, please find her LinkedIn here.
-2020 - appeared in Microsoft’s commercial promoting the NEW Surface Duo.
-2019 inaugural residency at Pittsburgh, PA’s first magic theatre Liberty Magic
-2018 - Current: Multiple appearances on The Today Show
-2017 - Current: Headlining performer in Disney Cruiselines
-2017 - Current: Appearances on multiple episodes of The CWs Masters of Illusion
-2017 Top 12 Semi- Finalist on Season 12 of NBC’s America’s Got Talent
-2016 Creative Consultant/Hand Double to Jacob Latimore in Blumhouse and WWE’s SLEIGHT
-2015 The CW's Penn and Teller: Fool Us Season Two (Actor/Contestant) Fooled Penn and Teller!
-2015 SyFy's Wizard Wars Season One Finale Episode 13 Walk On Water (Actor/Contestant) First Round Win.
-2015 Creative Consultant for Magic Segment on The Spring Festival Gala Show for Chinese New Year. Aired LIVE to nearly 1 billion people on CCTV1.
-2014 Beijing China International Magic Carnival Competition Televised on CCTV 1 (Actor/Contestant) 3rd Prize of 75 Contestants
-2014 Creative Consultant for Canada's OLN Network. Worked on Illusions of Grandeur (working title).
When you meet Gemma Cole and start to talk all things Scotch whisky, don’t let her Irish accent confuse you. Originally from the Emerald Isle, her whisk(e)y roots were first planted while bartending in the local pubs of her home country, opening her eyes to the world of spirits and libations. From there, Gemma had the incredible experience to solidify her whisky and spirits education when she moved to the Big Apple as part of the opening team for the award-winning Irish cocktail pub, The Dead Rabbit. From serving up one of the best Irish coffee cocktails to making whiskey recommendations to guests from all over the world, she perfected the balance of hospitality, cocktail curation and spirits education.
While much of Gemma’s background and training is rooted in Irish whiskey, don’t underestimate her knowledge of Scotch. As the National Brand Ambassador for Aberlour Single Malt Scotch, she believes that her Irish roots bring a unique perspective to the Scotch category. For Gemma, one can’t speak to Scotch whisky without knowledge of Irish, American, Japanese and Canadian whisk(e)y, which she’s constantly studying up on.
And while she’s at it, she enjoys the challenge of fine-tuning her Scottish accent. When it’s safe to travel, you can catch Gemma on whisky tours in cities like New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin, Denver and Miami and in the interim, hosting engaging virtual whisky tastings and events with folks from all over the country. Outside of her professional passions, Gemma can’t wait to get back outdoors and traveling more regularly. Her love for nature and fervor for life is hard to miss, as she relishes in everything from running through Central Park, exploring waterfalls in Oregon, walking the beaches of South Florida and surfing the waves in Costa Rica.