Most Wanted: Latino Tech Startups And Smart Investors Who Care About Diversity

Latino Startups2


Ok mi gente! Time to start preparing for the LATINO2 Conference.  This time however we are going to shake things drastically because we need to take drastic measures to tackle the horrifying phenomenon we are currently living in Tech-o-Landia.  As a typical developer, I would like to start with these facts:

1)      Latin@s are still  getting less than 1% of VC funding.  Read more about it a previous post about how invisible Latino Tech-Startups are in VC-Landia.

2)      Still today (3 years later), we cannot identify a hand full of Latino founders who can serve as role models to our community.  I have asked V.Cs of all levels and not one has been able to give me a list.

3)      99% of accelerator programs out there look exactly the same.  You must leave your job and family for 6-12 weeks to fake to be a “cool start-up kid who can even afford to do that” – Almost telling us in our face: “Who the hell you think you are to pretend to start a tech venture while paying your bills and raising your family?”  No Latin@s Allowed!!!

4)      Still the perception out there is that you must move to Silicon Valley to get funded or to even be respected.

5)      The FCC is not doing enough to hold the Telecom industry (just to name one) accountable for this issue.  This isn’t a public accusation.  This is only a public result of why the first fact listed here hasn’t moved in a year.

6)      We are being left out of most conversations when it comes to creating programs that really fit our community.  As a result, we still have fact #3 on this list.

So we have two choices:

1)      We can keep complaining about these facts, we can keep accusing others for leaving us out, we can keep feeling like hopeless victims…..  Pobrecitos!

2)      We can take el toro por los cuernos and start making strategic steps to change this situation.  If you are feeling as angry as we feel.  If you are as frustrated as we are.  If you still have fuerza left to make concrete results happen.  Then join the LATINO2 team.  We’re calling Latin@ Tech-Startups, Founders, Developers, Co-Founders, Venture Capitalists, Accelerators, Policy Makers, Angels, Corporations, Foundations, Social Entrepreneurs, Educators, Marketers, MBAs and Activists to join the LATINO2 Tech Community.  Only if we get our knowledge and experiences together we will be able to win this battle.

If you don’t see this issue as battle, then we don’t need you here.  It’s a huge shame to leave the fastest growing population in the country out of the innovation train that is leading America.  The future of the country is at stake if this trend is not changed NOW.  As drastic as this might sound, we’re only calling those who get our sense of urgency here.  The rest will join later when we become cool and big.  I’ve seen that happen with LATISM and of course it will happen with LATINO2 as well.  Today we’re calling the apasionados in this topic. Ready? Fill in the form here so we can get started:
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    Don 5 years ago

    Very Interesting article! Some good points were made here.

    Jesse 5 years ago

    Rose 5 years ago

    Amen! I’ve been in the software industry for over ten years, and one of
    my very first mentors was Latino. My first workplace was very diverse,
    but as I “climbed the corporate ladder” so to speak, I was disappointed
    to find that this was the exception rather than the rule. Not just
    disappointed–disgusted. That’s a big part of the reason I ended up
    moving out of more conventional environments and into areas where I run
    into more people like you…people that see the status quo for what it
    is and actually do something about it. Thanks for your inspiration!

    AnaRC 5 years ago

    Hi Jesse! I just checked the LSA and it looks pretty cool.  Let’s connect to explore partnership opportunities and support each other’s efforts.

    AnaRC 5 years ago

    Thanks a lot Don. Just saw you registered 3 people from your company.  You rock!

    Cesar 5 years ago

     There is absolutely no reason Latinos should be left behind, but the only ones who can do anything about it are ourselves! If we just sit around and complain nothing will change for the better…even if you’re already in Silicon Valley.

    Alondra 5 years ago

    I’m in! It’s about time someone has realized that there is power in numbers here! Excellent idea Ana, I look forward to what we can do together!

    AnaRC 5 years ago

    You’re so right Cesar.  Let’s make something happen for real.  Thank you for signing up.  I’ll send a meeting invite for next week to everyone.  We’ll coordinate from there.  

    AnaRC 5 years ago

    Glad to See some Latina Developers here! Rose, I hear you.  I did the same since I needed some oxygen when I worked with the UN.  However those were the best formative years of my life.  Now time to give back! 

    Alonso 5 years ago

    As the proud owner of a startup in the tech world, I can certainly say it’s been an uphill battle getting some recognition for what my company can do. It’s certainly much easier and rewarding to team up with other Latinos. Great effort. 

    Javier 5 years ago

    If we’re going to put effort into this, it’s got to be all or nothing. All to often, Latinos admit defeat, almost before the battle’s begun, and that’s where we fall short. We’re in.

    Rosa 5 years ago

    This is a great idea Ana, especially when it comes to putting pressure on the Telecom industry and others. We need to change the perception for the better! I’m signed up!

    Mateo 5 years ago

    How many Latinos would hold true to this idea? One of the biggest problems with our community is that several people tend to bail when things don’t go their way. I’m in for the long haul if others are as well.

    Mia 5 years ago

    Desperate times call for desperate measures holds so true these days. If we keep complaining, we’ll get absolutely nowhere…fast. Signing up!

    Alejandro 5 years ago

    I signed up and I love the idea of the LATINO2 team! I hope there’s enough people reading this to find the resources we need to make this happen. I’m going to share this link, like everyone else should do!

    Julio 5 years ago

    You’re definitely going to need more Venture Capitalists than anything Ana. Unfortunately, it’s always the dollar that helps shake things up both inside and outside of Silicon Valley. Signed up, thanks!

    Ramon 5 years ago

    We should be able to really capitalize on creating programs that fully fit our community. We simply cannot be left out of conversations that affect us directly! We’re behind you!

    Eduardo 5 years ago

    We’re going to need every aspect of people that you mention in your 2nd choice (which is the right one, of course). You can’t falter in any aspect or we’ll end up right where we are now. We signed up and are working to get others involved.

    Isabel 5 years ago

    Ana, I hope you can help the organization of the Latino community when it comes to Tech-startups. Perhaps there are too many of us trying to do our own thing in our communities and what we need is this exact idea of coming together.

    Rebecca-Nury 5 years ago

    I’m going to get my team behind this idea. We struggle with these same issues as a startup and we simply need a community to stand with to get the recognition we deserve. 

    Hector 5 years ago

    My talented co-workers are all going to get a chance to read this and join the LATINO2 team. We’re from Northern Nevada and they sometimes feel that there’s a hinderance in not being in Silicon Valley.

    Rodriguez 5 years ago

    The biggest problem is that we still complain! It’s amazing how many Latinos just sit around and say nothing can be done, when in fact we haven’t TRIED to do anything!

    Jade 5 years ago

    I love this write-up Ana! We can’t solve the problems we have as trying to be recognized in the startup world unless we identify them first. Thank you for pointing out the first step. Signed up.

    Michael 5 years ago

    I’m curious as to how many Latinos realize that the effort needs to be united rather than trying to handle such a big undertaking on their own. Great post. I hope several people read this and wake up.

    Felipe 5 years ago

    This is the first step in the right direction, and it’s going to be the hardest step of them all, Ana. We need to devise our own accelerator program that adapts to the needs of the Latino community, or we’ll continue to have the same problems we do now.

    Graciela 5 years ago

    We’re one of the biggest communities in the country and one of our biggest fallbacks is that we don’t apply for funding enough. We need to get more Latinos involved in a conversating community and in turn, get more Latinos to apply for startup funding that’s out there. Signing up!

    Juliana 5 years ago

    Great article, Ana. Latinos are literally missing from the world of tech-startups, yet there is so much talent out there. I hope you help shine some light on exactly what this community needs. We’ve signed up!

    AnaRC 5 years ago

    That has to stop Hector.  Thanks for signing up! We need to make sure that innovation stays where we are.

  29. For those who ARE in Silicon Valley or want to visit, Several Latino VCs will be at Stanford
    University MAY 19th for the 3rd annual Silicon Valley Latino Leadership
    Summit. To get funded, first you have to meet them, yes?

    Ana Flores {} 5 years ago

    I am a self-made Latina entrepreneur who still has a long way to go, but am very eager to learn and lead. I’ve also looked into the accelerator programs and cringe when I see that I need to leave my family for 6 weeks or more. It’s just not realistic, but that does NOT mean I can’t handle it or don’t have what it takes.
    I hooe to see more learning tools for Latinos to understand the funding world and how to get an idea off the ground.
    Ana, loved the post and the force behind it,

  31. Regis Mejia 5 years ago

    Rodrigo- I think this is a problem we have to acknowledge as part of the issue, but it’s not the only one. There are a number of different factors on why Latinos are not starting tech companies, one of those factors is that many simply don’t try. If there are no Latinos making noise and knocking on doors for funding then we can’t blame others for lack of companies founded by Latinos.  

  32. annmariastat 5 years ago

    For those of you in LA there is the Tech Coast Angels. They have a Fast Pitch competition for pitching start up ideas. It’s too late for this year, but something to consider for next year.

    AnaRC 5 years ago

    Thanks a lot Anna Maria! Please keep us informed with any of these opportunities.  We should make a list of all the deadlines on a yearly basis.  That way we don’t miss them.  I’m contacting everyone this week since we’re ready to move forward with the conference.

    AnaRC 5 years ago

    Que emocion! love the fact that you are on board Anita 🙂 – Evidently moms aren’t taken into consideration when these accelerator programs are designed.  Often because we are hidden in our work and don’t voice our opinion.  This is the time to speak up.  So glad you are adding your influencial voice to the movement.

    AnaRC 5 years ago

    Thank you Graciela! you are a fuerza and a source in our tech community.  Let’s get together.

    AnaRC 5 years ago

    I agree with Regis.  It’s not easy for many to entrepreneurs because they don’t have the connections.  90% of cold calls or cold submissions are ignored.  That’s the reason why we need to bring the VC community to our events.

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