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Jessica Salinas_E12: Changing Systems while Climbing [8/17/2020]

Jessica Salinas, VC at StatZero in L.A. [8/17/2020]


Note: References with links are listed at the end of the show notes.


1:00 Talks about experience at Stanford, coming from Texas, and important influence it had on her. Discusses inequity between East Palo Alto, not having schools, and how it inspired her to get involved in community impact. Discusses focus on education, from human computer interaction. Talks about her north-stars: Issues that she education and inequality / criminal and legal system / racial wealth gap. Social Impact is her life dedication.

“If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants.” Isaac Newton

SECTION1: LatinX and Scale

6:45 Discusses her experience working with Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Initiative. Talks about research imitative along with Prof Jerry L. Poras. Talks about the demographic shift surrounding LatinX.

9:00 Talks about findings with Data Scientists and Researchers. The surprising results of the study were around access to capital. Points to research surrounding <2% or VC $ invested in LatinX Founders. Also talks about the underbanked and cultural aspect, where don’t know the system. Those that were applying with collateral were getting denied. Most LatinX Entrepreneurs were starting their businesses as first-gen, and have different risk considerations to taking business loans — e.g., family commitments.

12:00 Discussions around control and aspiration, along with family concerns that the initiative is addressing. Points to contributions for success as mentorship — 66% lacking mentors, and those who did found it critical to their success. Discuss interventions, and causal studies; how to design for optimal outcomes.

15:06 Ethical causal studies are discussed, surrounding harm to companies or individuals. She talks about perhaps using results to level up on making a positive impact, using results from interventions. Discusses experience transitioning into her Masters in Social Entrepreneurship — motivated by inefficiency from donor / grant models. Brings up the Friends & Family gap for under-represented groups, and the important of educational disparities.

SECTION2: The HeadSpace Experience

33:00 Talks about her experience working to lead HeadSpace forward to be more inclusive, and include more educators. And highlights how important it is to inspire departments for impact. Talks about how cross collaboration across departments, can add value to starups focused on impact.

36:00 We discuss the financial aspect of scaling with impact.

36:45 We discuss social activism, and the power that organizers bring to a community. She sees herself as someone who is always learning from activists on the ground. Discussing how strategies and movements are developing out of black / indigenous female activist community. Does not see herself as the first “Activist VC”, but more of an advocate fighting for humanity of black and brown people.

SECTION3: StatZero

40:00 Talks about the mission of StatZero — invest in microfunds and entrepreneurs focusing on increasing impact return. They are linked the UN SDGs as indicators [See episode with David Galipeau for more info]. Talks about the ZeroPoverty thesis, surrounding economic development. She’s also very interested in Mass Incarceration and to reduce recidivism. Gives a shoutout to #BlackLivesMatter, and shares about her own experience with her brother who was incarcerated.

44:00 Discusses Digital Transformation [*see show with Joe Blair at Cota Capital] within the ‘segment play’ of mass incarceration and other tools that government. We briefly discuss Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) impact funds and how they can work to support through R&D, and may not be at equity investment stage. They are also funding micro funds in LatAm and South Africa to gain a global impact with ‘anchors’ outside of the US. The “solutions” are aligned with governments that may not have the access or the knowledge, to partner in investing into foreign microfunds.

48:00 Gives advice of ‘lift as you climb’ to other ethical minded VCs. For her, family and community are at the core of her support systems. Also harks to thoughtful and mindful actions in communities, and the importance of putting others first. Also pays homage to Prison Abolition.


-Jessica Salinas [LinkedIn]: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicasalinas1/

-Jessica’s Life Story [*So inspiring!!]: https://link.medium.com/6dbqK4TbA8

-StatZero Interview w/Jessica: http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-jessica-salinas-stat-zero-west-la/

-StatZero Fund: https://www.statzero.io/

-Stanford Latino Initiative: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/centers-initiatives/slei

-Latino Business Action Network: https://stanfordgsb.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a3sUkqRtS1ftdLT-

-Prof Jerry L. Poras: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/faculty/jerry-i-porras

-LatinX demographic Trends: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/07/07/u-s-hispanic-population-surpassed-60-million-in-2019-but-growth-has-slowed/

-Luck and behavioral economics [@behavecondotcom]: https://www.behavioraleconomics.com/the-interpersonal-gamblers-fallacy-when-similarity-backfires/

-USC Impact series: https://impact.uscannenberg.org/

-Stanford Impact Fund: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/experience/learning/social-innovation/experiential-learning/stanford-gsb-impact-fund

-Racial Wealth Gap Statistics [@VisualCap]: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/racial-wealth-gap/

- Wealth Inequality Statistics [interactive]: https://apps.urban.org/features/wealth-inequality-charts/

-Huggy Rao [Stanford]: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/faculty/hayagreeva-rao

- Carol Dweck: A Summary of Growth and Fixed Mindsets [Twitter @Brainology]: https://fs.blog/2015/03/carol-dweck-mindset/

- OECD: Social Impact Investment 2019: https://www.oecd.org/development/social-impact-investment-2019-9789264311299-en.htm

-What’s behind the Racial Wealth Gap [Cleveland Fed]: https://www.clevelandfed.org/newsroom-and-events/publications/economic-commentary/2019-economic-commentaries/ec-201903-what-is-behind-the-persistence-of-the-racial-wealth-gap.aspx

-State of Latino Entrepreneurship 2019 [Stanford]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_ibAqzCVZw

-Advancing U.S. Latino Entrepreneurship: A New National Economic Imperative [Marlene Orozco]: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0862F2MCM/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0

-What is Prison Abolition [The Nation]: https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/what-is-prison-abolition/

-Mass Incarceration [Non-Profit]: https://www.sentencingproject.org/

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Song Credit: The Croft — By Joakim Karud

[ No Copyright on Music and Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 ]



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A Community focused on Venture Scale Positive Impacts. Produced by Zecca Lehn. On Twitter @posi2ive.