Where are the Latinos in Tech Start-ups?

Most of you have heard the beginnings of LATISM.  It pretty much started with one tweet: “Where are the Latinos in Social Media” – a famous tweet that received over 300 replies.  The same day I created the Facebook group (btw, we we are trying to move to a fan page so please like it), the LinkedIn group and the blog.  It was almost like a cry for help together with the joy of all the answers who gathered around the #Latism hashtag on twitter with a “finally home” feeling.  That question wasn’t my own initiative, instead it came as a reaction to a client who boldly told me “There are no Latinos in Social Media” – well, the rest is history.  #LATISM is on the top permanent hashtags that gets an average of 4 million impressions a day.  Yes, any given day.

The other day, I was having dinner with a good friend who happens to be a V.C. and I heard him say the same provoking statement.  “There are no Latinos in Tech start-ups”  – They’re all marketers.  Hello? I guess it’s time for another big call:  “Are there any Latino(a)s starting up a tech venture?” Who are you? Do you know each other? Can we help one another? Can your community give you a hand? Can you make us proud by listing yourself and the ones you know on this post’s comment? Can you list yourself on our new casita as Developer?

The cruel reality is that according to the Venture Capital Human Report, Latinos don’t exist in the Tech Valleys of this country.

African Americans make only 1% of the tech founders population.  And Latinos are so under-represented that the report squeezed us together with the “Mixed” category.

Can this be true? Is this another misperception like the one I kept hearing less than 2 years ago about Latinos not being in Social Media?  This report is pretty disturbing and we must do something about it.  If it’s simply a lack of information, then let’s begin the Tech Start-Up Parade and list every Latino tech founder you know out there.  Instead if it is true, we must dig deeper into the reasons why this is happening. I would love to hear your opinion in the comments.  Don’t be shy and speak up mi gente.

Here is the entire report:
Venture Capital Human Capital Report (Part 1)

African Americans make only 1% of the tech founders population.  And Latinos are so under-represented that the report squeezed us together with the “Other” or “Mixed” categories.

Comments

comments

19 Comments
  1. Ed Gonzalez Loumiet 9 years ago

    Very interesting facts. I know a handful of young Latinos trying to start companies/orgs and its no coincidence that I met these people (all good friends) through my involvement in LATISM. Looking forward to sharing this with my network. Thanks.

  2. miguel@massideation.com'
    Miguel Sanchez 9 years ago

    Great article this just means its our time to shine! 🙂

  3. ana@prek12plaza.com'
    AnaRC 9 years ago

    I’m glad LATISM can serve as a meeting point. I dream with setting up a start-up fund for Latino(a)s who have great tech ideas. I have many V.C. friends who would jump on board. Let’s get the ball rolling

  4. soylamar@gmail.com'
    Reina Valenzuela 9 years ago

    I personally know of two amazing tech gurus: Oscar Moreno of eContence and Jeff Vigil of Interblock Studios, will invite them to LATISM.

  5. lbelen@vwcglobal.com'
    Luis Belen 9 years ago

    As a founding Co-Chair of HIMSS Latino, President & CEO of VWCGlobal.com and MedicSuccess.com I am always working with Latinos that are doing great things in technology. I think it is time we start showcasing those talented individuals. We just need to get the VC community to start investing in Latino tech start ups. Or perhaps, we just need to start our own Latino VC firm.

  6. ana@co-opweb.com'
    Ana Gonzales Lewis 9 years ago

    Wow, Ana, your post brings to mind why we need to be more than a little louder and in people’s face. I have a one-year-old start-up online community, Women on the Verge. We are a global entity with more than 1,000,000 site visits per month. I have considered bringing our small start-up to some V.C.s, and may still consider it. I am currently building a few useful tools for that will enable us to make that choice.

    We are a niche online networking community, and from what I gather, this is the wave of the future. Many studies are showing that niche communities (such as Latism and WOTV) are where SM and online networks will be fine-tuning and growing.

    Thank you for bringing up this subject. We need to make our voices heard. Lastly, thank you for starting Latism – it is truly a wonderful home for our people. I am in love with it and am so grateful it is here.

    Ana Gonzales Lewis

  7. mitch@grupoentrada.com'
    mposada 9 years ago

    There are lots of Latinos in tech you just have to know where to find them. As for Latino VCs they exist also. More are in private equity. What most of the tech Latino entrepreneurs I’ve met with need are Angel investors not VCs or Private equity. I don’t believe you need a Latino VC Firm…an organized Latino Angel Network — yes. As for an org connecting Latinos with venture scale investors look at Hispanic-Net.org. Glad to see there is an interest in this topic.

  8. lindleyrye@aol.com'
    Lindleyrye 9 years ago

    It’s interesting to find such dearth of Hispanics in tech start ups. Hispanics in the US are by nature creative problem solvers and hence the expectation would be that this would lead many of us to be in the areas of engineering, IT, and other such fields. I recently started a blog ( http://latinocomix.blogspot.com/) were I discuss Hispanic’s creativity dealing with some of these issues. We need to foster our community’s creativity for several reasons. One of the most important reasons is that we, the Hispanic community, are inheriting a huge responsibility as we become in the next 5 to 10 years a sizeable share of the working population in this country. We are going to be a critical factor in the success or failure of our country in a new highly competitive world. We need to be an engine of innovation in the US. We need to support our community’s efforts in this area by helping increase, in whichever way we deem it to be the best route (VC’s vs. Angels), our share of tech start ups. This is not the only area of creative problem solving but it is a one of the most critical ones.

  9. Jorge Pablitazo 9 years ago

    the latinos are on the white part 😛

  10. osledybazo@gmail.com'
    osledybazo 9 years ago

    I will like to share a google doc where some of the latino startups are listing them self
    https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Av-vuGob9RdTdGhJTkJUbERvQkhuNGh3MFRiNEduLXc&hl=en

  11. william@dreamitventures.com'
    William @ DreamIt 8 years ago

    Saw your post and wanted to respond.  DreamIt Ventures and Comcast in Philadelphia realize the problem you’ve been discussing is real.  They want to invest in minority-led startups.  Up to $25,000 for each startup if selected for the accelerator program.  Take a look at the link below and please spread the word!!

    http://dreamitventures.com/about/Comcast-MEAP.php

  12. sucipto82@gmail.com'
    Su cipto 8 years ago
  13. Daniel Castro 8 years ago

     I agree with @mposada:disqus  Angel would be a great start. In my case (Founder of Kuento.com) I’ve had a hard time finding the connection to get visibility within the professional Latino community in a serious fashion. Of course, we are still a baby startup but this article confirms my point. Ironically, one of the goals for Kuento is to create a platform for a digital panamerica :).

    btw –  @AnaRC:disqus  FYI, the link to “new casita” is broken.

    Keep up the great work! Actively supporting #LATISM in any way we can.

  14. Marce Gutiérrez 8 years ago

    I’m happy to report that as I type this, Mexican VC’s first class demo day is winding down in SF. Expect more info to come soon, but there is definitely hope yet!

  15. arorts@hotmail.com'
    Ed 8 years ago

    As Hispanic, I’m starting to familiarize myself on this issue but it’s still very unclear what’s the problem statement. On the surface it slightly looks like a discriminating issue but I guess I’m missing something:

    *Are we saying that there are not enough Hispanic/Latino startup tech-firms receiving funds??

    *Are we saying that there are but in percentage terms they are not receiving funds relative to other population segments???

    *Are we saying that Hispanic start-ups are not innovative enough creating disrupting technologies and that’s the reason VC firms don’t look at them seriously??

    *Are we saying that our presentation skills suck while pitching to VCs even though we have great, disruptive business ideas?

    *Are we saying that there are significant number of funded, Latinos Startups but the media is neglecting to include them in magazines, reports???

    I’ve been in the Valley for over 7 years and when having conversations with VC’s I’ve seem them apply the same rules:
     They look for a great, experienced team, a great, massive-scaling technology and a defensible business model. I have yet to hear of a single discriminating situation as of today.

    And yes, my personal experience is that Latinos are heavily biased towards marketing firms. At least on the ones I’ve been pitched. 
    Perhaps there are pure tech Latinos  startups  but if they are, they are probably not doing a great job to speak up and promote themselves.

    The first task is to come up with a list of those companies and in no more than two lines clearly tell what’s their business model.

    The second task is to meet up to discuss/polish their business value, presentation skills.

    The third task is to put them together in an event to speak as a single voice.

    The fourth task is to network to pitch to VCs.

    Just complaining about under-representation is not going to take us anywhere and makes us look like a typical minority speech.
     Let’s first clearly break down the issue in a more structured approach and laser-focus on the areas that need the most traction.

  16. Alex Hernandez 7 years ago

    I’m a Latino trying to break into Social Media and IT fields. I am finding it very hard to leverage my degree and green horn experience though. Would love to connect with others who could mentor and help me succeed.

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  19. Lisaabrams@protonmail.com'
    Lisa Abrams 2 months ago

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