A Tech Star
Ep. 57 - Jewel Burks Solomon - Remember that idea for a product you had and then someone else came out with it and made millions? Jewel Burks, a Tech Star, did it! Jewel was Founder/CEO of Partpic, a startup that was acquired by Amazon in 2016, which streamlined the purchase of maintenance and repair parts using computer vision technology. After the acquisition of Partpic, Jewel became a product leader at Amazon's Visual Search and AR team. She led the integration of Partpic's technology and launched it as Amazon PartFinder in 2018 to the over 150M users of Amazon's Mobile Shopping App. What's really exciting is that she saw a need and filled it! Learn how she did it! And she has a heart! Jewel serves on the boards of reImagin ATL, a non-profit that trains, equips, and inspires Generation Z to build careers in the creative and digital media industries and 12 Days of Christmas, Inc, a volunteer service organization committed to keeping the spirit of the holidays for less fortunate families. She a real star - not just a tech star!
- The importance of nurturing children as future entrepreneurs by allowing them to witness how we're running our businesses as parents
- Leaving a flourishing career and starting over just to be close to family when the need strikes
- How to recognize consumer pain points and develop a solution to solve them
- How to leverage available opportunities to help raise money to build a business from the ground up
- Investing in technology that helps solve big societal problems to make a difference
Listen in to learn how Jewel uses her eye to recognize gaps in the market which has helped her start major projects which include Partpic.
"You have got to believe that you can." -Jewel Burks Solomon
If you want to meet a real up and coming tech star, meet Jewel Burks Solomon, tech entrepreneur, investor, and the current Head of Google for Startups in the US. As the Head of Google for Startups, she works to level the playing field for underrepresented startup founders and communities by connecting them with the best of Google's products, people, and platforms. Featured in Inc and Forbes magazines, she can hold her own with the best of them!
She also has a passion to do good. is also the Managing Partner at Collab Capital, an alternative investment fund she launched to close the funding gap for Black entrepreneurs. Jewel's work and mission is about creating more access to the technology innovation ecosystem.
Jewel was named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2016, one of Ebony Magazine's Power 100 in 2018, and one of Atlanta's 100 Most Influential People in 2020. Then she was honored by Atlanta Biz Journal as 40 under 40. This is one smart lady to watch!
You will also learn the importance of nurturing and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit from a young age.
In this episode you'll discover:
Jewel explains how she developed an entrepreneurial desire from a young age from both sides of her family [1:51]
How she wanted to be an artist but chose business instead but still stayed in touch with her artistic side [4:06]
The major internship that set her up in her career path in investing and business creation [5:50]
She narrates how she became interested in the tech world after interning at Google which is why she decided to graduate early and go back as a full-time employee [11:08]
The pitch project that led her to be able to move 25 HBCUs (historically black colleges universities) to Google products as a passion project [14:17]
Why she retired from Google and the company she moved to after that [16:24]
How she saw a problem in the spare parts market and used technology to work towards creating a solution [18:38]
How Jewel and her partner were able to grow their tech company from a software to a physical business [21:27]
The process that initiated talks that led her to sell the company to Amazon [26:00]
The journey of transitioning into an investor in early-stage businesses that are focused on solving big societal problems [28:51]
Jewel advises young people to believe that they can do whatever they set out to be and the importance of having early encouragement [33:00]