We had the good fortune of connecting with Armond Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Armond, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success would be the support of my family. I have a wife who is also an entrepreneur and who is not just supportive in terms of what I am trying to accomplish from a big picture perspective, but she pushes me to do better, work harder and see things from different perspectives. The rest of my family, my parents and my sister all have been extremely supportive of me in my entrepreneurial journey. I think that’s very important particularly for people whose entrepreneurial journey involves taking the risk of investing in and developing other entrepreneurs.
From a strictly business perspective, it’s the fact that I really focus on personally paying forward the knowledge and experience that was shared with me by mentors and others along my journey. At The Paragon Group, we are building an Ecosystem of Exchange where everybody is exchanging information, knowledge and experiences in order to collectively uplift the next.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I wanted to create a vehicle where all of the years of my experience, from the really challenging times of getting through the Great Recession to the great times subsequent to that, could all be channeled for the benefit of minority and female founders. It was important for me to be able to help them unlock their highest potential. That is really what we are doing here: Identifying founders who have tremendous potential, need access to capital, and much needed guidance in terms of helping to unlock that potential. That’s why it is really important to be a catalyst for people and help them reach their goals.

The Paragon Group is my private equity firm, and one of the funds that we run is focused on investing in minority and woman-owned businesses. As a part of that, I created a mentoring program where the founders in which we invest are required to mentor at least one small business owner in their city. When I say “required” I mean it. If the founder doesn’t serve as a mentor then I will pull their funding. I’m serious about this because I didn’t get to where I am today on my own. People reached out to me and helped me and advised me and vouched for me along the way. They still are. And I’m a huge believer that you have to pay it forward. So if you’re a founder and I invest in you and give you the benefit of my knowledge and experience and relationships then you must pay it forward. The program costs absolutely nothing. The only requirement to be a mentee is that you be a small business owner who is determined to grow their business the right way and is open to learning from other people.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m definitely a foodie, and I love a great bourbon or Scotch. My week would be spent mostly touring the culinary delights the city has to offer. I’d definitely make my way up to Buford Highway for some fantastic Latin American and Asian cuisine. Sushi Hayakawa is a must visit destination in that area. I’d also visit places like Politan Row, the food hall at Colony Square, and the Interlock. Since I’m here for a week I’d have several places to have dinner, such as old favorites TWO Urban Licks and Kevin Rathbun’s Steak. Newer places like Southern Belle offer some of the best bites in the Southeast. Red Phone Booth (either location) is a great place to discuss business over excellent cocktails, as is The James Room along the Beltline and 12 Cocktail Bar at Ponce City Market. I also love the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and Jazz at the High Museum of Art. I love food, art, and culture, so anything that combines those three is definitely a place where you might find me.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my wife and business partner Samara B. Davis and our beautiful children!

Website: https://www.paragoninvestmentfund.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamarmond/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/armond-davis-6b291aa

Image Credits
Jonathan Cooper

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