DiscoverLatinxAmerica's podcast
LatinxAmerica's podcast
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LatinxAmerica's podcast

Author: Adriana Flores-Ragade

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LatinxAmerica is focused on highlighting catalysts that are using, leveraging, creating or investing in technology that can positively impact the Latinx community. Experts cover topics ranging from education, health, diversity, and civic engagement to financial stability/wealth creation.
179 Episodes
Jennifer Garcia is the founder of Fluential Leadership and the COO of the Latino Business Network (LBAN).  Through her company, she provides individual solutions for personal and professional growth, equipping individuals to uplevel their leadership ability. In this episode, we talk about Leadership shift, personal development shift, and passion shift amongst other topics. Learn about her story and connect with her:
Jennifer Garcia is the founder of Fluential Leadership and the COO of the Latino Business Network (LBAN).  Through her company, she provides individual solutions for personal and professional growth, equipping individuals to uplevel their leadership ability.  Fluential Leadership also supports small businesses with growth strategies, retaining top talent, and maximizing productivity.  In this episode, we focus on how and why leaders can develop effective communication skills as we focus on helping our community level up.
Cristina Trujillo talks about her path to becoming a founder of REEM. REEM Media is a full-service bilingual MediaTech agency owned and operated by Women of Color, leading a diverse talent pool of high-caliber creatives in media and tech.
Miguel Gomez, CFP is a is Financial Advisor for Hispanic Investors. In addition to being a Financial Advisor, he is passionate about helping people take the mystery out of personal finance through “Dinero en Español”, a podcast where he talk about money and finances in a clear way and also interview experts and successful entrepreneurs.  
Cheryl Campos Talks About VCFamilia and Building a Community of Latinx Investors VCFamilia founding member Cheryl Campos talks about the future of the organization and how others can join and become active members.  VCFamilia is a community of 200+ Latinx investors supporting current & emerging VCs + founders - posting venture jobs, opportunities, and events.This is a second interview with Cheryl where we talk about her career advancement as an investor and other exciting opportunities in the pipeline for her and for the VCFamilia community.
VCFamilia founding member Af Hernandez is an investor focused on cleantech, IoT, industrials sustainability. He was previously at Ecosystem Integrity fund where his responsibilities include sector research, pipeline development and tracking, and investment due diligence support. Before EIF, Af was a Senior Strategic Planner at the newly formed Lockheed Martin (LM) Energy. At LM Energy, Af oversaw the research and development investment portfolio and was key in developing the long-term strategy. Af is a co-founder of VCFamilia and an advocate for diversity and inclusion.
VCFamilia member Rebecca Danta is the Managing Director of Miami Angels, the largest angel network in Florida, which funds pre-seed and seed software companies with early traction across various sectors. Miami Angels has deployed $18M into 33 companies since 2014, and Rebecca built a sustainable, independent business model for the organization. Prior to joining Miami Angels, Rebecca managed global campus operations for General Assembly in New York City, the first accelerated learning provider, and the "Top Most Innovative Company in Education" per Fast Company. General Assembly had a successful exit in 2018. Prior to that, Rebecca worked at Macy's in their Executive Development Program. Rebecca is a Miami native and passionate about investing into markets and teams that are often overlooked in traditional venture capital. She serves on the board of the Florida Venture Forum and is a Class XI member of Miami Fellows.
VCFamilia member Marco Casas  is a Venezuelan-born professional who has been named to Business Insider's "100 rising stars who represent the future of venture capital." His career extends across early-stage ventures and global public companies. Marco is passionate about fintech and other disruptive technologies closing gaps of access to capital, opportunity, and outcomes. Marco pursues these interests via a partnerships and business development full-time role at American Express, and via Angel investing and active participation in organizations like VCFamilia, a Latinx in tech community, Toy Ventures, an operator-led venture fund, Rally Cap Ventures, an emerging markets fintech fund, On Deck Fintech and the Council of Foreign Relations, where Marco is a Term Member.  Marco received his BA in political science from Middlebury College and MBA degrees from Columbia and London Business School. He's a proud Latinx immigrant, now settled in New York by way of Swaziland and Russia. Outside of work, Marco is active in the community, serving on the associate board of the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club. He is a happy husband and father of two girls.
VCFamilia member Samantha Batista is a native New Yorker who deeply admires entrepreneurial hustle. Sam started her career on Wall Street before making her way to investing in 2015. Since then, she's worked on debt and equity transactions in both the U.S. and Latin America across several different industries. In 2017, she co-founded Who Is Raising?—a deal sourcing newsletter that aims to connect early-stage founders to investors. Today, she is an investor at a Mexico-based family office and consults and advises companies on growth strategies, fundraising strategies, and business development. She also runs syndicates on pre-seed and seed stage transactions.
A VCFamilia member, Carlos is currently the co-founder of Novel Capital a Kansas City firm that leverages Revenue-Based Financing to provide growth capital to early-stage software companies that don’t fit the traditional venture or banking models. In the last two years, Novel has invested over $9M in 26 companies across the US and Canada. He is an active member of the prestigious Kauffman Fellows and Pipeline Entrepreneurial Fellowship. In addition, he serves as board member for LeanLab Education and the Enterprise Bank & Trust Advisory Board. Prior to Novel, Carlos was the cofounder and CEO of Netchemia for 14 years. Under Carlos’ leadership, Netchemia grew to provide their Talent Management platform to over 3,500 school districts across the country and was recognized as one of the leading technology companies in K-12 education. Netchemia received many accolades including being named District Administration Magazine’s top products. Of all the recognition, Carlos is most proud of his company being named one of Kansas City’s “Best Companies to Work For.” In 2015, Carlos successfully sold Netchemia to Vista Private Equity, one of the best PE firms in the world. Carlos immigrated to the United States from the highest city in the world, La Paz, Bolivia, when he was 18 years old. He studied computer science and graduated from Washburn University with a bachelor's degree. Later, he completed his MBA at the University of Kansas. He lives in Kansas City with his wife, a children’s author. In his free time, he enjoys giving back to the entrepreneurial community as a mentor and advisor, traveling, dancing salsa, and experimenting with tasty cocktail recipes that he can share with friends and family.
Taj Ahmad Eldridge is a 25+ year investment professional whose career has included high level executive roles in banking, asset management, alternative investments, and entrepreneurship. As General Partner of Include Venture Partners and  Senior Director of Investments at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), Taj has built a longstanding career with expertise in the fields of fintech, media, energy, transportation, and the circular economy. Taj is also one of the 70 Black Investors in - a $325 million virtual conference platform as noted in AfroTech.  At LACI, Taj established both the LACI Impact Fund I (LIF I) and the LACI Debt Fund to allow cleantech companies to grow with diverse capital. These funds utilize an equity impact lens to encourage invested companies to have environmental, economic, and social impact - particularly on increasing the number of underrepresented voices in the cleantech industry. In addition, Taj created programs such as LACI Investor Talks (LIT), the LACI Investor in Residence program, and the Player to CEO Athlete-Investor Impact Summit Series with JP Morgan Chase. Taj has been named one of the 53 Investors to Watch in 2021 by Pitchbook & 101 Black Titans in Tech while nurturing and building a team of investment activists. Prior to LACI, Taj was the Director for the Incubator at the University of California in Riverside, California. During his tenure as Director, Taj’s team brought a $10M venture fund (Highlander Fund) to the Inland Empire - the first for the region.  Because of Taj’s focus on blending entertainment, policy, and entrepreneurship, the region was named the #4 city in the United States for Diverse Entrepreneurs via Entrepreneur Magazine. Taj began his career as a banker and economist with Wells Fargo Bank, UBS Investment Bank, and TRW Investments. Taj has also been a Founder, Board Member, and Investor in companies such as ILTG Media, Boswell Official Apparel, Voter, Xtopoly, Rookielook, iListen, KYC Hospitality, KIGT, Majira Project, CleanTek Capital and ConCreates. Taj also serves on the Climate Finance Advisory Team of the Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP), the Executive Board of the Homeboy Industries Ventures Fund, and The Majira Project - a Boston Consulting Group Venture Studio. Taj has been profiled in publications such as Impact Alpha, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pitchbook, Forbes, GreenBiz, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more regarding his tireless efforts on achieving alpha while also advancing equity.  Taj has a BA degree in poetry & literature from Texas A&M University-Commerce, an MBA degree in International Business from Pepperdine University, and studied geopolitical economics at Claremont Graduate University as a PhD. Taj also studied abroad at The Universidad Adolfo Ibanez in Santiago, Chile, The Universidad Do Porto in Porto, Portugal, and The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) in Hong Kong, China.  Taj is an avid audiobook bibliophile and a lover of music of all genres.
A VCFamilia member, Jesús Salas is rooted in the belief that making culturally conscious investments is a path to increasing opportunity and positive economic outcomes for otherwise overlooked communities and founders. Jesús is a former Associate with Omidyar Network where he supported the sourcing and evaluation of venture investments and tools that catalyzed the supply of purpose-driven technology. Jesús has worked domestically and abroad in a variety of capacities such as a management consultant, impact investor and investment banker with global organizations working across industries ranging from agriculture, education, and financial technology. Outside of Slauson & Co., Jesús is involved in a range of organizations committed to increasing diversity at all professional levels. These efforts include the Toigo Foundation, the Access Project, and VCFamilia. Jesús is a 2021 HBCUvc Emerging Venture Leaders Award recipient and a Board Member of Microlumbia- Columbia Business School’s student-run impact investing fund. Jesús is from the northside of Fort Worth, Texas and is the son of Mexican immigrants. Jesús is a proud first-generation graduate of Stanford University, holds an MBA from Columbia University and recently completed a fellowship with the Just Economy Institute.
A VCFamilia Member, Adriana C. Embus Figueroa is a first-generation Afro-Latina working at the intersection of business, policy, and technology. Currently, Adriana serves on the Investments Team at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). In this role, she manages the LACI Impact and Debt Funds and supports entrepreneurs in accessing and securing capital from investors across the world. Prior to LACI, Adriana served as a Financial Analyst at Samuel A. Ramirez & Co., Inc., the largest Latino investment banking firm in the country. There, she focused on providing quantitative banking analysis and support for the procurement of funds for local, regional and national capital improvement projects. Prior to Ramirez, Adriana worked as a Development Analyst for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, helping daily to secure funding for the more than 10,000 scholarships HSF distributes to Latino students nationwide. Outside of work, Adriana is a member of the member of the Young Alumni Board for 21st Century Leaders; a delegate for the National Alumnae Strategy Task Force for Girls Incorporated; and an active young alumna of the Yale Latino Alumni Association. Ms. Embus Figueroa graduated with honors from Yale with a B.A. in Ethnicity, Race & Migration and Political Science, and was a QuestBridge Scholar. She is of Colombian & Puerto-Rican descent, and was born and raised in Columbus, Georgia.
Mariana Garza is an associate at XYZ Venture Capital. While at school she researched venture capital, innovation, and intellectual property and interned at Bessemer Venture Partners on the investment team and on the entrepreneur selection and growth team at Endeavor Global. Outside of her interests in entrepreneurship and tech, Mariana loves todo stand-up comedy and boxing and talk about Mexican art and culture. Mariana goes by Mars (like the planet) and is based on the East Coast. She graduated from Harvard College in May of 2020 with an Honors concentration in Economics and a secondary in the History of Art and Architecture.
A VCFamilia member, Leandro Bedolla is a VC at M25 in Chicago, the most active Pre-Seed and Seed stage firm investing in Midwest-based startups across most industries (14 states, 117 companies). He sources and meets with founders, conducts analysis and due diligence, supports portfolio companies and firm operations, and initiatives including and the Midwest Startup City Rankings. Additionally, Leandro volunteers with LatinxVC co-leading the Breaking into VC Fellowship, VCFamilia, mentors for Techstars and NVCA/Venture Forward’s VC University, and was recognized by HBCUvc as a 2021 Emerging Venture Leader. Previously, Leandro was an associate for the Techstars Anywhere accelerator, Tech Coast Angels’ volunteer analyst program, and built up Startup San Diego’s ecosystem as MD of sponsorships and a lead organizer for San Diego Startup Week. He graduated from Valparaiso University, grew up in Illinois, and is originally from Central Mexico.
A VCFamilia member, Daisy Garcia is a passionate Sr. Investment Analyst at JetBlue Technology Ventures, where she optimizes investments by conducting in-depth analyses and due diligence of early stage startups. Her analytical focus is on startups that operate at the intersection of travel, hospitality, and technology. Some of her areas of interest include artificial intelligence, sustainability, and cybersecurity.  She previously lived in Sweden for over two years, where she worked with an early stage VC and angel syndicate, while acquiring an international education. Her career has also taken her abroad to Israel, Uganda, India, and Latvia. She holds dual MSCs in International Business from the Stockholm School of Economics, and double BAs in Mathematics and Environmental Economics from UC Berkeley.
A VC Familia member, Yesenia Avila Gallardo from Occam Advisors helps clients execute their impact investment strategies. As a Principal at Occam, she works primarily with Potencia Ventures, a family office, to source, diligence, and manage early-stage venture investments in companies with business models that serve or impact low-income customers.  She is also the founder of Papalotzin where she works with artisanal mezcal producers in Mexico to import distilled agave spirits into the US.
A VCFamilia member, Amelia Gandara is a Principal at Nationwide Ventures. She has a dual role, managing the fund’s operations and investing alongside the team. She focuses on Nationwide’s early-stage investments with a passion for insurtechs. Amelia has additional experience in investing, operations, strategy and partnerships with stints at GE and a pre-seed funding program.  We talk about trends in insurtech, her passion for ballet and art, and advice for people wanting to transition into the corporate VC space.
This is another episode in the VCFamilia series where we highlight Latinx in Venture Capital. In this episode, we highlight Bianca Caban who is a Principal at Heartland Ventures (HV), a Seed & Series A fund with an investor base of strategic corporations located throughout the Midwest. At HV, Bianca is responsible for leading the firm’s deal sourcing, co-investor relations, and founder interactions in Silicon Valley. Prior to that she was Head of Partnerships at Republic, an AngelList spin-off, and CEO of SheWorx, which was acquired by Republic in 2019. Before Republic she worked for a decade in financial services including at firms, Credit Suisse, BlackRock, and Atlas Merchant Capital, which sought investment in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. Bianca also established a consultancy, Taino Capital, where she worked with clients on fund formation and strategy. Bianca received a BA from Harvard College and an MBA from Columbia University.
Monique Villa leads Mucker Capital's Nashville office, investing in companies across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. She is also the co-founder of Build In SE, a community of startup founders and ecosystem partners committed to company building in the Southeast.  Prior to joining Mucker's investment team, Monique's career in early-stage venture capital began in 2013 leading investor relations for Velos Partners, and more recently with Core Innovation Capital. Earlier in her career, Monique advised digital entertainment startups on business development and strategic partnerships and later went on to lead a startup accelerator for students in the Greater Los Angeles area. Her love for startups began in 2008 while interning for TOMS, where she supported finance and inventory management projects for several nationwide launches. To request an intro, email