The Latinx community is one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S.—at 17% of the country’s population, they're the largest minority. Yet despite the blazing-fast rate of new Latinx entrepreneurs entering the market each year, only 2% of VC-backed companies are Latinx-founded. This gap needs to be closed, and the narrative needs to change. Time and time again, the Latinx community has shown that their resilience and entrepreneurial acumen are some of their greatest strengths.
In honor of Latinx Heritage Month, we’re spotlighting some of the remarkable Latino/a founders, leaders, and innovators we believe are moving the tech industry in the right direction. By making tech more inclusive, building incredible products, and opening doors for others wherever they go, they’re paving the way for a better future.
Co-founder and CEO of Outreach
After leaving Ecuador to attend college in the U.S. at 20 years old, Manny Medina joined Amazon's AWS team as an early hire and took on a stint at Microsoft before jumping head first into entrepreneurship. Medina is now the CEO of Outreach, an AI-based sales engagement platform valued at over $1 billion. He’s working to build an inclusive environment for all within the company—including immigrant employees—by eliminating questions related to citizenship or visas from the recruiting process, creating a culture that celebrates diverse experiences, and actively preventing microaggressions.
Chief Technology Community Officer at the Kapor Center for Social Impact
An immigrant from Bolivia, Lili Gangas works at the intersection of technology, economic justice, and partnerships at the Kapor Center for Social Impact to tackle the social and economic inequities of underrepresented communities head-on. She believes in fostering inclusive tech ecosystems for all: “It’s an economic issue and it’s a civil rights issue because the way that the services have avoided certain zip codes is not by accident, it’s by design.”
VP of Creative, Digital, and Brand Experience at Zuora
A designer by trade with an impressive career spanning across nine cities and multiple crafts—from marketing to product to advertising—Sergio Claudio has led countless brands like Adobe and Apple to success as a brilliant digital strategist. When he’s not creating award winning work, he invests his time in building future creative leaders through his work as a mentor and advisor in ONE School, a portfolio school for a new generation of Black creatives.
Claudio recently joined us on stage for a candid conversation on finding his way into tech leadership, and what it means to open doors for others, and growing up Afro-Latino. “I was exposed to a wide spectrum of people and cultures, coming from a mixed family,” he told us. “People are always saying “you’re half this or half that” but you don’t live half of one experience or another—you live both experiences equally.”
Irma Olguin Jr.
Co-founder and CEO of Bitwise Industries
Irma Olguin Jr. is a queer Latina founder, a daughter of migrant farm workers, and the first in her family to go to college. But more than anything, she’s a trailblazer whose entire career revolves around opening doors for others. Irma’s company, Bitwise Industries, is building tech economies in underestimated cities—by upskilling those from marginalized communities and connecting them to opportunities in tech. We can’t wait to hear her story in our upcoming Open Doors event.
Director of Equitable Design, Products & People at Culture Amp
In her own words, Culture Amp's Aubrey Blanche seeks to “question, reimagine, and redesign the systems and practices that surround us to ensure that all people can access equitable opportunities and build a better world.” Prior to her current role, Blanche founded and scaled Atlassian's Diversity and Belonging practice, improving the representation and experience of women, people of color, and employees over 40 within the company. Core to her mission is designing workplaces that enable people to be the best versions of themselves.
Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi
Co-founders of Brex
Brazilian duo Pedro Franceschi and Henrique Dubugras launched their startup Brex after realizing how challenging it was to gain access to capital from traditional banks, especially as international founders with very little credit history. Their initial product—a simple 30-day charge card for startups—spread like wildfire in the tech ecosystem. Just a few years later, the company has grown to over 20,000 customers. What’s in store for Brex and the duo’s future? Becoming the all-in-one financial solution for all growing businesses, plus advocating for laws that make it easier for immigrants to start promising startups in the U.S.