It’s been a little over one year since I first published a list of 35 Latina tech founders who had raised more than $1 million in funding. People had been telling me for years that we simply did not exist so we couldn’t be funded, placed on panels, highlighted on female founder lists, etc. A few weeks after publishing my list last year it grew to 50.
Over the last year I have been on the lookout for any other Latina founders, and I found them through creative google searches, Twitter threads, and referrals. The most surprising part of all, they had been here all along!
I’ve learned a lot from gathering this data and I’d like to highlight a few insights:
- The only recipe to success: love the problem you are solving. That’s it. I highly recommend the Latino Founder Hour podcast to learn more about how many of the founders have found their calling. I’ve been personally motivated by hearing these stories.
- Funding is not the only measure of success. I removed funding amounts in how I’ve sorted the list this year. A number of the founders have decided to keep their companies private while others have raised millions. Any path is acceptable, so please don’t use the funding amounts here to compare yourself. For the VC’s out there, I do hope you’ll use this list to fund the Latinas that have decided to go down the fundraising path.
- Success is not limited to Silicon Valley. The Bay Area and Silicon Valley are idolized as the place to build and grow a company, but this list has shown me that Latina founders can be successful anywhere. Big shout out to Parallel18 for supporting founders out in Puerto Rico and Start-up Chile for leading the way in South America.
- Incubators and accelerators are not a predictor for how successful you will be. We have over 20 different incubators and accelerators represented on this year’s list, as well as many founders who have gone without the support of one.
- Define your own success. In case you haven’t caught on, I used the word “success” in the last four items. However, I really want to encourage you to define your own success. For many of these founders (myself included) surviving has been half the battle, some are motivated by representing one of the 17 countries our families came from, others have found successful exits, and some are daring enough to start another company. No matter what path you follow, I hope this list will show you that you are not walking this path alone.
A special thank you to a number of these wonderful ladies for trusting me with their data and their stories. For those I was unable to get in touch with, I used publicly available information. A BIG thank you to everyone that referred someone else to the list.
Next milestone? Let’s get this list to 500!