The lack of diversity in tech from the socio-economic representation to demographic representation across all underrepresented populations is a very visible and well-known issue.
Meanwhile, Latinx-owned businesses are growing even faster than the population. It’s estimated that there were 5.3. million Latinx-owned businesses in 2017, making up over 42% of all minority businesses.
These stats are impressive, however, only 2–3% of those businesses are profitable and scale successfully. We’re building a lot of companies, but we need to start focusing on industries and solutions that scale effectively.
When it comes to the tech sector, the Latinx population only represents 3% of the workforce. Working in the tech industry allows for immediate wealth generation for individuals and their families as well as the entrepreneurial innovative impact that can shape society at large. As the second largest and fastest growing ethnic minority in the US, we are primed to be at the forefront of progressive advancement, utilizing technology as a tool to build equity.
Latinx in America are a force of untapped potential.
Community is our strength
Last month I was reminded of the entrepreneurial spirit of my community when I visited my family in Charlotte, NC. I spent part of my time helping my grandmother serve her delicious food to hundreds as she kicked off a soft launch of her newest made-to-order food business, “Rincon Criollo,” at the Puerto Rican Pride festival.
My grandmother has always been an entrepreneur and found ways to endure by sharing her gift of cooking with the world, showcasing her will to bring about the best against all odds. This visit nourished my spirit as we all danced, ate, and celebrated the joy that accompanies my Puerto Rican heritage. It was also a reminder of the resilience and power of my family and broader community and all the ways in which we come together to build, sustain, and celebrate.
I joined the Kapor Center as the Latinx in Tech Program Manager earlier this year, committing my focus to building effective and sustainable pathways for more people like me to get into tech. Fueled by the energy of my visit, I was extremely excited to incorporate the feeling of familia as I work to create a space where Latinx support one another as a collective, while celebrating the rich and beautiful diversity of all of our cultures.
Our time is now: Join the movement
I am honored to share that the Kapor Center is launching the inaugural LTX Summit. This summit is a first-of-its-kind experience for Latinx to focus our energies, build community, ignite innovation, and offer support for continued and sustained success in the tech industry.
The LTX Summit will take place on November 1st and 2nd in Oakland, CA and we welcome all members of the Latinx community and allies to join us as this movement begins and we prepare to step into power.
Leading up to the summit, we’re proud to have partnered with Techstars and the Bank of New York to launch our 2nd National Startup Weekend: Latinx in Tech. We’re very excited to leverage Techstar’s proven Startup Weekend model to expose over 900 Latinx participants to the entrepreneurial mindset.
This effort is kicking off in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month on September 19th and ending on October 21st. We will activate 10 cities over three weekends including New York, Boston, Miami, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Detroit, Philadelphia, Portland, Tucson, LA, and Oakland.
We’re thrilled to launch this national effort and invest in the future of the Latinx community as we begin to own our opportunity and step bravely into leadership and power. Our broad intersectional identity makes us a powerful force. We need to continue to support one another so we create more leaders who continue to inspire younger generations.
I look forward to seeing you all in the coming months.