Friday, October 19, 2012

The Coming Storm of Latino Startups Has Arrived

Where are all the Latino innovators? That's a popular question but the answers may be closer than they appear. There's a storm of Latino entrepreneurship activity happening in the U.S. and south of the border. Perhaps, the collectivist nature of Latinos may be a unique factor contributing to the somewhat quiet rise of startup dominance.

Hispanic entrepreneurs opened twice as many businesses as the national average in the 2000s, according to U.S. Census data. And recent data from the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity highlights an interesting surge in entrepreneurship activity by Latinos.

The American dream is alive and well.  In 2010 immigrants accounted for nearly 30% of new business owners, versus 13% in 1996, according to the Kauffman Foundation. No matter how you cut it, Latinovators are enjoying their share of the entrepreneurship pie.

Of particular note, is the work of Jesse and Edwardo Martínez who founded the Latino Startup Alliance which was launched New Year’s Day 2012, now a budding network of over 240 innovators. However, the question remains. Where are the rest of the Latinopreneurs?

A mere 20 results show up for "US Hispanic Market" on AngelList which is the de facto standard for keeping tabs on the burgeoning startup arena in the U.S. and beyond. What does this mean? Perhaps, there's a ton of Latino startups listed on the site but are working under the radar with their profile hidden as they move close to launch or a point of desired product/service development. The truth? We need more Latino startups who are not afraid of their identity and the arena of possibility. has its own list of Top Latino entrepreneurs who've achieved some striking marks of success and are actively blazing a trail of entrepreneurship activity.

There's no denying it, the Latino startup crowd is here and it's kind of a big deal capturing the attention of many, including some of Silicon Valley's most engaged venture capitalists as confirmed by the recent purchase of by 500 Startups. If we look closely, there's something much bigger in the works. There's a real dynamic taking place where Latino innovators are playing the lead role in the U.S. and beyond.'s only just beginning.