Monday, June 29, 2015

Meet The Latino Entrepreneur Who Aims To Transform A Trillion Dollar Market

A few years ago, Edrizio De La Cruz had a great idea:  a better way for émigrés to send money back home by reducing the friction caused by middlemen (the incumbent service providers).  The idea catapulted the Dominican Republic-born Wharton grad into the higher echelons of the startup world, landing him onstage at Demo Day for Y-Combinator’s class of 2013.  

He then secured $3 million in funding, which — as my good friend Tiq Chapa at the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative has said– is one of the few real VC scores for Latino entrepreneurs “east of the Mississippi.” Regalii, his company, is based in Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan, one of the largest hubs in the world for Dominican émigrés.

Read full article

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Nation’s Top Entrepreneurs Of Color To Convene In New Orleans July 1-3 For 2nd Annual Powermoves Nola Conference

NEW ORLEANS (June 23, 2015) — PowerMoves.NOLA is convening the country’s premier entrepreneurs of color for its second annual national conference in New Orleans on July 1-3, 2015 to coincide with ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola®. The three-day event is designed to connect nationally-sourced entrepreneurs with a preeminent network of advisors, experts, and investors. The conference advances PowerMoves.NOLA’s mission to increase the number of America’s venture-backed, minority-founded companies in high-tech and high-growth sectors. It is made possible through the generous support of Chevron as Founding Sponsor and Morgan Stanley as Presenting Sponsor.

“Entrepreneurs of color do not typically have access to deep pools of capital, and this event is about identifying the very best of this historically overlooked talent pool and connecting them to experienced investors. The entrepreneurs get unparalleled access, and the investors are exposed to attractive prospective investment opportunities at reasonable valuations,” said Earl Robinson, the president of PowerMoves.NOLA.

More than 50 highly-regarded investors and advisors and some 40 entrepreneurs will be in attendance. In addition to hand-selecting the nation’s most promising entrepreneurs of color, several invitation-only events ensure top-quality deal flow.

The conference will also include the culmination of the PowerUp Boot Camp for early-stage entrepreneurs of color. The intense program helps them develop viable brands, produce effective business models, and prepare for the Demo Day presentation to potential investors held at the conference on July 3.

For descriptions of all participating entrepreneurs, visit http://www.powermovesnola.org/2015-conference/.


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Entergy Angel Pitch
This pitch will feature five early-stage entrepreneurs competing for a $25,000 cash prize.
July 2, 9AM - 10:30AM, Club XLIV in Champions Square (LaSalle St)

Morgan Stanley Series A Pitch
This pitch will feature five later-stage entrepreneurs competing for a $25,000 cash prize.
July 2, 11AM - 12:30PM, Club XLIV in Champions Square (LaSalle St)

PowerMoves Alumni Panel
This panel will feature former PowerMoves.NOLA Pitch and Demo Day participants as they discuss their experiences scaling their startups and raising capital as entrepreneurs of colors.
July 2, 2PM - 3:30PM, Club XLIV in Champions Square (LaSalle St)

Morgan Stanley FinTech Showcase
This showcase will feature five entrepreneurs representing the financial technology field present their business models to a select group of investors and industry business leaders.
July 3, 8:30AM - 10AM, Freeport-MacMoRan Building, 1615 Poydras Str, 23rd Floor

PowerUp Demo Day presented by IBERIABANK
Twenty early-stage tech entrepreneurs of color will culminate their 6-week boot camp at the PowerUp Demo Day where they will pitch for the chance to win a $15,000 cash prize.
July 3, 10AM - 11:30AM, Pan American Life Building, 601 Poydras St. -20th Floor - IBERIABANK Atrium

Big Break Power Pitch
Four consumer-focused startups founded by entrepreneurs of color will compete at the 2015 ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola® for the chance to get their “Big Break.” The winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize and exposure to investors and business leaders. The Big Break Power Pitch will be moderated by Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisory at Morgan Stanley.
July 3, 1:30PM – 2:15PM, Center stage in the Ernst M. Morial Convention Center

More about the conference at http://www.powermovesnola.org/2015-conference/

ABOUT POWERMOVES.NOLA
PowerMoves.NOLA is a national initiative to deploy innovative ideas, fresh approaches, and an overall commitment to equity and diversity as a growth strategy to address the generational obstacles that prevent minority entrepreneurship. Leveraging the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, resources, and culture of New Orleans, PowerMoves.NOLA’s mission is to increase the number of venture-backed minority-founded companies locally and nationally.

PowerMoves.NOLA is made possible through the generous support of its sponsors including Chevron as Founding Sponsor and Morgan Stanley as the Presenting Sponsor. Other major sponsors include Entergy, IBERIABANK, Liberty Bank, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola®.

In addition to the national conference, programs include City Ventures, PowerUp Boot Camps, and a fellowship.

City Ventures
City Ventures introduce regional and national startup talent to partner cities, highlight existing local entrepreneurial resources and ecosystems, and aid in the strategic positioning of those cities as regional hubs for high-growth and high-tech entrepreneurs of color. City Ventures kicked off with the activation of PowerMoves@Detroit sponsored by Morgan Stanley in April.  Co-hosted by Invest Detroit, PowerMoves@Detroit was a three-day event in which local and nationally recruited entrepreneurs of color participated in venture capital pitch competitions, vying for $120,000 in direct prizes and a chance to raise their visibility to other investors.

A short video on PowerMoves@Detroit can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/candlelightfilms/review/127048836/2ec6140b5b

PowerUp Boot Camp
PowerUp is an intense boot camp training for early-stage entrepreneurs of color to develop viable and fundable business models with advice from successful entrepreneur and investor mentors. The boot camp begins with a 6-week virtual program where companies attend interactive sessions covering specific entrepreneurship-related topics and pitch coaching. Participants are then brought together for 2-days of mentor-led workshops, peer learning and networking.

The Fellowship
The Fellowship, sponsored by Chevron, helps high-growth minority-led startups succeed by individually connecting them to executive, capital and technical assistance through a national network of advisors, mentors, experts and investors.  Selected Fellow received $25,000 in investment capital and free office space during their fellowship year the PowerMoves headquarters. Eligible startups commit to have a C-Level executive and be at 25% or more of their FTE employees living in the New Orleans for at least a year.

More at powermovesnola.org.

Monday, June 22, 2015

La Placita offers testing ground for Hispanic entrepreneurs

The maker movement is on the rise in Cleveland, and a new effort aims to capture that entrepreneurial spirit in the Hispanic community clustered in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood.

Last month, La Placita at West 25th and Clark premiered its first-ever open-air market, showcasing 30 eclectic local makers and food purveyors. Hundreds came out to experience the blend of rich culture and unique businesses.

Read full article

Thursday, June 18, 2015

43 lessons growing from $0 to $1+ million in revenue, twice

I realized the other day that we’ve grown from $0 to $1 million with two separate products (HelloSign and HelloFax). This happened a long time ago, but I was recently reflecting on the lessons.

I found a lot of growth truisms to be false. We’ve learned a lot. Some lessons were painfully won, which is why I may sound strongly opinionated about them. They also may be slanted towards B2B products, but I wouldn’t discount them if you’re not in that space.

Read full article

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Intel launches investment fund for minority, women-led firms

SANTA CLARA, California (AP) — Intel is launching a $125 million investment fund for technology startups led by women and minorities, a move the chipmaker says is aimed at changing the face of Silicon Valley.

The new fund, which is unusual for its focus on minority-led companies, is part of a broader effort that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has launched amid widespread criticism of a U.S. tech industry dominated by white male executives and investors.

Krzanich announced plans earlier this year to spend $300 million on diversity efforts and pledged to make Intel's workforce and executive ranks more closely resemble the U.S. workforce by 2020. Intel has previously said its workforce is about 24 percent female and 12 percent black and Hispanic. The U.S. workforce is about 47 percent women and 26 percent black and Hispanic.

Read full article

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

BCC to target Hispanic businesses with accelerator

Hispanic entrepreneurs could soon reap the benefits of a program in the Meadowlands specifically aimed at helping Latino startups.

Bergen Community College has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey to develop a start-up assistance program, or business accelerator, that both organizations believe would be the first in New Jersey aimed specifically at Latinos.

Read full article

Monday, May 18, 2015

Jersey City holds Hispanic Entrepreneur and Small Business Conference

Jersey City held its first Hispanic Entrepreneur and Small Business Conference at City Hall on Wednesday to offer services to those trying to start, grow or expand Jersey City small businesses.

Attendees heard from a number speakers and officials, including Carlos Medina, president of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey; Maria Nieves, president and CEO of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce; and Chris Murphy, manager of Statewide Strategic Initiatives for the New Jersey Department of Labor.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jennica Carmona >www.jennicacarmona.com

Jennica Carmona, Owner, Si Se Puede Productions, LLC

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Ambition, focus, organization, and determination.

What did inspire you to start your business?
The desire to create opportunities for myself as well  as for  my colleagues.

How did you finance it?
Fundraising events, grants, and personal investments.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Yes. We choose to work on projects with a Latino theme, and/or work with Latino and other minority groups during productions.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
You have to believe in yourself and what you are doing. Believe that what you are doing will have a powerful and positive impact on other people- that will give you strength to keep going!

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Raising the funds to complete the film, “Millie and the Lords”.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I wish we had a larger staff to help with administrative tasks. We are a group of three and currently
do it all on our own.

What was your childhood ambition?
To be a dancer.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
I admire filmmakers Spike Lee, Ava Duvernay and Leon Ichaso.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Breakfast- I have more energy at the beginning of the day!

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
It’s a huge time commitment and you can’t always be with your family as much as you would like to be. Your relationships may suffer. It takes a lot of patience and understanding on the part of your loved ones. So I sacrificed a lot of time with family and friends.

What is your favorite quote?
“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong”. (Ella Fitzgerald)

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Yes, very. Particularly as a Latina woman. There are so many traditional roles that you are cast in, so many expectations. It’s hard to stand up to that and say no, that’s not what I want, I want to do something different. It may not be right for you, but it is for me.  

Biggest mistake made?
I don’t believe in mistakes- I believe in “learning opportunities”. 

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes, I do. I started my own production company with my sister and husband. That takes a lot of effort and hard work, not everybody does that. We don’t have big names or a lot of money, but we have a lot of passion and are willing to work hard to achieve our goals. I also think that we are innovators in the sense that we are creating opportunities for other artists, and we inspire others to do the same.

About the Company
We are a small independent production company that produces film and theater. Our first film, “Millie and the Lords”, is currently touring the film festival circuit. We have received the best Feature Award from the Viva Latino Film festival as well as the Award of Excellence from The Rincon International Film Festival. 
Our current play, Elvira, is currently touring at various college and universities throughout the country. 
Movie site is : www.millieandthelords.com
Personal site is: www.jennicacarmona.com
Facebook: Millie and the Lords



Saturday, February 14, 2015

Andre Hidalgo > www.2StrongMusic.com

Andre Hidalgo, Owner, 2 Strong Music

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?

Passion, Hustle perseverance cause with out those it will never happen.

What inspired you to start your business?
My love for Bachata Music & after launching Aventura's career I just had to keep going.

How did you finance it?
At first it just worked my regular 9 to 5 and payed everything my self then as time went by the music started paying for itself.

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
Yes of course as I run a mainly Latin based Record Label.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
Sheer will power and inspiration from my own work and what I had already accomplished.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The greed of others in the industry which in turn brings disloyalty, hate & opportunities blocked. 

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I would make the industry more united & honest.

What was your childhood ambition?
Funny but my childhood ambition was to have beautiful big family, marriage, kids & house was all I needed.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
Steve Jobs, P Diddy and Pitbull.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I prefer lunch or dinner.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
My biggest sacrifice was having less time with my kids & of course never sleeping.

What is your favorite quote?
"I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees" ; "Love & Loyalty" which are words i live by. The second one I'm not sure if its a quote that out there but its a quote that I always use.

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
It is at times because most people dont understand or get the genius behind some unconventional ideas & a lot of the times these are the ones that make history or change the world.

Biggest mistake made?
Trusting people too much, believing in there honor, morals or dignity that is usually not there.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes I do. Mainly because I think outside the box; I usually see what most don't. I never just follow the crowd; I'm not afraid to try the new different things that i know can work.  Its just a shame not everyone realizes that ....haha.

About the Company
2 Strong Music is a Latin indie Record Label it was founded in 2001 By Andres (DRE) Hidalgo CEO, Producer and owner. A visionary in the Latin Urban Music world Andres has solid experience discovering, producing, developing & managing artists into award winning overnight success stories! Such as Aventura, Xtreme and Prince Royce.
Website: 
Sitio Web: www.2StrongMusic.com

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Leticia Moreinis Schwartz >www.chefleticia.com

Leticia Moreinos Schwartz, Founder,  Chef Leticia


What inspired you to start your business?
A desire to communicate my passion for cooking and writing about Latin culture.

How did you finance it?
I am in the process of working with sponsors.

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
Absolutely!! My business is based on sharing the love for Latin culture!

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
I will use Martin Luther King’s words to answer this question:
“If you can’t fly, then run
If you can’t run, then walk
If you can’t walk, then crawl,
But whatever you do,
You have to keep moving forward.”

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
As any start up, the beginning is always hard.

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I would like to take it to the next level.

What was your childhood ambition?
At what age? The things I wanted at 10, were not the same I wanted at 12, and not the same when I was 16. Somewhere along those years, I wanted to own a restaurant. But then, when I actually worked in restaurants, I decided to find another dream.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
Jorge Paulo Lehmann, Brazilian investor;
Sophia Vergara, Colombian actress capitalizing on Latin culture;
Rachel Ray, making a fortune on all things cooking/media.

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I prefer lunch.

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
I have to say no to a lot of things in order to focus on my business.

What is your favorite quote?
"There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
--Albert Einstein

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Not at all, I was born this way.

Biggest mistake made?
Mistakes are evaluated by its margin of error. When I was in my 20’s and early 30’s I could afford them. I said yes to many wrong things and no to many right things. I could recover because time was on my side. Now, mistakes are almost shameful. I have another quote for that: “ When you repeat a mistake, it’s not a mistake anymore. It’s a decision”. Paulo Coelho

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes, I am trying to create something that doesn’t exist yet.

Description of the company:
Teacher. Author. Spokesperson. Personality.
Leticia Moreinos Schwartz has built a career on the passion for Latin cuisine. She was born and raised in Brazil, received a BA in economics and worked in finances. She moved to NYC and studied Culinary and Pastry Arts at the French Culinary Institute. She continued her training at legendary restaurants like Le Cirque 2000, La Grenouille, La Caravelle and Payard Patisserie and Bistro.
She then studied Journalism and started a food blog. Her first cookbook The Brazilian Kitchen was published in 2010 and won the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards for Best Latin Cookbook. Her second cookbook, My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook was published in 2013 to raving reviews.
She is the spokesperson to Merck’s diabetes campaign Desafiando La Diabetes, with interviews in Spanish, English, and Portuguese. Among her tasks, Leticia develops diabetic-friendly recipes for the campaign. She was as a featured guest on Sara’s Weeknight Meals, and has appeared on several TV shows including The Today Show. Leticia’s main goal is to bridge business and promotional interests between Brazil and Latin America with the rest of the world. She is working on a cooking show about Latin Cuisine.

Leticia Moreinos Schwartz
Author of The Brazilian Kitchen & My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook.
Web: www.chefleticia.com
Blog: blog.chefleticia.com




Thursday, December 18, 2014

South Florida Cultivates Hispanic Entrepreneurship, Recognizes Top 25 Hispanic-Owned Businesses

SOUTHWEST RANCHES, Fla.,-- This year, ANF Group, Blue Star Foods, Eastern National Bank, T&G Constructors and Bankers Healthcare Group made their debut in South Florida Business Journal's Top 25 South Florida Hispanic-Owned Businesses of 2014. Brightstar Corporation of Miami sits at the top of the list with $7.2 billion in revenue.

"It's truly an honor to be recognized among other leading Hispanic-owned businesses in South Florida," said Bob Castro, president and co-founder of Bankers Healthcare Group, a leading provider of innovative financing solutions for healthcare professionals and number 16 on the list. "Together, we're contributing to our region's economic development and forging a path for future Hispanic entrepreneurs in the U.S."

Read full article

Saturday, December 6, 2014

What it’s like to be a Latino entrepreneur in Silicon Valley

SAN JOSE, Calif.—Alex Murillo leans forward in his seat, sipping coffee from a shot glass and waving his hands as he talks. He points to the screen of his MacBook Pro, explaining the genius behind Audive, the mobile application he is developing that allows users to record cover songs and mix tracks with music enthusiasts around the world.

“This is the secret sauce,” says Murillo, hitting a key on his computer that fills the air with the sound of a man singing in Italian. “You can bring in vocals from a guy in Italy or you can bring in the flamenco guitar from Spain.”

Read full article

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What It's Like to Be a Latino Entrepreneur in Silicon Valley

November 24, 2014 SAN JOSE, Caif.—Alex Murillo leans forward in his seat, sipping coffee from a shot glass and waving his hands as he talks. He points to the screen of his MacBook Pro, explaining the genius behind Audive, the mobile application he is developing that allows users to record cover songs and mix tracks with music enthusiasts around the world.

"This is the secret sauce," says Murillo, hitting a key on his computer that fills the air with the sound of a man singing in Italian. "You can bring in vocals from a guy in Italy or you can bring in the flamenco guitar from Spain."

Read full article

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hispanic expo to focus on entrepreneurs

A 28-year-old artist and entrepreneur, Rene Soto characterizes his ventures as young, small and gaining in recognition. His wedding and events publication, Glamorous Magazine, is bilingual and less than a year old. Rene Soto Art & Photography is less than two years old.

In his small office on Stamford's Main Street, Soto says Hispanic businesses often fly under the radar, and he's hoping for a boost from the upcoming fifth annual Business Expo, sponsored by the Greater Stamford Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Read full article

Monday, November 3, 2014

Aspiring Hispanic Entrepreneurs Find Opportunity

The face of the nation is changing. The Census Bureau announced last week that Hispanics have surpassed blacks as the largest minority group. And in about 30 years, Hispanics will be the majority in Ttexas.

Many cities are now looking forward-- helping out Hispanics today who want to build successful businesses for tomorrow.

"I see more and more hispanic people every day." says Maricela Aguilera.  They come right into her store, Gonzalez' Gro

Read full article

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Diego Prusky>www.Inpulsedm.com


Diego Prusky, Founder & CEO, Inpulse Digital

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Thick skin, creativity and passion. Thick skin in order to still be creative throughout the hurdles of running a business. Creativity is absolutely essential to create new services and products, new processes, and to imagine something that doesn’t yet exist. And without passion for your business, you can’t spend the endless hours that it takes to run it successfully.


What inspired you to start your business?
My parents, although I didn’t know it initially. My father and my grandfather were entrepreneurs. I enjoy the challenge of building something. It is a huge source of energy for me (which my team has to cope with). At some point I realized why my dad had done some things that as a kid I didn’t understand (I was the youngest). I know now that he was strategizing.


How did you finance it?
With my own savings, I have been saving all my life. We had a ranch in Uruguay. When I was about 10, I bought a sheep, which had twins. About six years later, my dad made me sell everything because between me and my brother we had grown a herd. While finishing college I also spent some time in software consulting for Y2K projects and that allowed me to save money too. 


Does being Hispanic/Latino have any influence on your business?
We are all about understanding our client’s consumers. What really helps is having lived, travelled, studied, and analyzed different cultures. We are focused on the Hispanic market because we feel very comfortable and passionate about it.


In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
Experience helps. After making a few mistakes, you learn that adversity and economic downturns are all opportunities if you are prepared.
I love my work, I believe we are the best Hispanic social media agency around; we thrive on Intel’s principle of destroy your business or others will. We are always evolving.


What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
In the early stages, going from a single large client to multiple clients in the middle of a crisis was tough. We needed to build up and grow our infrastructure while dealing with the uncertainty of the market. Music was our first industry and they’ve been ahead of the curve, which helped us a lot.


If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I’m constantly changing things. We are always developing new services, testing new approaches. We started a social video lab just in time for Facebook’s auto-play video launch. We also created a social media research department this year. There’s a lot more we need to do.


What was your childhood ambition?
According to my mom I would say I wanted to be the boss like my dad. I used to read a lot about animals, especially African wildlife and I wanted to help save these amazing animals. I still hope I can help. I talk to my kids about it. Fortunately kids today know about Polar bears being close to extinction, and water preservation, all things that I had to learn on my own. Right now the White Rhino is about to go into extinction, there are about 5 left. I think we can take better care of our home.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
In general I don’t admire people by the size of what they’ve built, but by how they did it, the teams they’ve assembled around them, and the challenges they’ve faced. I admire friends who have been able to keep a balance between work and life, while maintaining a low profile. I’m also very intrigued about what Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’s endeavors will look like 10-15 years from now. He has been spending on growth and expansion, and the stock has tripled in 5 years. I admire entrepreneurs that give back to the community. I think they can really save the world by showing the rest of us mortals a better balance in life.


For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Usually lunch, I try to have breakfast with my kids when I’m in town.


What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
My wife probably has a long list! Being away from home, working long hours, not taking enough vacation, and probably the biggest challenge is, as an entrepreneur you are always thinking about the business. It’s a 24x7x365 job.


What is your favorite quote?
“El diablo sabe por diablo pero más sabe por viejo” My mom used to tell me this when I challenged some of her responses as a kid. It reminds me that we can always learn new things and that experience is very important.


Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Not if you trust yourself and why you are doing it. I meet hundreds of people per year and some are way more unconventional and successful, and that gives me courage and inspiration.


Biggest mistake made?
Not taking more risks. Since we are self-funded, and have gone through the dot com bust, 9-11 and the Great Recession, I’ve tended to be conservative, but we’ve probably lost some growth opportunities because of it .


Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I’m a Chemical Engineer, then I got into software development in the late 90s with Y2K projects. I then went on to launch the hosting & digital arm of the company I was working for and then launched InPulse as a social media agency. I like change, I like constantly thinking about and understanding how technology is changing our habits, how we communicate and what we expect from brands and entertainers.


Description of the company
InPulse Digital works for the most demanding clients at the forefront of digital: media & entertainment. InPulse Digital manages over 40 million social connections and is continually innovating and adapting to changing digital platforms and social media landscapes.  As a leading Hispanic marketing social media agency, InPulse Digital has executed hundreds of projects in over 20 countries for clients such as Universal Music, Warner Music, Sony Pictures Television, MTV, Univisión, E! Online Latino, as well as various celebrities and athletes.http://inpulsemd.com

Monday, October 27, 2014

Earlene Cruz >www.Kitchenconnection.org

Earlene Cruz, Founder, Kitchen Connection

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Above all, you need passion and that passion will help you draw in the people and the resources that you don’t have on your own to make your project a success. 

What inspired you to start your business? 
A serendipitous moment of what I call ‘good fortune’, losing all of my money before going to Ghana inspired my business idea. In short, good people in a moment of desperation opened my eyes to the beauty of human connection and the opportunities surrounding that beauty.

How did you Finance it? 
Bootstrapping: a combination of my savings, my wonderful mother’s support, and a private investor. 

Does being Hispanic/Latina have any influence on your business?
Absolutely – I always say that my first language was ‘Spanglish’, speaking a combination of Spanish and English among my network of family and friends. This innately became the root of my curiosity for other languages and other cultures. This curiosity led me to travel to over 40 countries before the age of 21 and to want to continue exploring other cultures through food: hence the premise for KitchenConnection.org

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to drive ahead?
I write things down; I make a plan. It’s the closest thing I find to dealing with roadblocks – it brings the abstract problems in my mind down to something concrete that I can visualize, and sometimes seeing it on paper makes me realize that the situation isn’t actually as bad as I’m making it seem in my head. 

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Leveraging resources – we live in a land, (in a world) of opportunity, but that doesn’t always mean that we know how and when to best take advantage of those opportunities. Timing is key, but it’s not like every venture or project has a definitive schedule that tells you what to do what and with what, so it’s really a matter of iterating and discovering as you go. Every business is different, and although there are guidelines, Google doesn’t always have the answers – trust me. 

If you could change one thing about your business. What would it be?
I would change how limiting my business can be. KitchenConnection.org is an online business that aims to connect people all over the world, but the truth is that not everyone has a computer, not everyone can access the internet, and all of these things seriously impede the ultimate mission of the project. I hope that Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to connect the entire world to the internet really works out! 

What was your childhood ambition? 
My ultimate dream was to be Judge Judy. 

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire.
My mother, Mark Zuckerberg, Denise M. Morrison 

For business meetings, which do you prefer: breakfast, lunch, or dinner? 
Lunch 

What sacrifices in your personal life did you have to make in order to become successful in your business?
I had to leverage a mother growing ill, end a prior commitment to teach English in France, and learn to balance relationships during the many weeks I spent waking up at 4am – seriously not living during the hours the rest of my friends and family did. 

What is your favorite quote?
"Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change" 

Is it difficult to be unconventional? 
I think we’re all ‘unconventional’ in ways; none of us are made to be ‘conventional’; it’s displaying that unconventionality publically and being true to that nature that’s truly difficult. 

Biggest mistake made?
Not prioritizing: saying ‘yes’ when I knew in my heart that it was a ‘no’. 

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Except for a pretty solid dog bark (even my dog gets confused), I don’t consider myself to be overly talented or creative. I am, however, determined, and when I think of a plan or an idea, I really try my hardest to execute it. Nothing seems too ludicrous or extravagant in my mind. I’m aware of the many possibilities in the world, and that leads me to innovate and take advantage of the resources around me. We all have ideas; we’re all innovators. It all comes down to execution. 

Description of the company:
KitchenConnection.org is a platform that virtually connects individuals by two common interests: food and cooking. This happens through a live, video session. A portion of the funds contributed to the Cheffies for their time goes toward the alleviation of global hunger through our international partner, Action Against Hunger, whose mission is to save lives by eliminating hunger through the prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition, especially during and after emergency situations of conflict, war and natural disaster. Our partners, chefs and culinary schools alike, are all over the world, but Kitchen Connection is not only for the professionals. It’s for culinary enthusiasts everywhere. Why not share the meals we share with each other with the rest of the world? Discover a new recipe—discover a new culture. 
KitchenConnection.org: You’re eating-I’m eating- and because we’re eating together, someone else is eating too. 

Twitter: KitchenConnOrg
Instagram: KitchenConnection
Google +: Google +
LinkedIn: linkedin.com

Friday, October 10, 2014

Latino Entrepreneurs To Students: Ask Questions, Be Ready For Anything

HARTFORD — Leticia Colon de Mejias gave a swift rundown of her life in the Bulkeley High School auditorium Thursday.

"I'm a mother of six children, I own four companies, last year I made over a million dollars and I'm under 40 years old," said Colon, who founded Energy Efficiencies Solutions, a Windsor energy conservation firm, four years ago with a $25,000 loan.

The longer version? It involved seeing every job as an opportunity, researching ideas and being ready for anything, she told students. "None of the doors will open until you start asking the questions," she said.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

The Best And Worst Cities For Hispanic Entrepreneurs

Hispanics and Latinos now make up the largest ethnic minority in the U.S. By 2050 they will constitute a third of the country’s population, according to census figures and their impact in business continues to grow. Latinos today account for more than 70,000 of the country’s CEOs and the number of Hispanic entrepreneurs has tripled over the past twenty years – surging from around 557,000 in 1992 to over two million in 2012, according to a report by the Partnership for a New American Economy.

Together, they brought in an estimated $486 billion in revenue, says the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Laura Perez > www.bylaurapr.com

Laura Perez, Founder, By Laura PR 

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Yes, it does influence my business. It sets me apart from many fashion publicists. Due to the fact that I'm a Mexican American fashion publicist, I'm bilingual, I'm fluent in both English and Spanish, nothing will be lost in translation when communicating with mainstream media in the U.S., Hispanic media and the media in Mexico.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
Of course having a business is difficult, but I work hard everyday to provide a unique service to my clients. I've always visualized myself being a business owner and now that I am one, I continue being persistent and consistent to reach my goals as a business owner and as a publicist.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?
I'm sure just like any other PR agency, I also struggle to find great clients to collaborate with.

If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I wouldn't change anything because the challenges and the success I've had so far, have gotten me to where I am today.

What was your childhood ambition?
My childhood ambition was to encourage others to follow their dreams, I thought about being a teacher. This childhood ambition translated to wanting to be apart of the fashion PR industry and assist brands obtain exposure and achieve their goals.

Tell us about three people that you admire?
My adoring twin sister Lourdes, founder of My Coordinates My Compass, she always finds humor in the most difficult situations and encourages me to keep going. 
Crosby Noricks, founder of PR Couture. Crosby has been there since the beginning of my career, she has given me many opportunities to grow as a publicist. 
Jennifer Berson, founder and owner of Jeneration PR. Jen has been the most amazing mentor, she has been extremely supportive and encouraging, I have truly learned a lot about the industry because of her!

For meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Lunch, because it not too early, not too late and you can really carry on a conversation.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Having to go from having a full time job with a steady income, to taking the leap to the unknown. In the end, it was worth taking the leap, because if you never try, you will never know.

What is your favorite quote?
"She was unstoppable, not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them." -Beau Taplin 

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Somewhat, being that my agency is Hispanic, digital and focused on fashion. It seems as if potential clients question how I can possibly complete my work and obtain results due to not being located in a big city and all my work is completed online.

Biggest mistake made?
Not taking the leap to start my own agency sooner.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes, I consider myself an innovator. I've always considered myself a leader, not a follower. I knew I wanted to have my own business and once I was drawn into the fashion PR industry, I knew I wanted to provide a service unlike any other. I wanted to use my Hispanic background to set me apart from my competition, and I wanted to provide my PR services to both national and international brands, being digital allows me to travel and work remotely at a moments notice.

About the Company:
By Laura PR is a Hispanic digital PR agency. We specialize in the growth of Fashion, Accessories and Jewelry brands. Being a digital agency means, "Instant PR at your fingertips."

Website: bylaurapr.com



Monday, September 29, 2014

Jessica Alba Talks Latina Identity, Complexities Of Race In New Generation

Jessica Alba feels Latina thanks to her father’s Mexican roots, but she knows that topics of race and identity won’t be so clear cut for her children.

The “Sin City” star is the face of Glam Belleza Latina’s Fall issue and spoke to the magazine about her heritage and why race becomes a more complicated for her daughters’ generation.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

From Tobacco to Tortillas: Latinos Remake Durham, North Carolina

DURHAM, N.C. -- Roselia Flores rushes into La Superior and quickly genuflects before the encased Virgin of Guadalupe statue in the corner of her supermarket.

“My first priority is God, then family and then work,” said Flores, who built the expansive Latino grocery-, bakery-, meat shop-, tortilleria-in-one.

A native of Mexico, Flores came to Durham from California in the mid-90s when the Latino population was about 2,000 people, just 1 percent of the city's population, according to a study by the Latino Migration Project at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.


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