LA Venture Podcast: Tracy Gray And Why Exports Are The Untapped Opportunity for the US
Tracy Gray

LA Venture Podcast: Tracy Gray And Why Exports Are The Untapped Opportunity for the US

On this week's episode of the LA Venture podcast, hear from Tracy Gray, founder and managing partner at The 22 Fund, a growth venture capital and advisory firm focused on increasing the export capacity of Southern California companies, positioning these companies to accelerate growth and scale via international sales. She shares insights for how manufacturers should think about exports, industry 4.0 and the state of diversity in venture today.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gray says culturally the United States is domestic oriented and has an economy based on consumerism. Whereas, other countries around the world have economies based on exporting, which is advantageous for creating jobs, amongst other things. She says the U.S. exports very little due to fear — for example, fear of not speaking the language, fear of not knowing the laws and fear of not understanding regulations on both sides of the arrangement.
  • Capital at The 22 Fund is used to support its companies to do market research and analysis, because many of their companies are nonprofit and government, and there's little marketing out there to make companies aware of services that can help them export more confidently.
  • U.S. manufacturing is old-school manufacturing, and The 22 Fund helps to "uptech" and "upskill" the workers and processes at the companies they invest in.
  • The 22 Fund invests equity — some debt with warrants and revenue share — whatever works for the companies and where they are.
  • The 22 Fund is most interested in investing in innovative, sustainable and clean manufacturing companies that can grow jobs.

"Women and people of color, we're...always seen as the victims of some of this stuff (climate change, racial justice, economic change), but we are the ones that come up with the solutions. We are the innovators behind this because we know what's happening very closely in our communities." — Tracy Gray

Tracy Gray is managing partner at The 22 Fund.

Want to hear more of L.A. Venture? Listen on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.


It started as a real estate company for startups. Today, Plug and Play operates what it calls an “innovation platform” that offers young companies office space, an accelerator program and — in some cases — invests in them.

On this episode of LA Venture, Plug and Play's CEO and founder Saeed Amidi talks about how he evolved the company into an accelerator and investment firm, and how he uses his platform to introduce many of the world’s largest corporations to startups that are re-envisioning their industries.

Read more Show less
Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The age of the creator is upon us.

After years of gaining momentum, the creator economy has gone mainstream. Payment processing platform Stripe estimates the number of individuals who now see themselves as full-time “creators”—those who use online tools to sell digital content—grew 48% in 2021, while earnings across the industry are expected to soon eclipse $10 billion.

Read more Show less
Jolene Latimer
Jolene Latimer has her Master of Arts in specialized journalism and writes about sports, entertainment and personal finance.