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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.

What I Learned From the Hispanic Community About Entrepreneurship

October 27, 2014 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As a Mexican-American who has followed the recent celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, I am very proud of my culture. The Hispanic community has a certain passion that transcends its component cultures and draws in others. The vibrancy of Hispanic cultures’ style, music and food has influenced the look and feel of America. This passion is also evident in the way many Hispanics do business and the opportunities that they create. 
Since 2007, Hispanics have been starting and growing businesses at more than twice the national rate. More than 3.2 million Hispanic-owned businesses will collectively contribute over $486 billion this year to the U.S. economy. While the population growth of Latinos is widely acknowledged, its business contribution to the American economy is often overlooked. 
Also overlooked are the lessons that Hispanic entrepreneurs can teach the broader business community. Because Hispanic entrepreneurs incorporate many aspects of their culture in their professional careers, they have a unique perspective on business and opportunity, making them an ideal demographic for creating new wealth. Below, I’ve outlined a few of the key characteristics of my culture and teachings to which I owe my own personal success.     
Related: Immigrants Can Shed Fears of Entering the Startup World — With These Strategies
1. Don’t stop at “no thanks.” 
Any entrepreneur will say persistence is a requirement for success and it has been embraced by many members of the Hispanic community to that end. While societal undertones are changing in places across the country, many Hispanics have dealt with adversity and challenges. When confronted with rejection, I and other Hispanics I know have not shied away from forging ahead to create a path.
When there are no “help wanted” signs or employment applications go unanswered, Hispanics stand on the street and offer their brawn to bring home the bacon to feed the family. 
Instead of waiting for opportunities to be offered, I have operated on the principle that opportunities must be made for one’s self.   
I immigrated to the States as a youngster and grew up in a central California labor camp and although the conditions were less than advantageous for members of my family, our work ethic and pride in our work led us to go beyond the expectations that others might have had for us. Many others are going through similar transitions and will drive the U.S. economy going forward. 
Despite economic challenges, poorly equipped schools and parents who worked hard but lacked academic preparation, my siblings and many peers found a way to achieve a measure of success. The realities of stratification combined with a work ethic honed by hard labor in fields and the packing sheds had a way of driving us towards success. A popular Mexican saying goes, “no te rajes,” which means “don’t back down” from a challenge.  
On a personal level, know yourself. I knew early on that I needed to be my own boss. But being successful took a great deal of preparation and willingness to take risk. I left Silicon Valley in 1995 with a meager bank account and a dream despite the plethora of opportunities there that I didn’t even bother to explore. Entrepreneurship was my way forward.
As President Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education [by itself] will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” 
Related: How Six Immigrant Entrepreneurs Transformed Dreams Into Businesses
2. Make your own network.

Hispanics call upon friends and family to develop business opportunities. Yet many Hispanics are first- or second-generation immigrants to the United States. As relatively new arrivals, they aren’t as likely to have broad existing family, friend or professional networks available to leverage when searching for jobs or selecting careers. Because they don’t have a foundation that’s been built up for decades, they must actively look for new connections and opportunities.
Other entrepreneurs can learn from this by being willing to move beyond their comfort zones and broaden their networks to places where opportunities can be found. Never stop making connections with the people who can advance a career. These ties are often the most challenging to make but the most rewarding.
When outnumbered and feeling unlike their peers — still the case for many Hispanics in Silicon Valley  — Latinos need to reach out and create personal connections within and across cultures. This requires breaking out of your shell and being more open and self-confident that you have something unique to offer.
Knowing that you’ve got a unique and valuable perspective — whether in a peer-to-peer discussion or when developing a business plan — this is the seed of entrepreneurship. 
Related: What Needs to Happen for More Women, Minorities to Get Into Computer Science
3. Embrace technology.  
Modern technology has opened the door for anyone to become an entrepreneur, depending on the quality of the idea and gumption to run with it. Now that the world has become an economy of ideas, those who leverage technology to their advantage can succeed despite a lack of traditional resources. Crowdfunding sites have overcome the challenge of capital, mobility has evaded concerns about location and social media has circumvented the issue of awareness and helped level the playing field.
Indeed studies have shown that Hispanic Americans are very active on social media channels. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, “80% of U.S. Hispanic adults use social media, compared to 72% for the country overall.” 
Never stop looking for opportunities to engage with others and equip your personal and professional brands accordingly to seize opportunity.  
The Hispanic community is becoming increasingly visible across America’s professional and economic landscape. As American society continues to diversify, the lessons of one group can apply to all groups. By understanding and learning from Hispanic experiences, members of the greater business community can emulate this success and capitalize on it. Americans can learn values and lessons from all communities to be collectively successful.
Related: 5 Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Oscar de la Renta

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4 Successful Ways Businesses Need to Adapt to a Growing Hispanic Demographic

Make sure your brand and message is inclusive.
July 6, 2018 4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
According to Geoscape, by 2020, over 50.6 percent of the U.S. population growth will be attributed to the Hispanic market.
Small and large corporations alike will be affected by this demographic shift, now and well into the future. Multicultural consumers are driving the growth of the U.S. economy, its employment growth and even upcoming political elections.
As the U.S. Hispanic community matures and becomes part of the mainstream, their household incomes increase and so does their economic class. The projected growth of Hispanic household incomes of $100k+ between 2017–2022 will be +23 vs. +12 percent for non-Hispanics, based on a Geoscape report.
Consumers do not buy products or services; they buy brand experiences. It starts from the first time they visit your website, walk inside your store or even interact with your customer service hotline. You have to be able to fulfill your customers’ needs, wants and desires so you can build loyalty, increase retention and turn them into your brand ambassadors.
Here are four helpful tips to gain a new profitable consumer base with Hispanics.
Related: 10 Reasons Why Good Customer Service Is Your Most Important Metric
1. Invest in research. 
Throughout my career, I have encountered many occasions when corporations did not know their Hispanic customer base. They didn’t know what percentage they represented, where they were located, what they bought from them, etc.
So, if the upcoming consumer growth will be multicultural, and in particular Hispanics, how can you project revenue growth in your company when you don’t know who your customers truly are or whether you are fulfilling their needs?
Qualitative and quantitative researches are the wisest investment you can make.
Related: Steal These 4 Proven Customer-Retention Strategies
2. Be proactive.
I have seen executives who get paralyzed with the decision of moving forward with a Hispanic market initiative. They make excuses such as, “I don’t have a budget for this market, it is not a priority as we are content at the present time.” Or they say, “Once we hire bilingual employees with a customer service hotline and we convert our marketing materials in multiple languages, then we will start thinking about marketing to Hispanics. ”
As Zig Zigler said, “If you wait until all the lights are green before you leave home, you’ll never get started on your trip to the top.”
You have to start somewhere. Reallocate a portion of your marketing budget to Hispanics. You will obtain a greater ROI.
3. Culture is more important than language. 
The growth of the Hispanic market will come from those born in the USA, bilingual, bi-culture, higher household income, higher level of education.
For many corporations, a Hispanic initiative means targeting to the traditional Spanish-speaking consumers through a partnership with a Hispanic network running translated messages or scripts into Spanish.
But, what about millennials and Generation Z? Diversity youthful is becoming the counterweight of white aging consumers. This is why cultural relevancy is key to engaging with Hispanics. It is not about language, it is about culture and how well you understand it.
English might be their preferred language, but your execution has to appeal to their cultural nuances.
Related: 25 Tips for Earning Customer Loyalty
4. Be inclusive.
You have to have the right diversity representation in your business. If you are in an area where, for example, 20 percent of the people living within a five- to 10-mile radius from your store are Hispanic, what makes you think that you don’t need bilingual people on your team?
You must hire accordingly, it will pay off in the long run. I remember talking with a car dealer in Miami who reached out to us because sales where declining for him.
Turns out, his marketing money was only allocated to the Anglo market. Basically, he was only reaching 30 percent of the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale DMA consumer market. That was a big part of his problem.
So, if you really want to be successful with Hispanic consumers, the best investment you can make is in education. Learn who they are, get exposed to their culture and how they interact with your brand.
Start investing in this market today, so you can assure a sustainable growth for your business now and well into the future.

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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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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