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Justin Caldbeck didn’t just get his sense of teamwork from his time as a player on the Duke University basketball team—though being on one of the best college teams in the country probably didn’t hurt. Working with others to achieve a goal and helping those in need have been central themes in Caldbeck’s life since a young age. He recognized early on that other kids didn’t have the same opportunities that he had, and he wanted to change it.

Caldbeck’s concern for others grew throughout his educational experiences. “I was able to go to private schools, see movies, and go to college with fewer concerns about how to pay for it.” His involvement with sports, clubs, and other organizations taught him the importance of lifting others up, and it shaped how he approaches relationships and business to this day. Now, helping people is as natural as breathing.

“One of the first organizations I joined. . . was a community service organization that had a motto I remember vividly: ‘Helping others while helping myself.’ That year, I did a lot of community service, and through the group, I was able to discover a lot about myself and how I wanted to spend my time.”

After his eyes were opened to the inequality that others experience and what he could do to make a difference, his drive to improve the world around him only got stronger. When we play on a level field, the game is just better all around. Caldbeck has always done his part and more, to balance things for those who have fewer opportunities, lending a hand to anyone who stumbles. After leaving Binary Capital in 2017, however, he took his knack for using his resources, skills, and leadership experience to the next level by helping those who will benefit the most.

Leveling the playing field

A major philanthropic focus in recent years has been to work with organizations that build the foundations of success for individuals who may otherwise face an uphill battle in business and professional sectors. Caldbeck feels that people “need more opportunities to share their experiences and their passions, so that others can feel more like the world is a better place when they’re a part of it.”

Women, Hispanics, and African-Americans have a larger proportion of businesses in higher-risk industries such as restaurants, the arts, entertainment, and other services. They also have a more difficult time than any other demographic getting a leg up as entrepreneurs. When challenges come, they are less likely to be able to stick it out because they get fewer loans, their industries are generally more susceptible when there is an economic downturn, and their businesses have less overall support.

Caldbeck works with organizations that help women gain leadership and networking skills necessary to build a thriving business. These organizations help women gain the confidence and knowledge they need to make it in an environment that often overlooks their value as professionals.

Angel investing has been another recent venture for Caldbeck, and his focus on getting women and minority-owned businesses up and running is just one more way that he is helping others achieve their goals for better balance in the corporate realm. Angel investors offer more than simple financing. They also help fledgling businesses by offering their expertise in management, marketing, and networking. Caldbeck’s extensive experience makes him well-equipped to provide whatever aspiring entrepreneurs may need to succeed.

In addition to women and minorities playing on an uneven field, people who have been incarcerated face more adversity in finding employment or finding funds to start a business once they are released from prison. They may have ended up in prison as a result of being addicted to drugs. However, they must navigate hardship with not only recovery, but also with financial stability when they return to society. Their record tarnishes public image to the detriment of their future careers and of the overall economy.

Organizations that work with the formerly incarcerated—giving them a second chance and a new lease on life—are important to Caldbeck because they create stronger communities. These organizations help build the skills needed to run a business that flourishes now and into the future.

Giving back to create change

Caldbeck’s joyful attitude is contagious. He wants to see “a lot of happy people and [… unhappy] people get happier. And when they do, they get the support that they need.” His initiatives to equalize opportunities for those who are starting out with less are making positive changes, and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“This year, I’m going to be adding my name to a number of additional local, national, and international charities. Ultimately, I hope to make a difference in the world. We’re all created equal. Giving my time and resources back to help make it even more equal is my dream.”

Sponsored by: Invictus Media Group

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