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City Serves as Anchor Partner to Launch First-of-A-Kind Latinx Tech Accelerator Program

Funding will help close the capital-gap for latinx entrepreneurs and support tech start-ups beyond phase one.
September 06, 2019

On Friday, September 6, 2019, Economic Development Director Synthia R. Jaramillo joined EmprendeLatino and local partners to launch a new tech start-up accelerator program for Latinx entrepreneurs. The program is a first of its kind focusing exclusively on Latinx-led technology startups and backed by venture capital firm Perpetua Partners. Albuquerque is the first city for the program to launch, with five other programs launching in cities nationwide. Funding from the City will go toward program preparation and implementation.

“Less than one percent of capital funding goes to Latinx entrepreneurs. We’re helping to address this major gap by investing in real opportunities in underserved communities,” said Mayor Keller. “We’re working with EmprendeLatino to empower underrepresented entrepreneurs with the skills and experience needed for long-term success. Together, we’re building an economy that works for everyone.”

“Albuquerque is a hub for tech entrepreneurs and has no shortage of start-ups. What we need is to get those start-ups to the next level and to provide an ecosystem that supports their growth. It takes funding and coaching from the very beginning to get them to the next level and will send them on a path of rapid growth,” said Synthia Jaramillo, Director of Economic Development, City of Albuquerque. “EmprendeLatino is doing just that. By investing in these types of programs we are changing the tech business ecosystem to support growth right here in Albuquerque.”

The inaugural cohort began September 3, 2019 with nine startup teams from Spain, Chile, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Albuquerque selected to participate in the 12-week program. Curriculum includes all fundamental elements of building a successful business, including capital raise, marketing, company creation and scale, and product development. Those who complete the program will emerge as networked, scalable and funded companies, with a $100,000 investment committed by venture capital firm Perpetua Partners.

“Albuquerque’s culture, history, affordability, and access to strategic partnerships and resources make it a perfect fit for a Latin X- focused program. As a ‘minority-majority’ state, local culture is already built around diversity and inclusion,” said Steven Lucero, Partner, Perpetua Partners “The region is historically tied to Mexico and a significant portion of the population speaks Spanish, making the region the perfect location for Latinx- led startups to thrive. Silicon Valley and other major cities are already entrenched with a venture capital culture that has historically excluded minorities. We seek to change the face of venture capital, and that will require breaking away from the environments where that culture is so deeply rooted.”

EmprendeLatino will hold this program at their new location in Downtown Albuquerque at 1015 Tijeras Ave., NW. The nearly 6,000 square foot space was provided and rennovated by building owner and entrepreneur Doug Turner, to create a collaborative workspace that would allow start-up teams access to the space 24 hours a day.

“We worked with EmprendeLatino and Perpetua Partners for nearly two years to create a real Silicon Valley-style accelerator space that would support company scaling, promote start-up collisions, and be flexible enough to conduct a range of start-up related events and programming,” said DougTurner, Partner, Agenda Global. “These types of community investments are essential drivers of success and I’m thrilled to see our work come to fruition.”

The City’s Economic Development Department is working to build an economy for everyone. Part of that mission is providing opportunities for minority entrepreneurs. By supporting programs like EmprendeLatino, The City is elevating Albuquerque’s status as a technology hub and improving the business ecosystem for minority entrepreneurs.

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