Latin America News November 2017

LATINAMERICANEWS / Issue 3 2017 23 Dreamers Ventures kicked off its empowerment platform and multi- city tour with an event bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and experts in New York City on November 13th, 2017, in partnership with Accelerate with Google. The Dreamers Ventures platform seeks to leverage an alliance of experts and existing networks by offering culturally relevant events, content and connections to empower America’s fastest growing entrepreneurial segments: minorities and primarily Hispanics. “At Google we believe in leveling the playing field for communities with unequal access to technology and economic opportunity,” says Aisha Taylor, Strategic Partnerships & Program Lead at Google. “We are committed to empowering diverse communities and are excited to team up with Dreamers Ventures to integrate Google’s knowledge and resources to support entrepreneurs across the U.S. and Latin America, and have a deeper, more-focused impact in these communities.” According to the SBA, small businesses have created 66 percent of net new jobs since the 1970s, which is critical for the health of the economy. At the center of that growth are minority businesses representing 100 percent of all new firm creation according to the Minority Business Development Agency. Hispanic-owned companies have doubled in count in the last decade, yet report a concerning annual revenue gap of .25 cents to the dollar versus non-minority firms. Overall, minority-owned firms earn average revenues of .31 cents to the dollar versus non-minority firms, which translates into a $3.1 trillion gap in the economy. “As an immigrant and entrepreneur, I have experienced first-hand the challenges we face as business owners, which inspired me to create a way to democratize access to the resources and contacts we need to accelerate growth,” says Lili Gil Valletta, creator of the platform and co-founder and CEO of CIEN+ and CulturIntel. “If the segments driving new business growth are not achieving their full potential, everyone’s economy is handicapped,” highlights Gil Valletta. In its second year after reaching over 5,000 people through live events and generating over 600 million impressions, the Dreamers Ventures tour will take place at selected Google and sponsored locations throughout the U.S. and Latin America. The tour will visit New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Mexico City and Bogotá, Colombia. During the event, attendees will participate in a masterclass followed by a networking reception where they will have the opportunity to speak with investors and entrepreneurs, and present their products to sell on TV at HSN’s American Dreams. The event is free; however, participants must apply to attend and secure their seat. The kick-off event featured experts including former Goya Foods COO Andy Unanue who will share about the inspirational legacy of his family as founders of Goya and his role today as an investor supporting Hispanic-focused and family- owned businesses as Managing Partner at AUA Private Equity Partners. Other experts include, Dara Trujillo, Vice President, Merchandising and New Business Development for HSN who appears as a judge on the show “Hatched” and leads HSN’s American Dreams platform. A panel of investors including Steven Lucero, Co-founder and Principal at Perpetua Partners and Erica Duignan Minnihan, Founder and Managing Partner at Reign Ventures and Managing Partner at 1000 Angels, demystified the process of raising capital. They will be joined by Maria Luisa Pineda, CEO Envisagenics, Victoria Flores, CEO Luxe Beauty Club and Julian Rodriguez, CEO of Bazaar, who collectively have raised over $5 million dollars for their ventures. All are graduates of Stanford Business School programs, including the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program, an initiative supported by Dreamers Ventures offering scholarships to qualified candidates. In 2017, Victoria Flores was the recipient of a scholarship sponsored by U.S. Bank. To support its scale and impact, Dreamers Ventures has secured a group of advisors and supporters including Tony Lopez, CEO Azzure Group, Andy Unanue, Managing Partner at AUA Private Equity Partners, Monika Mantilla, CEO of Altura Capital and SBCC Fund, Jesse Martinez CEO of The Latino Startup Alliance, Manny Fernandez, CEO Dreamfunded/ Founder SJ Angels Group, James Perez Foster, Principal at Bainbridge Advisors, Mark Madrid Executive Director, Latino Business Action Network at Stanford University, Alejandra Luzardo, Co-founder Demand Solutions, Head Innovation and Strategy at the Inter- American Development Bank, Sergio Fernandez de Cordova, Chairman at PVBLIC Foundation, SDG-FUND at United Nations, Manny Ruiz, Founder/ Chairman Hispanicize Media Group, award- winning global diversity advocate Claudia Romo Edelman, Gail Smith, CEO Impacto Latin News and three-time Emmy-award winning media entrepreneur Gaby Natale, among others. Ultimately, Dreamers Ventures is an empowerment platform and multi-city tour designed to provide minority entrepreneurs with access to knowledge, capital and opportunities to help turn their dreams into reality. The platform, created by award- winning entrepreneurs and CIEN+ founders Lili Gil Valletta and Enrique Arbelaez, leverages an alliance of experts, companies and advisors to offer culturally relevant online and offline experiences, learning events, content and access to networks throughout the U.S. and Latin America. Dreamers Ventures in uniquely positioned to offer educational and commercial opportunities to its participants, including scholarships to the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program and the opportunity to pitch and fast-track the launch of products airing on HSN’s American Dreams, where Gil Valletta appears as a guest host. Dreamers Ventures Launches Platform to Empower Minority Entrepreneurs g