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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Launches $2B Fund To Educate And Fight Homelessness

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Pitched as the wealthiest man in recent history, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has launched a $2B fund, called the “Day One Fund” to fight homelessness and narrow education barriers.

Bezos, with a net worth amounting to a staggering $150B, has often come under critics’ glare for not generously contributing towards philanthropic activities. Soon afterwards, the CEO of Amazon took to Twitter to tease out some of his plans for charitable efforts.

Better yet, the new fund could spur more employment and hiring, beating the unemployment blues surrounding the current job market.

Here’s Bezos’ full statement:

I talk often about the importance of maintaining a Day 1 mentality. It’s always Day 1, and I work hard to apply that mindset to everything I do. It was a Day 1 outlook that made me reach out to ask for suggestions on approaches to philanthropy last year.

By so many important measures the world keeps getting better, and it’s one of the fantastic aspects of human nature that we humans never stop looking for (and finding!) ways to improve things.

Our lives are better than our great grandparents’ lives, and their lives were better than their great grandparents’ lives before them. If our own great grandchildren don’t have lives better than ours, something has gone very wrong. 

Where’s the good in the world, and how can we spread it? Where are the opportunities to make things better? These are exciting questions.

MacKenzie and I share a belief in the potential for hard work from anyone to serve others. We all have that capacity. Business innovators who invent products that empower, authors who write books that inspire, government officials who serve their communities, teachers, doctors, carpenters, entertainers who make us laugh and cry, parents who raise children who go on to live lives of compassion, and many more.

In addition to Amazon my areas of focus so far have included investment in the future of our planet and civilization through the development of foundational space infrastructure, support of American democracy through stewardship of the Washington Post, and financial contributions to the dedicated and innovative champions of a variety of causes, from cancer research, to marriage equality, to college scholarships for immigrant students, to decreasing political polarization through cross-partisan support of principled, next-generation military vets running for Congress.

We’re excited today to announce the Bezos Day One Fund. It will begin with a commitment of $2 billion and focus on two areas: funding existing non-profits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, non-profit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities.

The Day 1 Families Fund will issue annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside.

The Day 1 Academies Fund will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities. We will build an organization to directly operate these preschools.

I’m excited about that because it will give us the opportunity to learn, invent, and improve. We’ll use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon. Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession. The child will be the customer. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” And lighting that fire early is a giant leg up for any child.

I want to close by thanking everyone who sent me suggestions, and for the inspiring examples of innovation I see every day, large and small. It fills me with gratitude and optimism to be part of a species so bent on self-improvement.

It remains Day 1!

Jeff

ENTREPRENEURS

PODCAST: How To Make A Business Out Of eSports

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We’ve covered eSports in the past, the new billion-dollar industry.

What is eSports again?

Short for Electronic Sports, eSports equals professional competitive gaming. In other words, competitors play video games, while being watched by a live audience. Millions more watch the games online.

In this live podcast, former Deloitte partner and current investor/advisor of FazeClan—the top eSports crew in the world—shared some insights into how you can make a business out of eSports.

 

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ENTREPRENEURS

This Entrepreneur’s Led An IPO, ICO, And Actually Did What The McMahons Couldn’t. (Penetrate China.) Here’s How He Did It

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In the world of startups and entrepreneurships, you have a lot of talk, a lot of dreams, a lot of hype and — ultimately — a lot of disappointments.

But that’s life. It’s a small world. And it doesn’t take long to get found out if you’re not the real deal.

In this Q&A, however, we brought the heat.

David Chen is a Millennial entrepreneur with the experience of a Wall Street retiree.

Billion-dollar merger? Check.

Awards? Check.

Multiple startup exits? Check.

Successful ICO? Check that, too.

And perhaps, most impressively, Dave’s managed to do something even the McMahons of the WWE couldn’t — penetrate the Chinese market successfully.

In this Q&A, we ask him why entrepreneurs fail to raise money, even if they have a good idea (hint: ideas ain’t shit), the first thing you need to do, and, finally, what the best industries were.

Enjoy. 

Let’s get right to it. What’s the main thing stopping entrepreneurs from raising money?

Knowing their audience. You can’t assume that you know something and that it works at one region, but not the rest. It’s a relationship—and most of the times there aren’t relationships out there.

Secondly, you don’t approach someone in esports like you would in commercial. So my FaZe Clan pitch is different from my commloan pitch. 

When is the right time to raise money — and what’s the first thing an entrepreneur needs to do?

There is never a right time, there’s only a right project. Know all your answers, make it simple. If a 10-year-old doesn’t understand it, redo the pitch.

You’re on a number of boards of startups. What’s one you’re bullish on at the moment?

I love them all. Sharebert was named Forbes’ top 23 in tech innovation. Commloan has done over a billion in funding—and I’m a customer.

FaZe Clan is the largest esports team with 300M subscribers and 10B views last year. And Micamp 20/20 does the best credit card processing.

What’s the best startup play — or sector — right now?

Sharebert is a great startup play because the tech is there. The management team is there. The need is there. It’s just there.

FaZe Clan is great because they have the global market, viewership—and they’re different.

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W-key? Nah 📺 @cloakzy #Fortnite #FaZeUp

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What’s the next frontier for start up world.

I see China as the next market.

Why do you say that?

I say that because they have 44% of the world’s population. And if you don’t work with them it, they’ll just do it themselves.

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ENTREPRENEURS

How Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo Spends His Millions

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With a massive net worth that totals almost $400M, the 34-year old soccer player is also one of the richest sports stars in the world. With a string of deals, bonuses and endorsements coming his way, here’s how he spends his millions.

 

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