Viceland's New Show 'Hustle' Takes a Deep Dive into the Entrepreneurial Experience

February 6, 2019

By Tracey Cheek

John Henry has some advice for young entrepreneurs ー but he'd rather they didn't listen too closely to it.

"My advice is always the same," the entrepreneur and investor told Cheddar. "My advice is not to listen to so much advice."

"We come up with this understanding that being an entrepreneur is about being a boy wonder or a girl genius, but in reality, it's about being a normal person with the bravery to act on an idea."

On Henry's new unscripted series, "Hustle," which premieres on Viceland later this month, he coaches a diverse group of real-life budding entrepreneurs struggling to make those ideas a reality in New York City.

"We are doing a deep dive on the entrepreneurial experience," he said. "In fact, if you type in #entrepreneurship on Instagram right now, you'll see like a lot of like people standing next to Lamborghinis and mansions and all kinds of stuff. But we're interested in painting a more authentic look at the ups and downs of building a business," he added.

Henry may still be in his 20s, but he's already experienced those ups and downs himself. At 18, he founded an on-demand dry cleaning service for film productions, and sold it when he was 21. Henry currently serves as a partner at Harlem Capital, which is a diversity-focused early-stage venture capital firm. He was voted to 2018 Ebony's Power 100 and Forbes' 2019 "30 Under 30."

Henry said the show will expose his own struggles along with those of his proteges.

"It's going to show my vulnerabilities as an entrepreneur as well," he said. "I have deals that go south all the time."

The show focuses on minority-owned businesses, which Henry says was a decision based on "business logic."

"Only 4 percent of all venture dollars go to women and minorities, yet we make up 70 percent of the U.S. population," he said.

"I'm betting that folks that come from my communities are going to be able to create products for us better than someone from outside, I'm betting that women can make products for women better than men."

While Henry is the "face of the show," he's joined behind the scenes by Alicia Keys and award-winning chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson, who serve as executive producers.

"They embody the spirit of what it means to hustle," Henry said.

For full interview click here.