John Henry Matos came from nothing and dropped out of community college. That’s not the typical origin story of an entrepreneurial dynamo, yet today he’s giving keynote speeches at tech conferences, glad-handing millionaires at awards parties, developing partnerships any way he can, and appearing in the February issue of Fortune (“Meet Vice’s Hustler-in-Chief“).
Finding inspiration and momentum in places as unlikely as Nas lyrics and Leonardo DiCaprio’s wardrobe on The Wolf of Wall Street, Matos shares his story in his own words:
Our communities, where I come from, we are the biggest exporters of culture, of style, of fashion, of music, food, and we don’t have any equity in these industries. That seemed completely lop-sided; that seemed like a broken system. So my life’s work is to build generational wealth in our communities. And the way that happens is putting capital in the hands of founders that are crazy enough to think they can go and change the world.
Matos’s work has drawn the attention and support of celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson and singer Alicia Keys, both of whom are producers on his eight-episode debut series on Viceland, which has been seen by more than 2 million total viewers.