A Letter from the Latinx Incubator Director
If you have ever been to a Latinx Incubator event, you more than likely heard us talk about the importance of financial capital and the equity capital gap that underrepresented startup founders face. Currently less than 2% of venture-backed founders are Latinx and only 1% are Black, with unequal access to funding continuing to be an important barrier for the foreseeable future.
Today, however, I want to talk about a different type of capital: social capital. By this I mean access to social networks that provide trusted advice, resources, and connections. While this capital is less “concrete” than financial capital, it is equally important to increasing the chances that a startup will succeed. If an entrepreneur can access mentorship that hones their idea and, more importantly, their execution, they can avoid the biggest mistakes that lead to business failure.
Mentorship can also mean access to early customers through mentors that can vouch for the startup or even connections to angel investors, which brings us back to that other critical ingredient, financial capital. Perhaps most importantly, in a stage where startup founders hear many more “nos” than “yeses” and networking can feel transactional, mentors serve as a reminder that there are people that believe in them as founders and are interested in seeing them grow and succeed. Like financial capital, however, social capital is not evenly distributed, and for many Latinx and Black founders, it represents an equally formidable gap.
A critical goal of the Latinx Incubator moving forward will be to connect our tech startup founders with mentors. So, I am making a call to our IHCC community of professionals and established business owners, with all of your experience and expertise, to support the next generation of founders. The power of the IHCC community is the strength of our network, and our collective openness to connect, collaborate, and create something together.
If you have something you believe you can contribute to the Latinx startup founders, consider becoming a mentor and complete this form.