Sydney Holness is a dynamic ecosystem builder whose career is marked by a deep commitment to serving and investing in Black founders and ecosystems. Graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentrated in Marketing, from Florida A&M University, Sydney showcased her academic excellence and deep understanding of business dynamics from the outset.
Sydney's entrepreneurial journey commenced at the ACT House, a residential incubator where she spent a year living with fellow students and building a startup. This formative experience laid the groundwork for her passion for entrepreneurship, particularly within the Black community. Her role as the Entrepreneurship Lead and Vice President of the Black Venture Capital Consortium (BVCC) HBCU Curriculum was a significant highlight. Here, she guided students in developing Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) and equipped them with the skills and knowledge to bring their innovative ideas to market. Her talent shone brightly in numerous pitch competitions. She clinched 1st place in Domi Station’s annual pitch competition and Thurgood Marshall’s “OFC The Pitch 2019”, showcasing her knack for entrepreneurship. Sydney's transition to venture capital was a natural progression of her commitment to diversifying the entrepreneurial landscape. As a senior at Florida A&M, she interned at Precursor Ventures in San Francisco and later co-founded 4WRD Venture Capital, where she invested in diverse founders.
Following her graduation, Sydney joined Venture for America, further solidifying her dedication to entrepreneurial leadership. As the Entrepreneurship Associate at Ed Farm, she spearheaded the launch of the Ed Tech Accelerator in the summer of 2022. She led Apple’s App Design Series, facilitating a program for emerging tech entrepreneurs to develop and pitch their ideas.
In her role as a Portfolio Analyst at Collab Capital, Sydney focuses on various critical areas, including conducting thorough due diligence and market research, publishing to thought leadership, and delivering extensive support to portfolio companies. Moreover, as an adjunct professor at Morehouse College, Sydney's influence extends into the realm of education, where she fosters a new generation of Black entrepreneurs through her Entrepreneurship and Innovation course. She created a curriculum based on the Lean Startup Methodology, offering a practical and contemporary approach to Black entrepreneurial education. Several students have successfully scaled their businesses through her mentorship, securing funding, customers, and incubation opportunities.
Her involvement doesn't stop at the classroom; she holds advisory board seats at Miami Dade College’s Student Management Investment Fund, Georgia Tech’s Venture Club, and Bank of America’s Breakthrough Labs. In these roles, she continuously advocates for and supports initiatives that empower Black entrepreneurs and students.