VIRTUAL: Stacy Spikes discusses his book, Black Founder


Join the once-and-future CEO of MoviePass as he discusses entrepreneurship, entertainment, and the plot twist that brought him back to the innovative company he founded.


When: Monday, April 17th, 2023, 6:30-7:30pm ET

Where: Zoom


What does it take to succeed when power, money and race collide? Join the Harvard Club as we discuss MoviePass founder Stacy Spikes's journey through the entertainment industry, battles with private equity, and what he see as the most important takeaways for successful outsider entrepreneurs.


In Black Founder: The Hidden Power of Being an Outsider, Spikes tells the story of a young man with a singular vision, who packed up his truck at 18 and drove from Houston to Hollywood with only $300 in his pocket. Spikes worked his way up the ranks at Motown Records, Sony Music Entertainment and Miramax Films, was the founder of the Urbanworld Film Festival, and named by USA Today as one of the 21 most influential Black leaders in tech, and as one of the “People to Watch in Silicon Alley” by Crain’s New York. The strength, resilience and skills Spikes acquired to achieve these successes became the foundation he built upon to create MoviePass with his Co-founder, Hamet Watt. At the time, only 1 percent of venture capital funding went to Black entrepreneurs. Even in 2022, that number has only improved to 1.2 percent, according to TIME. MoviePass, a subscription company that allowed passionate movie fans to see movies in theaters for a monthly fee, was purchased by a private equity group. Spikes was ousted because of his defiant stance on their new doomed business model—and could only watch from the sidelines as his creation was driven into bankruptcy and dismantled.


But like all great plots, there were unforeseen twists ahead. Captivated by this story, Mark Wahlberg’s production company decided to make a documentary about MoviePass. While Spikes was pondering his next act, he was told MoviePass might be available to purchase out of bankruptcy. After some tough negotiations, Spikes rebought his company—with the goal of relauching the beloved brand.


Black Founder grants us access to the hidden world of tech start-ups, it’s a journey and guidebook to cracking the glass ceiling for any outsider facing impossible odds. The lessons come with humor, poignancy and enlightenment that will fuel the ambition and drive of anyone who wants to manifest their dreams. As Spikes writes, Black Founder isn’t just a book for winners, it’s a book for everyone willing to try.


About the Author: 

Stacy Spikes is an award-winning entrepreneur and inventor who USA Today named one of the 21 most influential Black leaders in technology. He holds several technology patents and is the co-founder and CEO of the nation’s first theatrical subscription service, MoviePass.  In addition, Spikes is the founder of Urbanworld, the largest international festival dedicated to nurturing Women and BIPOC filmmakers.


Find the Book: At Kensington Press, bookshop.orgBarnes & Noble or Amazon

Fees: FREE!