From Homeless to Fashion Tech Entrepreneur: Cassie Betts

Cassie Betts is the founder of District2.Co, a technology company that connects brands/designers with factories to streamline the manufacturing process, and Made In South LA (MISLA), a DevShop Academy. In this episode of the Innovation For All Podcast, learn how Cassie went from being homeless to being called “The Woman Turning South LA into Startup Land” by Forbes.

You’ll learn:

  • How Cassie Betts started her entrepreneurship and coding interests in her youth.
  • Battling Sexism and Racism in the technology industry.
  • Leveraging past experiences and using them for success.
  • What District2 is and its mission.
  • The current state of the fashion industry with regards to innovative technology.
  • How the District2 platform has streamlined the fashion industry process.
  • Challenges faced by the fashion industry with manufacturers.
  • What is Made in South LA (MISLA).
  • How MISLA is trying to change the current economic situation by offering training to high paying tech jobs.
  • Problems of underrepresented minorities in the technology industry and possible solutions.
  • Training approach to help the ill effects of gentrification in communities.


Connect with Cassie and MISLA:

Black Hair is Big (Business) feat. Delali Kpodzo

In this episode of the Innovation For All podcast, we’re joined by Delali Kpodzo, the Co-Founder of We Are Onyx, a popular beauty destination for Black women and women of color. We dive into her entrepreneurial journey, why women of color need specific personal care solutions, and the state of the current beauty market. Discover how a hair salon mishap led Delali to start We Are Onyx, which has reached more than $2 million in sales. Delali thinks that’s just the beginning in a vastly untapped market. IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:
  • When does it make sense to choose a subscription box model over the e-commerce model?
  • What are the specific beauty concerns that Black women have that are being overlooked by the mainstream beauty market?
  • What inspired and motivated Delali to start We Are Onyx?
  • Black women spend three times more than every other demographic on beauty products.
  • “Discontinuation [of products for women of color] is unacceptable.”
  • “It doesn’t matter if you know nothing about how to achieve your goal, as long as you’re willing to learn as you go.”

Voting with your wallet, entrepreneur-style

Voting with your wallet, entrepreneur-style With Stella McShera


On this episode of the Innovation For All podcast, we chat with Stella McShera, the CEO and Founder of equallet (equality + wallet), a local search-platform to help you connect with Women-Owned Business in Southern California. Discover how equallet supports the growth of every female founder, consumer, or investor, and helps bridge the gender gap in business. The platform promises collaboration and more opportunities for its growing community. We also dive in deep the issue of gender pay gap… Are workplaces changing for the better? Has the political system shift had an effect on it?

Stella also shares her experience growing up as a mixed-race American. She recalls stories of how the experience of race varied based on where she lived or traveled.


  • How does equallet help achieve gender equality?
  • Is it OK to seek out women-owned business at the expense of male-owned ones? Equality vs. Equity
  • What was it like for Stella during the time Trump was declared the winner of the presidency?
  • How can women in business be competitive when they’re receiving less initial investment?
  • Women-Owned Business tend to hire more diverse teams
  • “We won’t achieve financial gender equality until 2025.” – Stella McShera
  • How Stella struggled with the idea of being a “woman scientist” instead of just a scientist


Others Mentioned

  • Donald Trump
  • Fulbright
  • Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC)
  • Monopoly
  • United Nations
  • Crazy Rich Asians