Meet 200 Black & Latinx Founders Who Raised $1MM + In Venture CapitalMarch 2, 2020
The Powerful Combination Behind Barbie’s New Line UpMarch 5, 2020
Our recent article highlighting black women in VC was wildly popular and for that, we are grateful to all of you who joined the conversation and shared the post across social media platforms.
Naturally, dialogue around the lack of representation of black women in venture could not be had without also highlighting our Latinx sisters as well. While a dismal 0.2% of all venture capital goes to Black women, a mere 0.4% goes to Latinx women. This is despite the shifting demographics in the U.S. and the growing number of minority-led tech-enabled startups. Clearly, this is an oversight — or is it?
Just as there are black women making inroads in VC, our Latinx sisters are also forging their own paths in venture. And several of them are now part of a new organization called LatinX VC set up to help their peers advance or start their careers in VC. “Latinx VC builds on and takes inspiration from the work of BLCK VC and Culture Shift Labs to accelerate Latinos in venture,” says Noramay Cadena, of MiLA Capital, one of the founders of LatinX VC.
Below are 10 highflying Latinx trailblazers who are making great strides in the venture capital ecosystem.
1. Noramay Cadena, Co-founder & Managing Partner – MiLA Capital
Noramay is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants who earned multiple degrees at MIT with her young daughter in tow. She holds an MBA, a Master’s in Engineering Systems and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering all from MIT. Later she co-founded the Latinas STEM Foundation. She is a relentless champion for Latinx in tech and now, too, in VC. Noramay is an engineer, entrepreneur, and investor. Since its launch in 2015, Los-Angeles based MiLA Capital has invested in around 20 firms that have gone on to raise over $145m alongside creating jobs across the globe. MiLA leverages its extensive experience in manufacturing and supply chain to help founders tackle production challenges and get to market in a capital-efficient manner.
You can follow her here: @noramayc
2. Samara Mejia Hernandez, Founding Partner – Chingona Ventures
Samara Hernandez worked as a partner at MATH Ventures and is now Founding Partner at Chingona Ventures. Chingona Venture is a seed-stage fund that focuses on US-based tech-enabled companies. Prior to venture, Samara worked at Goldman Sachs asset management and business operations. She is active in the Chicago tech scene and has a vested interest in working with underrepresented groups in technology. Samara earned an Industrial and Operations Engineering degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s in Business Administration from Northwestern University.
You can follow her here: @SamaraMHernandz
3. Consuelo Valverde, Partner – SV Latam Capital
An entrepreneur and VC with degrees in electrical engineering, computer science, and science entrepreneurship, Consuelo Valverde is the Managing Partner of SV Latam Capital. The firm is focused on Latin America, the first firm to do so. A seasoned operator, Consuelo founded her first tech company at 21. Along the way, she has also founded an IT training center, a business coaching company and science museum. Consuelo also sits on the board of Oyester Financial and Ares Materials, Inc.
You can follow her here: @chvalverdep
4. Miriam Rivera, Managing Director – Ulu Ventures
Miriam is co-founder and managing director of Ulu Ventures, a $60M seed-stage venture fund focused on enterprise startups. A former deputy counsel at Google, Miriam is no newbie to investing. A Stanford University alum, Miriam is a key player in the Stanford ecosystem, serving as the Lead Counsel, the Stanford Law School Venture Fund and the Board of Trustees. She is the co-founder and former co-president of the Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs as well. She is also a Kauffman Fellow. Miriam founded Ulu in 2009 and its first fund was a 5x multiplier. Ulu invests and believes in founders of color, but the firm doesn’t just talk the talk, it walks it, too. The current fund’s makeup boasts 33% women CEOs, 39% minority CEOs and 50% minority co-founders.
You can follow her here: @miriamulu1
5. Ana Quintana, Managing Partner – Black Diamond Ventures
As Managing Partner of Black Diamond Ventures, Ana brings over 20 years of experience in venture capital, startup, and investment operations. Coupled with generations of entrepreneurial foresight and the ability to recognize early growth opportunities, Ana is passionate about diving into new ventures. Throughout the funding process, from evaluating deals, raising capital and working directly with portfolio companies, Ana drives BDV’s initiatives forward. Ana first joined BDV in 2000, inspired by the firm’s investment in GoTo.com (acquired by Yahoo), where she was a Senior Editor. Ana is also active in the entrepreneurial community in Southern California. She is a founding member of SHE Ventures in Tech – a group offering entrepreneurial support to female founders.
You can follow her here: @bdventures1
6. Lisa Feria, CEO – Stray Dog Capital
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Lisa is a graduate of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of business. Aligning her personal beliefs as a vegan, Lisa leads Stray Dog’s strategic investments in the plant-based market. The firm invests mainly in mission-driven companies but under Feria’s leadership has made over 30 investments in ‘future of food’ startups that offer healthy alternatives to beef, chicken, seafood, eggs, and dairy.
You can follow her here: @lisa_feria
7. Maria Salamanca, Principal – Unshackled Ventures
Maria Salamanca is a Colombian immigrant who has worked as a Principal with Unshackled Ventures since 2015. The fund that fills a unique space in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, funding teams with immigrant founders at the earliest stage of pre-seed. Maria won the 2017 California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Shark of the Year award. Named to Forbes 30 Under 30, Maria is a graduate of US Berkeley and before Unshackled worked at FWD.us, an immigration lobby.
You can follow her here: @MariaSalamancaM
8. Carolina Huaranca Mendoza, Advisor – Kapor Capital
Carolina joined Kapor Capital in 2016 and worked with the firm as a Principal. She’s now an advisor to the Oakland-based investment fund. Carolina is a generalist investor, but the sectors she is most excited about investing in are education, future of work, future of cities, SMEs, and GovTech. A former founder, Carolina founded Spriggle, a match and science-inspired marketplace for parents. Carolina is a fifth-generation Peruvian and a graduate of Cornell University where she received the prestigious Konologie MBA Fellowship.
You can follow her here: @carohuaranca
9. Lisa Morales-Hellebo – Co-founder and General Partner Refashioned Ventures
Lisa is an entrepreneur, product strategist, and venture capitalist. Refashioned is an early-stage venture fund that focuses on global supply chains. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Lisa works tirelessly to help underrepresented founders gain opportunities in technology. She sits on the board of Parrallel18, LePrix, and The Center for Advancing Innovation. Widely considered a supply chain expert, Lisa also runs the incredibly popular New York Supply Chain Meetup with her partner Brian Laung Aoaeh that boasts over 1250 members.
You can follow her here: @lisahellebo
10. Carmen Palafox – Partner at MiLA Capital
Carmen is a Southern Carolina native who successfully completed graduate degrees at USC and Berkeley. She currently resides in LA and works at the seed stage firm MiLA, where she focuses on helping entrepreneurs in the areas of finance and strategic planning. Before venture, Carmen wanted to become an accountant but now that she’s in venture, she focuses on making venture accessible to those who have traditionally been kept out of the process and to build bridges not just domestically but internationally as well.
You can follow her here: @PalafoxCarmen
Sian Morson is an investor, startup advisor and serial entrepreneur. Follow Sian on Twitter @sianmorson