HHM: How some of our VHLX members celebrate their Hispanic Heritage

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Although the cultural month runs until Oct. 15, it’s important to celebrate and uplift Hispanic and Latinx culture 365 days out of the year — especially in the VC and entrepreneurship space.

Although the U.S. population is roughly 18% Hispanic/Latinx-identifying per the 2021 U.S. Census, less than 2% of Latinx founders receive VC funding.

Visible Hands is working to address this inequality by driving more funding and support to Latinx founders. This past summer, we launched VHLX in partnership with Google for Startups, a 20-week virtual fellowship designed to support and uplift Latinx founders in growing their startups and awarding $10K in non-dilutive funding.

We asked our VHLX fellows about their experiences being Latinx founders and the importance of celebrating their culture. Read below to learn more about some of our VHLX founders and how they celebrate Latinx culture:

Andres Gonzalez, Co-Founder & COO of Cadenzo

How do you celebrate your culture/heritage?

“My favorite Colombian traditions surround holidays. For Christmas, we celebrate with a Novena, which is a nightly dinner/prayer/family gathering for the nine nights leading up to Christmas night. For New Year’s, we burn ‘El Año Viejo, which is a mannequin with all the things you want to leave in the old year — one year when I broke my arm, I put my cast on the Año Viejo & set it on fire to say goodbye to the injury.”

What is your favorite thing about your culture?

“I’m allowed to eat rice for every meal and I’ve got an automatic pass to be late to events, haha. But seriously, the importance placed on family & making people feel welcome, whether they’re strangers or friends, is something I’ve always greatly appreciated about our culture. Having a place to call home & unwind is super important for people, especially entrepreneurs, and being able to rely on my family for that is something I don’t take for granted.”

How has the experience been so far being a part of VHLX? What do you hope to accomplish by the end of the program?

“The experience has been incredible! I’ve enjoyed connecting with other brilliant founders online. I’ve had the chance to connect with some in person too, which is extra special for me coming from Tulsa since our entrepreneurial scene is relatively new. By the end of VHLX, Cadenzo will have closed a round of fundraising and will be revenue-generating in 25 venues.”

Gabriela Campoverde, Founder & CEO of Miren

What is your favorite thing about your culture?

“I love the music and the dancing that comes along with it. My favorite memories include my family blasting cumbias, reggae, or salsa and dancing around our apartment while doing chores on the weekends. Now that I am older, I realize how hard it is to hear the music I grew up with at a bar or dinner venue, so I cherish these memories more and make sure to have my favorite playlists handy!”

Andrea Orrego, CEO of Atelier App

What work do you do to create more opportunities for the Latinx community through your startup?

“I work to create more opportunities through my startup work by mentoring Latinx kids, speaking my truth in interviews, and paying it forward.”

How has the experience been so far being a part of VHLX? What do you hope to accomplish by the end of the program?

“It’s been amazing. I hope to feel a lot more confident in the solutions we’ve adopted for our product.”

Chris Ferrer, Founder & CEO of SuChef

What is your favorite thing about your culture?

“Food! It’s always been an incredible way for me to connect with my Afro-Puerto Rican and Salvadorian roots. Whenever I’d visit my grandparents in New York, there was always the smell of sofrito filling the house. Growing up so far away from my family in Hawaii, I would make the recipes my grandmother cooked like white beans and squash, and pupusas. Recreating these dishes has always transported me back to spending time with my family in New York, and given me a window into the ingredients that help shape the flavors of my culture.”

What work do you do to create more opportunities for the Latinx community through your startup?

“At SuChef, we’re trying to help a diverse set of chefs and food creators make money from the incredible content they’re creating. We’ve seen how Latinx chefs are not featured in many mainstream food publications today, and we want to help Latinx chefs and food creators get their delicious recipes on home cooks’ tables.”

How has the experience been so far being a part of VHLX?

“It has been enriching to have such an incredible cohort of Latinx founders who are excited to help you and your startup succeed. I’ve already gotten incredible connections with chefs and investors. I’m excited to not only pay it forward within VHLX but for other Latinx founders.”

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Visible Hands

Visible Hands is a VC fund with a 14-week, virtual-first fellowship program that supports overlooked talent in building technology startups.