In the Twin Cities startup community, Clarence Bethea stands out, and he’s quick to address the issue. “People invest in people who look like them. Venture capitalists are mostly white guys. I definitely don’t look like them.” But that hasn’t stopped Bethea from raising $8.5 million for Upsie, an independent online warranty service for electronic devices. While growing his own four-year-old St. Paul-based business, Bethea has become a tireless mentor and role model to other black founders. “If I was a white guy in Silicon Valley, I’d have a lot more money,” he says matter-of-factly. “The vision [for Upsie] is big.” U.S. consumers spend $47 billion on warranties each year, and Bethea believes that with Upsie’s independent, consumer focus, it can capture a sizeable share of that from retailers and manufacturers.