Startup Venture Development for Founders of Color with Kemo A’akhutera

6 Minutes Read

Episode 73

Kemo A’akhutera is a servant to The People, w/ a liberating agenda for Startup Venture Development. As a Community Development Officer, he supports programs aimed at reducing poverty and helping to improve the lives of people who live in deprived areas. 

A few current areas of expertise and practice are: business credit/finance consultation providing underserved business owners with access to much needed but little known about alternative resources. 

He founded an Entrepreneurial Superhub” / “Start-Up Studio,” focused under repped Millennial and Gen Z founders and a real estate development using shipping containers with a social impact focus.

His passions are Pan-African Liberation, Restoration, Elevation. With a purpose to reinitialize Black Wall Street by implementing self-reparations so that we may achieve economic sovereignty. 

Don’t miss out on this episode as Kemo shares how his real estate development project has a social impact, focuses on helping millennial and Gen Z founders get resources, and his breakdown to the breakthrough that changed the course of his life. 

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full Episode:

  1. Find out the breakdown to the breakthrough that brought him to the fork in the road and the decision he made. 
  2. What TREP House and Design to Build are. 
  3. Why is Kemo so passionate about startup venture developments and staying and living dangerously. 

Episode Highlights

Who is Kemo A’akhutera

    • He is practicing impact-focused Startup Venture Development. 
    • He’s an Afrofuturistic Generalist, serial impact-focused entrepreneur and activist. 
    • And he also believes that entrepreneurship is a form of activism. 

How does he manage as a young entrepreneur?

    • He believes sleep is essential. 
    • Kemo thinks that it is vital to be mindful during active waking.
    • Dealing with the small tasks first will help you get the furthest ahead.  

Kemo’s breakdown to breakthrough

    • He didn’t have a relationship with his dad. 
    • His older brother, along with his mother, kept him on the path to graduate high school. 
    • His dad promised to meet Kemo’s unmet need for financial assistance with school. His dad never showed up. 

He had a reason to feel let down, to feel disappointed, but he still had a choice 

    • His mom and brother were instrumental in his actions. 
    • Kemo knew about emotional intelligence, and that helped in being able to evaluate the situation. 
    • His mother taught him to assess the situation and not act irrationally. 

TREP House

    • A Startup Venture Development organization. 
    • Also known as a super hub that blends several components of entrepreneurial support mechanisms. 
    • Provides an all-inclusive type of approach to supporting founders. 

Eight forms of capital 

    • Kemo disarms investors by letting them know that he is interested in more than the financial capital. 
    • He is interested in the eight forms of capital. 
    • Social, Material, Intellectual, Experiential, Creative, Cultural, Spiritual, Natural, 

How long has TREP House been around

    • Officially organized for a year. 
    • Kemo started working on it over five years ago. 
    • He was visiting a friend in Atlanta and learned about co-working spaces and how impactful they are. 

Why did he start and keep TREP House in Dayton? 

    • Dayton is the heartland of America. 
    • The highway system runs through Dayton, where you can go from New York to LA and from Canada to Florida. 

What is Design to Build? 

    • Design to build is a complimentary aspect of TREP House. 
    • Using shipping containers as a form of modular and prefab development. 
    • There is a need for affordable housing for the up-and-coming professional class. 

Are TREP House and Designed to Build for-profit or nonprofit?

    • They are both for-profit.
    • Kemo says that they also have a nonprofit arm called The Good Foundation. 
    • This tripod is designed to build an overarching positive. 

Who is the right person for TREP House

    • HBCU college students 
    • Graduated Alumni
    • Those that have gone through the communities that process the college career track. 
    • Network with people that are stakeholders, supporters, partners, investors. 

How does Kemo handle the pressure with his big vision, serving other people, and multiple projects?

    • He says that downtime is necessary. 
    • If he needs time to step away before burnout hits, he will let his team know. 
    • If he doesn’t take this time away, he unintentionally will overlook a lot of things. 

Why is Kemo so passionate about this mission? 

    • His journey and how he has gotten to where he is, is something that can be relatable. 
    • Kemo says that without his journey, he wouldn’t be who he is today. 
    • He sees the lack of exposure and experience to these things in the black and brown communities. 

What is Kemo’s most significant challenge with the people around him? 

    • He’s a great initial connector and has a fantastic network. 
    • The problem for him is the follow-up. 
    • He’s making new connections but missing the follow-up to the existing relationships. 

The one thing Kemo wants to be remembered by

    • That he saw and embraced his purpose. 
    • He says that he wants to stay dangerous. 
    • Why live only to arrive safely. 

3 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

The Shift 

“You know, as a young man, I tell people like it was so painful. It didn’t even hurt. In my mind, I was like, I can’t feel enough pain to express what this feels like. Like, I guess it was numb, but it wasn’t like numbness where there was a rage building inside. I just remember thinking to myself. This is like just the stuff you see in movies where this becomes the multi-pronged fork in the road where you decide which path you’re going to take like I knew it was a defining moment in my life.”

Being mindful with time 

“And then on that to that other side of things on the active waking side of things, really just being mindful about what that one thing is, that’s the most important at any given time. And dealing the small fires is just those small fires, knowing that they’re going to crop up. Still, I’m really big about zero again, and picking that thing that will kind of leapfrog you the furthest ahead compared to everything else percentage-wise, so maybe, you know, you have a list of 20 things, and you know, from 20% impact is the number one down to 1% at the 20. It’s like, instead of focusing on those 19 below that top, you know, just focus on the top and really make that happen. And you get more progress from that one thing with less stress than the stress of trying to juggle 19 things and not doing any of them very well and not reaching anywhere near that 20% Lee. So I try to hit it all in a day being able to be at peace and put it down, you know, you can think about it but really enjoying it because the work very consumes me.”

Eight other forms of capital 

“And a lot of times, you know, you get the eyebrow raises, because most people that come to these individuals are like, you know, I want the money, where’s the money, Show me the money, and I’m like, give me the money. Ignore the K1, let’s get the K1’s out the way, let’s get cap things out the way. Let’s get tax returns and credit checks out the way. You have eight other forms of capital that I feel like are more valuable than the money Just being a medium of exchange for the eight forms, that, you know, we can overstep that and get to things where you don’t feel like you now have to clinch up, because you’re waiting for me to say this is how much money I need from you.”


About Kemo A’akutera 

He has been a founder and creator his entire life but initially became engrossed in this work with a rude awakening. The summer after high school graduation, his biological father misappropriated the educational loan he’d borrowed to cover Kemo’s unmet need. 

This pivot was instrumental in his plans for transitioning into adulthood completely upended, which ultimately came to be for the best because it took him down the path of impactful entrepreneurship. 

The following fall Kemo was introduced to “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. Kemo says, “It was at this moment that I decided I would use entrepreneurship as the driver for practically lifting disadvantaged communities of color out of abject poverty.”

He then pledged to put himself through a University of Hard Knocks MBA program: become an expert in real estate investing/development, personal/business credit, financial markets and business development (start/scale) by actively practicing in those fields.

He has launched and scaled several startups, profitably speculated the financial markets since 2006. He has also built up personal and business credit to six figures each. All while doing the same for numerous others and have been real estate investing, full-time, since 2014, completing countless wholesale and rehab deals while raising hundreds of thousands of dollars from private investors.

His focus has always been stacking the experiential/intellectual/creative capital to cash out on the liberation for The People via economic/community and Startup Venture Development.

Trep House is the magnum opus project inspired by Kemo’s journey. It’s a groundbreaking system for incubating and accelerating young creators’ success, growth, and investment potential from underrepresented communities. Rather than create one isolated program, they are an interlocking, mutually reinforcing system that enables young creators of color to learn from / partner with / support each other while at the same time developing profitable, investment-ready ventures.

Design To Build is a practical and scalable approach to developing and constructing sustainable and affordable real estate to realize social, commercial and environmental paradigm shifts. Their vision is to be the leader in factory-built housing for disadvantaged communities the world over, in urban environments, rural areas, any terrain, climatically and fiscally alike. 

Connect with Kemo

TREP House 
Design to Build 


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Picture of Darrell Evans

Darrell Evans

Darrell Evans is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and Co-founder/CEO of Yokel Local Digital Marketing Agency. He and his teams have helped businesses generate over $300M+ in revenue online. Every month, he leads virtual workshops teaching actionable strategies and tips from his experience helping companies market, grow, and scale.