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Hispanic Venture Capital News

Hispanic Venture Capital – At Venturuso we cover the economic power of the Hispanic entrepreneur.  Venturuso is the voice of Hispanic venture capital in the U.S.
Our mission: Bring together research insight, data, and hands on experience to be a sounding voice for entrepreneurs growing startups and existing businesses covering Hispanic venture capital news,  projects and analysis.

Understanding – We know the Hispanic demographic and the business issues.

Capabilities – we can bring data and tools to help.

Experience – we help deliver visibility and insight on your business projects.

Venturuso addresses the specific needs of Hispanics needing news and promotion of fundraising, venture capital and equity deals.

We seek out extensive research on news and deals for the Hispanic markets.

We employ seasoned business consultants and work with professionals in the Hispanic venture capital industry.

3 Secrets to Finding High-Growth Consumer Groups

June 6, 2016 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Every marketer is looking to capture the interest and spending dollars of the consumers who promise the highest and longest term growth. What characteristics define such consumers? To begin, their incomes are steadily growing, their population sizes must be rising and the amount that they spend on an annual basis must be increasing. Groups that possess these three combined traits should be marketers’ main focus as they look to develop long-term relationships with their customers and position themselves as industry leaders.
But who are these people? To begin, they can be defined as the “New Mainstream,” or population segments that are changing the way we see our nation. The New Mainstream contributed to 89 percent of the country’s population growth between 2000 and 2016 and not only includes multicultural groups, as many believe; it also includes LGBT community members and millennials. Asian, Black, Pacific Islander and Hispanic consumers account for over 36 percent of the 2016 U.S. population — a 4.5 percent increase since the 2010 Census.
So how do we reach these groups? They keys is looking where no one else is, going deeper than your competitors are into data and finding the differences between consumer groups. With these strategies in place, marketers are able to find and keep high growth consumers.
Related: 10 Elements of a Successful Data-Driven Marketing Strategy
Look where no one else is looking.
Many marketers focus their efforts on groups that make up their largest consumer base — the problem is that the largest group (White non-Hispanics) are growing the slowest. Whereas White non-Hispanics grew by 10 percent since 1990, Hispanics have doubled in size since then and are now 60 million in population. The expectation is that within each of the next five years, there will be an average of 1.6 million new Hispanics in the United States each year, with the average Hispanic household spending an average of $2.17 million in their lifetime. This is certainly an area that marketers should focus their efforts on.
That being said, every good marketer knows they should target the Hispanic buyer, but many are not certain where that priority should be. Instead of looking at static or historical figures, business strategists should look at who will represent the bulk of the growth going forward. To differentiate yourself and capture a new share of the market before your competitors do, look toward emerging markets sooner rather than later.
Today, the LGBT community is growing particularly fast; for counties with 100,000 or greater total population, the community ranges from 1.3 percent to 9.1 percent of the county’s 18+ population. In 2013, this group’s buying power was estimated to be $830 billion. This is $40 billion more since it was estimated to be $790 billion in 2012. The LGBT community is a group that marketers are hesitant to target, at the risk of offending both community members and non-community members. In today’s day and age, the risk is often worth the reward. Marketers must be willing to target groups with direct, personal and sincere campaigns to earn their trust and dollars.    
Go deeper than your competitors are going.
It’s one thing to have big data — it’s entirely different to have in-depth data that provides you with the most specific insights available. For example, Asian households spend an average of $2.56 million during their lifetimes. This is a valuable indicator of Asian buying power, but it’s without context and does not point marketers in the right direction. To go one step further, what if they knew that Asians spend three times more on education than the average American household? Or that when at the grocery store, Hispanics spend more on beef and poultry than any other food? Or that, whereas 67 percent of the Hispanics in the country are Mexican, Caribbean and South American groups form the dominant Hispanic groups in most Eastern cities. And while the majority of Asians in the U.S. are Chinese, there are dense pockets of Vietnamese and Filipinos in several cities?
Related: 3 Marketing Strategies That Will Surely Sink Your Startup
These sort of deep insights allow marketers to cater their campaigns to specific groups. Imagine that you work in the marketing department of a national grocer. If you have deep insights about Hispanic grocery spending, this allows you to design your marketing campaigns so that they advertise the right grocery products to the right consumers. This leads to higher profits, and longer, deeper relationships with consumers who feel understood by your brand. This is much more effective than total market advertising because it connects with consumers in a way that resonates with them and pushes them to become loyal to a brand.
Find the differences between consumers.
Some marketers may say that they choose to go out with a total market approach because it is inclusive; however, total market may not sufficiently differentiate between consumers. Instead, it often assumes that all consumers are more or less the same and treats them equally. Total market can be ambiguous and some assert that marketing to all consumers in one way is better than diversifying your message to better reach your unique consumers. While at first total market sounds inclusive, it can compromise important nuances that can mean the difference between engaging and alienating key consumer groups.; after all, consider all of the marketing technology companies that are developing technologies to help brands better target consumers. They are gathering data every way they can to more clearly define their buyer personas. Given how much time and money is being spent to optimize this technology, why would brands then want to go out with generic marketing campaigns?
Related: 5 Marketing Strategies That Don’t Involve Social Media
These people don’t want to be generalized; today’s multiculturals, and millennial multiculturals in particular, are blending their new American heritages with their cultural traditions. They want their cultures to be recognized and their differences to be respected. Marketers have the tools to do this, so there is no reason why they should not use their resources to their advantage.
Finding the fastest growing consumer segments shouldn’t be a secret. New mainstream consumers are powerful, connected and loyal lifetime consumers. They want to see themselves represented by the brands that they know and to feel respected by the marketing campaigns targeted at them. Marketers must acknowledge these feelings and understand that not all consumers are identical. They should use the actionable insights that differentiate consumers to develop targeted marketing strategies — find them in your customer and prospect files and around your store trade area. By doing this, they will not only find high growth consumers, but develop long-term relationships with them and ensure their company’s growth in the near and long-term.

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Multicultural Marketing Is All About the Metrics

January 22, 2016 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
There is no doubt that big data plays a crucial role for marketing departments in today’s insight-driven campaigns. However, the data that marketers need to pay much closer attention to reflects the buying patterns and preferences of the multicultural population.
After all, this group, which will represent 138 million members of the total U.S. population by 2020, will greatly outspend white non-Hispanic households throughout their lifetimes. To be exact, currently active Asian and Hispanic households on average will out-spend white non-Hispanic households by more than $800,000 and $300,000, respectively, during the remainder of their lifetimes.
Related: You Don’t Need Much Cash to Implement These 5 Essential Marketing Strategies
To understand the multicultural customer poses a unique challenge to marketers, as each demographic group is more complex and diverse than race alone. Preferences depend on the countries that customers emigrate from and where they put down roots, and purchasing decisions vary based on the amount of time that they have spent in the U.S. These factors contribute to buying history and preferences, of which marketers must have a deep understanding to attract the attention and dollars of this powerful consumer pool.
With an eye towards more granular, data-driven multicultural campaigns, here are three multicultural marketing metrics that truly matter to brand success.
1. Country of origin
Simply put, consumers from two different countries are likely not purchasing the same products. It is crucial that marketers use data on these buyers to sort them based on country of origin. Doing this allows marketers to analyze what people from each country prefer, how much of it they buy, when they buy it, and how much they are willing to spend.
Consider the following example: Alex from Mexico has moved to New York City. Simultaneously, Marie from Honduras has also moved to New York City. They live in the same neighborhood and shop at the same grocery store. The marketer whose surface-level data reveals that both consumers are from Latin America, but does not offer insight on their specific countries of origin, will create a generic advertisement, assuming the preferences of Latin American customers.
Conversely, the marketer whose granular multicultural data reveals the countries of origin of these two buyers will experience greater marketing success due to his ability to understand more deeply what Alex and Marie want, thus enabling him to create targeted marketing messages for both consumers.
2. Neighborhood-level demographic insights
Two consumers living in the same state — or even the same city – does not mean that the same marketing strategies will attract them both. It is essential to have specific data on exactly where buyers live and shop on a neighborhood level to build informed and personalized campaigns that speak to each customer.
If we return to Alex from Mexico and Marie from Honduras, let’s imagine that the two have both moved to New York City but live in different neighborhoods. Alex lives in a predominantly Mexican neighborhood, while Marie lives in a neighborhood heavily-populated by Hondurans. Both are likely to shop at stores closer to their homes.
Now envision that a convenience store is considering opening a location in New York CIty. It will be essential that the store’s marketing team be aware of which ethnic group occupies each neighborhood in order to stock the shelves accordingly.
Related: 3 Millennial Marketing Tips From Taylor Swift
3. Acculturation level
Acculturation is the level of which multiculturals retain their native cultures while incorporating elements of the new culture that they have joined. In the past, many immigrants sought to rid themselves of their native cultures to blend in with American culture, seeking acceptance. Today, this has changed drastically — immigrants to the U.S. want to retain their cultures, share it with those around them, and also integrate elements of their new culture.
Marketers must understand how acculturated consumers are in order to develop the best product messaging, place merchandise in the right locations and price goods to attract the right customer, which in turn will maximize consumer spending.
Let’s examine another case: Rosa and Gabriela moved to Texas from Peru. Rosa has been in the state for 12 years, while Gabriela arrived just four months ago and is getting accustomed to the American lifestyle. These two women walk into a large grocery store shopping for food, however, they will not have the same items in mind. Gabriela may shop for groceries that remind her of her culture, while Rosa is more acculturated to the American way and is less focused on buying foods that remind her of the culture that she came from.
The marketer who has data on Rosa and Gabriela’s different levels of acculturation is able to connect with them on personal level, marketing the right food products to the right buyer.
4. Buying history and preferences
Both country of origin and acculturation level contribute to the buying preferences of multicultural consumers. As these consumers spend more time and money in the U.S., marketers collect more and more data about their buying history, creating personas for each unique buyer. With these personas in mind, marketers are empowered to create marketing campaigns that connect with each persona.
To continue our previous example, Gabriela, who is highly acculturated from Peru and is familiar with American brands of clothing has her specific buying preferences. In contrast, Rosa’s unfamiliarity may cause her to be hesitant to try new brands and styles. The only way to truly differentiate between both consumers is to examine their buying history.
Without granular multicultural data, marketers ineffectively attempt to sell their products to those who do not yet understand them or feel compelled to buy them. They waste money and time developing campaigns that few consumers will connect with. Acquiring a deep appreciation for the differences that make multicultural consumers unique pays off in the long term, allowing marketers to cultivate lasting relationships with customers.
Related: Want to Learn More About Marketing? Check Out These 43 Websites.

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How Diversity Helps Your Business Beat the Odds

June 5, 2015 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Successful entrepreneurs know about overcoming adversity to beat the odds. And as both an entrepreneur and a first-generation immigrant, I would say that I’ve beaten the odds twice. But at least part of my success comes from yet another characteristic I have worked toward — diversity — which has helped me obtain the new perspectives that in turn have further helped me grow my business.
Related: A Culturally Diverse Workforce Could Be a Boon to Your Business
To understand what entrepreneurs who contribute diversity to the workplace can teach us about success, I sought out a colleague in the Hispanic business community whose experience parallels my own: Alejandro Ruelas is a founder and partner at LatinWorks, the largest Hispanic advertising agency in the country.
Ruelas emigrated from Mexico to Los Angeles at a young age. To make ends meet, his father worked as a strolling musician and his mother as a seamstress. Despite these modest financial circumstances, young Alejandro made it to college.
After graduation, he landed a job at a beer distributor and came to the attention of the beer giant, Anheuser-Busch. With four years of experience under his belt, he joined the company to develop a marketing career while simultaneously pursuing a graduate degree at Washington University. Armed with an MBA, he worked his way up through the company’s corporate ranks to the position of director of multicultural marketing.
By this point, Ruelas had already achieved more success than he probably would have by staying in Mexico. But like many immigrants looking to better their lives, he did not rest on his success. His story of founding LatinWorks personifies how he used diversity to beat the odds — and his experience seeking diversity is useful for any entrepreneur facing adversity. Specifically, Ruelas used diversity to his advantage in three distinct ways:
1. Diversity of experiences
When starting out in business, many professionals are motivated by compensation. But Ruelas and his family were more interested in building the relationships necessary to achieve a quality life in America. It was this desire to learn more, do more and meet more people that he attributes to his success.
By working in the beer industry at the distributor level, Ruelas obtained a firsthand perspective about how consumers view a brand. In business school, he networked with successful company founders. As he rose through the ranks at Anheuser-Busch, he sought experiences that would shape his foundation as a leader. “My main priority was improving my education,” said Ruelas. “I made sure that I collected and compiled my experiences, so that when the time was right, I could do what I needed to do.”
Related: 4 Ways to Embrace Diversity for Workplace Success
2. Diversity of skill sets
While his own personal experiences were varied and diverse, Ruelas understood that choosing a quality team is what makes a business scale and grow. “As an entrepreneur, you need to focus on what you do best — then surround yourself with people who are better than you at other areas,” said Ruelas.
This involves a degree of self-realization to understand what others can do better than you can. In the long run, it helps you lead your organization by utilizing the strategic priorities that will ultimately achieve success. “Having a diverse team allows you to let go of the smaller things, and point the correct way towards achieving your vision,” Ruelas says.
3. Diversity of cultures
As the leader of a Hispanic advertising agency, Ruelas is expert at tapping into cultural trends to grow his agency’s customer base. Cultural understanding is what prompted his agency to leverage Hispanic comedian Carlos Mencia in an advertisement for Bud Light during the 2007 Super Bowl. Choosing the right cultural icon allowed LatinWorks to become the first Hispanic ad agency to obtain a number one Super Bowl spot.
However, relying on culture to grow sales is a dynamic task. It’s important to understand that today’s American culture is the accumulation of multiple multicultural influences. At the same time, American culture exerts considerable influence over those who helped shape it (one reason, perhaps, why Hispanic businesses are growing in number at more than twice the rate of U.S. businesses overall).
To grow their businesses successfully, entrepreneurs must be aware of these nuances and cultural changes: Ruelas’s family did not come to the United States looking for a handout. They came to improve their lives while making a positive contribution to American society.
With a business that today employs 150 people, Ruelas has lived up to his family’s plan, and along the way has beaten the odds by understanding that a variety of experiences positions you well for success; a diversity of perspectives helps you grow; and an understanding of societal trends keeps you at the top.
Building a business isn’t something that can be done alone. It involves counting on and learning from people of all backgrounds, strengths and experiences. By embracing and understanding the diversity that is American business and society, entrepreneurs can shift the odds in their favor.
By “doing well” in business, entrepreneurs “do good” by creating jobs and multiplying the revenue they receive through payroll, buying from suppliers and spending on operations. These are some of the advantages that diversity can bring you.
Related: Starbucks Baristas Will No Longer Be Writing ‘Race Together’ on Cups

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3 Reasons Why a Latino Family's Tiny Cheese Business Became a Giant

August 31, 2015 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Everyone becomes an entrepreneur for a different reason. In my case, I combined a market opportunity with my personal history and passion for America’s diversity. And in that respect I was hardly unique: There are many of us in businesses with roots that grew from decisions our families made.
Related: How to Ensure Your Business Survives the Next Generation
In fact, according to a study by the Conway Center for Family Business, more than “35 percent of Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled.” The report goes on to explain that, “Family businesses account for 64 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, generate 62 percent of the country’s employment and account for 78 percent of all new job creation.”
While it might seem easy to acquire a business that comes through one’s bloodline, innovating products and taking that business to the next level can be a challenge.  
Cacique is one such example. The leading brand of Hispanic-style cheese and chorizo (sausage), Cacique is a typical family business that started with humble beginnings and managed to accelerate its growth as it was passed down through the generations. I had a conversation with Gil B. de Cardenas, COO of Cacique, to discuss how he took the incredible foundation his parents provided to the next level, and to learn what he’s doing now to “future-proof” his company for the next generation.
Humble beginnings
De Cardenas’ parents founded Cacique in in 1973, two years after they immigrated to the United States. They arrived in 1971 with two suitcases in hand and three small children, not to mention a fourth on the way. While the family had a strong desire to move to the United States, once they arrived, their options were limited.
The genesis of Cacique began by happenstance, when de Cardenas’ father came across some less-than-exceptional queso fresco, a traditional Mexican cheese being sold in a neighborhood store. He spoke with the storeowner, who explained that the brand was the only one available — and that, while mediocre, it allowed stores like his to at least market to that target consumer.
De Cardenas’ father determined he could do better and embarked upon the journey of a lifetime, creating his own Hispanic cheese business, Cacique. Each morning, de Cardenas’ mother would make the cheese in their tiny, rented plant, and his father would travel to local bodegas to sell it out of his old Pontiac.
Related: ‘I Launched a Startup With My Mom. I’m Glad I Did.’
The business grew quickly. From a meager, $1,500 investment in the bank and 60 pounds of cheese a day, Caique developed into a national conglomerate. Today, the product is sold by more than 22,000 retailers across the country. Gil de Cardenas has been running the family-owned business now for more than six years, overseeing the development of 80 million pounds of combined products per year.
And while he attributes much of his business savvy to his front-row seat as Cacique was created and his parents worked through many challenges, he also recognizes that taking over and scaling a business requires skills beyond possessing the right last name. Here are three lessons de Cardenas says he learned as he helped ensure Cacique’s continued success:
1. Then and now: Know your customer.
A pillar upon which Cacique was built was the concept that there is no such thing as being too prepared. De Cardenas grew up watching his parents work endless hours crunching numbers and studying to better understand their customer base. However, as the business scaled and America diversified, the company encountered both a remarkable opportunity and a challenge as it pivoted its strategy accordingly.
De Cardenas stressed how the market is ruthless and how absolutely necessary it is to understand who your customers are and how they may change over time. By taking the time to better understand who is buying your products and how your customer perceives you, you’ll be successful in all of your interactions, De Cardenas says.
2. Encourage a solid education.
One of the key differentiators that de Cardenas said sets Cacique apart is the company’s emphasis on education. De Cardenas now recognizes that while he himself worked hard and grew up around the business, he gained an entirely new perspective at business school and wishes that he had pursued his degree sooner.
Pursuing a graduate degree taught him how much he didn’t know and provided him the intellectual resources needed to propel the business forward and allow it to compete within the broader marketplace.
De Cardenas did not stop there; he ensured that his staff could also benefit from a graduate education. He created a program within the company to allow key employees to pursue their MBAs and secure a good foundation for growth and success. This may be one of the reasons Cacique’s business is outpacing the 8 percent growth market, at 25 percent, and is continuing to expand into new ventures and product lines.
3. Provide perspective.
A final differentiator that propelled Cacique to its current level of success as a family-run organization is that de Cardenas encourages family members to pursue other experiences before committing to the family trade. He believes that in doing so, those members gain the perspective necessary to help drive the business forward and ensure that they are fully committed before they sign on.
Related: Life Lessons Entrepreneurial Parents Can Teach Children

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Agenda & Featured Speakers

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Urban Innovation Newsletter, January 2020

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The Advocacy Capacity Review: Guide

This document is a comprehensive guide to the Advocacy Capacity Review (ACR), a facilitated process to help local civil society organizations identify their family planning and reproductive health (FPRH) advocacy strengths and challenges, and identify priorities for...

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Why Kobe’s Last Chapter Was His Best

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Small Merchants Need to Be Alert at The Holidays

Troy Leach Senior Vice President PCI Security Standards Council Ramiro Cavazos President & CEO U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2019 was a pivotal year that saw data breaches on a large scale with headline grabbing stories and stunning revelations about billions of...

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Hispanic Venture Capital Insights

From Aspen Capital Fund

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Hispanic Startup Weekend announces 2019 event.

A unifying event that inspires the entrepreneurial culture for Hispanic entrepreneurs comes to Colorado Springs. July 25, 2019 Colorado Springs, Colorado – The free intimate peer led event that shares inspiration, experiences and information will come to...

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Venturuso brings together research insight, data, and hands on experience to bring sound advice and analysis to Hispanic venture capital news and projects.

Understanding – We know the Hispanic demographic and the business issues.

Capabilities – we can bring data and tools to help.

Experience – we help deliver visibility and insight on your business projects.

  • Venturuso address the specific needs of minority and Hispanics needing news and promotion of fundraising, venture capital and equity deals
  • We seek out extensive research on news and deals for the Hispanic markets.
  • We employ seasoned business consultants