The firm sent the following statement toTriangle Business Journal:
“Upon further reflection and communication, it has become clear that there is not the meeting of the minds that is needed for this deal to go forward. There is not consensus on participation or goals. Based on that, this negotiation is at an end. Chris Shella, CEO of Black Wall Street, LLC. said, ‘I think Michele is an amazing entrepreneur with a product that will revolutionize the audio industry. I just think we both believe our companies aren’t a fit. I wish them all the success in the world.’ We will continue to invest in the best companies we find as well and hope that we can change the financial landscape especially for minority entrepreneurs. The investment group calls the Frontier in RTP home.
A new crowdfunding investment firm out of Durham has made its first deal.
Called Black Wall Street Investments, the startup investment group, funded by attorney Chris Shella, has picked California audio technology startup Instamic as its first portfolio company.
“It’s interesting to see the money coming from Raleigh-Durham to Silicon Valley instead of the other way around,” Shella said Thursday.
BWSI, based in Research Triangle Park’s Frontier building, aims to connect crowdfunding investors to “carefully selected startups with huge potential,” according to its website.
For two decades, Shella was an attorney, and provided outside counsel for Fortune 50 companies. But, he became tired of “being the friction on the deal.”
“I wanted to be the person doing the deal,” he says. So at age 44, he enrolled in UNC’s MBA program, where he’s set to graduate in October.
“It’s really opened my eyes,” he says.
He teamed up with five other professionals to create BWSI.
The investment in Instamic comes out of an in-progress $5 million fund. While he’s not releasing specifics, he does say the infusion was in excess of $1 million and gave BWSI about a 10 percent stake in the firm. Instamic creates a wireless microphone device that can, according to the company, record for up to five hours and is waterproof and omni-directional. He calls it a “game changer” for audio recordings, capable of doing for audio recordings “what Go Pro did for cameras