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Rising Stars: Meet Joshua I. Lewis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joshua I. Lewis.

Hi Joshua I., thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Originally a Dallas, TX native, I made my way to Kansas City to play basketball for Park University. It was during my time here that I began hosting events and discovered I had a real passion for socializing. That combined with my coursework in Marketing and Business Management sparked the idea to develop an app that incorporates my passion of connecting people, the social scene, and technology.

I was extremely eager to get the app launched and did so in 2016 before it crashed due to user overload. While that’s a good problem to have (knowing there is interest in your product that is), I had run out of funding to quickly fix the problems at hand. At that time, I decided to take a step back and focus on the consumers, the nightlife industry as a whole and took the time to really dive deeper into how to properly monetize this idea to be as successful as possible.

With my focus shifted, I began to partner with more districts and liquor companies, threw more events, collected as much information and experience as I could. Then, of course, the pandemic hit the nightlife industry extremely hard. Yet another roadblock but one that again helped me to refocus on the app/technology side of things after spending so many years studying the other side of things. That is really what has brought the company to the point we are today, gearing up for a relaunch as the world slowly reopens and nightlife is bigger than ever before.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has been far from smooth.

For one thing, being Black in tech can be challenging. There isn’t a whole lot of respect from the groups you need to back you when it comes to funding and things of that nature. But when you also combine tech with an industry that has certain stigmas associated with it as well, it can be difficult to get people to understand your platform. But for me, education alleviates all confusion. That goes for the diversity piece and the business side of things. I am never afraid to say I don’t know something and I am never afraid of the work I need to put in to go find those answers with or without the help or respect I deserve.

When the app crashed back in 2016, I could have given up. Gotten a different job. Decided to go with a different idea. But that’s not my path. That’s not my nature. This is something I fully believe in and so this is what I am willing to do for the rest of my life no matter the amount of struggles I have to endure along the way.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I think there is a great number of things that sets me apart from others professionally. For one thing, I typically go against the “norm” in many aspects. I am a young, Black, charismatic founder and I embrace and use each of those things to my advantage when often the world (particularly the tech/business world) tells me not it. I stand firm in my belief that not all money is good money and this is something most people don’t understand. However, I refuse to be beholden to an investor that does not fit the culture that I am building for my company. And lastly, what really sets me apart is the fact that I love the ‘No’s because they make me go even harder after what I want to achieve.

Aside from developing an app that will change the way we look at nightlife, I have also published a book, spoken at numerous conferences, panels, schools, etc., and mentored many young creatives.

I would say that I am known for my tenacity, charisma, work ethic, and ideas that fall outside the realm of normalcy.

I am most proud of my kids (naturally). Everything I do is for them. The long nights, the time away, the stresses and successes, it’s all so I can provide them the life they deserve. But in terms of business, I am extremely proud of the team I have assembled. We operate at a very high level for a startup and that is in large part due to the fact that my team is phenomenal. Each member goes above and beyond what their title entails and they work really well together to ensure that what needs to get done will.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Honestly? Working makes me happy. Most people don’t get it but when I’m in a bad mood or need to get my mind off negative things, I sit down in front of the computer and work until I feel better. Perfecting my craft, absorbing information that is going to push me further in my career, knowing that I am building something tangible for consumers to not only enjoy but benefit from…. that’s my happiness.

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