Nancy Rosales on the move in her new Ford Edge Eco Boost!

Our Cultura Ambassador, Nancy Rosales,  is a driven Entrepreneur, Business Innovator, Game Changer, Winner of the Latina Style Magazine Entrepreneur award and an “Inspire Higher Tour” Panelist.

In an effort to expand her “Pepitos” authentic Mexican Paleta business, she was looking for a vehicle that she could use for work and play, stylish and efficient.  She was asked to be part of the Ford campaign about real people. She agreed with flying colors for many reasons.  Going through the entire Ford approval process, she was able to authentically deliver her exact experience on camera with no script.

“It was easy it was fast, Ford knows its about people’s credit and making the process simple” she said.

Nancy is one of the most positive, inspirational and action oriented people we know and we’re delighted to feature her video, check it out!


Demographics Are Dead: Long Live Event-Triggered Marketing


“I do not care if you are 25 or 65, if you want to summon a car to go from A to B right now, you are still my target customer.”

Do you know who—and where—your target customer really is, right now?

Chances are good you have no idea.

Once upon a time, marketing was focused solely on demographics—age, gender, income level, ethnicity, geographic location, or a combination of these things. But that was in the era of passive marketing. Think about all those wheelchair and pain-reliever commercials that ran during late-night Matlock and Golden Girls reruns. Billboards for chocolate and soda on the subway platform. You get the picture.

But that model is from the pre-mobile, pre-digital economy. The passive marketing era is dying a slow death, if not over completely. Instead, we’ve moved into an on-demand economy, where people frequently make snap buying decisions in real time. But these aren’t the typical mindless impulse purchases—they’re made in the context of digital information. People choose which restaurant to go to in a specific neighborhood by checking apps on their phones. They play mobile games like Pokemon Go searching for PokeStops around town that often lead them into specific businesses. They use mobile apps for tracking everything from personal finance (like using Mint to track how much they spend on groceries versus dining out every week) to how many calories they’ve burned in the past hour. Many shoppers in brick-and-mortar stores use their phones to get product information and even digital coupons from QR codes displayed on the shelf next to products they might want to buy.

Long story short, effective marketing just isn’t passive anymore. Consumers are taking an active role in every purchasing decision they make, and marketers who don’t understand that are going to miss the boat. Therefore, thinking of your customer in the old way or even by demographics isn’t going to work most of the time. The market is far more complex and niche-driven nowadays.

What often drives purchases in an on-demand economy is something called atriggering event. In a nutshell, a triggering event is something that makes someone want to buy a specific thing, in a specific place, at a specific time. You have a very narrow window to capture this decision—often mere seconds. How do you do it?

Today’s app developers use proprietary algorithms to determine what functions or content users will see when using an app. These algorithms adapt automatically according to the mobile data collected from the apps. This same process can apply to marketers.

Think about how smartphones work. Mobile data, GPS signals, digital calendars/clocks, and even face-recognition technology in apps like Facebook can provide a plethora of contextual information than can trigger certain actions at certain times and in certain locations—regardless of what demographic the smartphone owner is a member of. This is key to understanding or even creating triggering events that consumers will respond to.

Examples of Event-Triggered Marketing Opportunities

Nearby restaurants. Create contextual ad campaigns that promote a specific nearby restaurant at lunch time. Think “It’s 11:55 and you’re craving sushi. Guess what? You’re only 2 blocks from Sushi Naru, a Zagat-rated sushi bar that’s hot on Yelp.” The ad includes a digital 2-for-1 coupon.

Music suggestions while exercising. Somebody turns on their RunKeeper app or the GPS detects that they’re moving along a bike path at cycling speed—those can be triggers showing that the smartphone user is exercising. You can create a contextual ad campaign that is programmed to suggest a workout playlist from a music app when these triggers are met: “Hey, I see you’re working out. Have you downloaded Taylor Swift’s rocking new single yet? Here’s a sample.”

Tying rideshare apps with driving directions (think Mapquest, Google Maps):When someone looks up driving directions on one of the many digital map apps, it’s a perfect time to target them for a ride-share. How about this: “Do you really want to deal with all of that traffic and those tricky on-off ramps yourself? Sit back, relax, and call an Uber.”

These are all common, everyday situations in consumers’ lives that can be monetized if you know how the technology (and the psychology) behind them works. Rethink your marketing strategies away from old-school, passive demographics and towards context-specific, event-triggered campaigns, and you’ll find that you can move the needle a lot faster.

Latino Entrepreneurs Pitch Startups at Manos’ Demo Day


Yahoo! Headquarters served as the stage for a group of emerging Latino entrepreneurs on Wednesday.   They were there as part of Manos Accelerators “Demo day” to pitch their startups to a panel of judges and to a roomful of tech and finance professionals.  While the low representation of Latinos in Tech continues to be an issue for the industry, Wednesday’s event showed signs that people are starting to recognize that Latinos have the innovative ideas and technological skills to potentially create the next “big” startup.

Yahoo! Latinos Unidos Manos Accelerator Demo DayThe “Demo Day” was organized by the Latino Unidos group at Yahoo! and by the Manos Accelerator group, a mentorship-driven accelerator program that provides “education, business resources, infrastructure, capital, and guidance for promising startup companies led by Latinos.” Manos Accelerator was founded by Ed Avila, Sylvia Flores, and David Lopez (who happens to be Jennifer Lopez’s father) in 2013 and has so far put two cohorts through its 3-month program.   Many of the mentors who worked with the second cohort were in the audience, and, as Ed Avila told the crowd, “Much of what you will see here today is a product of mentoring and coaching.”


Drawing inspiration from personal experiences seemed to be the common theme shared by all of the “Demo Day” pitches.  The day got underway with CoupleCare, a company from Chihuahua, Mexico that helps couples who want to conceive with an app that tracks a woman’s fertility cycle.  The pitch started with a personal anecdote about what the CoupleCare founders discovered after moving to the states.  They noticed that while couples in Mexico were concerned with preventing pregnancy, here a large number of couples were spending “time and money on starting a family,” which is a typical situation in industrialized nations.  They used this insight as the basis for creating an app platform for couples and not just for women.

David Lopez Manos Accelerator

The second company to pitch was, which was founded by two seasoned entrepreneurs from Venezuela.  While living in their country, the founders observed how difficult it was for citizens of Venezuela to communicate their questions to influential leaders in government and business.  Recognizing that eliciting a response “from people of influence” is a problem that many people face around the world, they designed a platform that would allow users to pose their question and have other users vote for their questions.  The founder explained to the audience how it worked: “You create a question, you share it, you find votes and then the leader sees it.”


The founder and CEO of FashionTEQ, who was the only woman pitching that evening, was frank about how her personal experience inspired her to create wearable technology, stating, “I started fashion tech because I am an engineer and I am living in a woman’s world.”  She gave us a glimpse of her company’s newest product Zazzi, a pendant-like device that can be attached to necklaces, rings and bracelets, which provides notifications/vibrations when a special someone calls and keeps women discretely connected to their smartphones.  Not wanting to compromise beauty over functionality, she has partnered up with Swarovski for the next line of Zazzi.


A hunt for tacos during an ordinary lunch break was the inspiration for saySquare, a startup from Honduras that allows small businesses in developing countries to process financial transactions through a mobile payment platform.  The idea for the startup germinated when one of the founders failed to buy his lunch because the local taqueria in Honduras did not accept credit cards. He described the event as “lose-lose situation” because, as he joked, “the small business lost a sale, and I had lost my lunch.”  This situation is all too common in developing countries, he said, simply because “they don’t have a way of processing payments.”  For that reason, saySquare sees all of Latin America and the rest of the developing world as a potential market for their platform.


The last startup to pitch was Audive, a company that provides hobbyist musicians with the opportunity to collaborate and record with other hobbyists across the world. The experience of being a music lover and an immigrant in a new country had indirectly influenced the idea for Audive. As one of the founders explained, he had grown up playing guitar and “jamming” with his brother almost every week. However, once he moved to the U.S.A it was difficult for him to continue with this weekly ritual. He and his team decided to develop Audive so that music hobbyists can engage in real-time collaboration even if the users are geographically far apart from each other.

Nicole Sanchez at Manos Accelerator Demo Day


Sitting at the judges’ table were Roberto Ortiz, Director of Mobile Design at Yahoo!, Nicole Sanchez, the CEO and founder of Vaya Consulting, Rodrigo T. Garcia, founder of SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers), and Sergio Monsalve, a partner from Norwest Ventures Partners. The distinguished panel of judges did not offer scorecards or prizes. Instead, they offered something much more valuable for entrepreneurs starting a company: feedback. While Ortiz was “looking for that magic user experience,” Sanchez was interested in hearing if the company had identified a problem that was experienced by enough people such “that it warrants a solution.”


SVL looks forward to following the progress of these startups and we will keep you posted on the next Latinos in tech event.



Manos Accelerator 2nd Cohort demoday at Yahoo photo album

Manos Accelerator 2nd Cohort demoday at Yahoo

Last evening Yahoo hosted Manos Accelerator's 2nd Cohort #demoday. Seven Latin@ owned tech startups had the opportunity to pitch their businesses to a panel of professionals from different fields.

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Seven Latino startups to pitch at Yahoo


Seven Latino companies from Manos Accelerator’s 2nd cohort will be pitching this coming week at Yahoo!

The makeup of this 2nd group at Manos Accelerator brings together seven tech companies of which three are from California and the other four from Latin America. Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Mexico.

With the success of Manos Accelerator’s first round sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs other big tech companies are being attracted to jump on the train of Latino owned startups. Yahoo has joined the parade of sponsoring and supporting Manos Accelerator by holding this coming weeks pitch by the following seven companies:

From California:

FashionTEQ is a women’s jewelry to be connected to your wireless device.

Bandbazaar is an application that allows musicians to connect, sell, rent or offer different services is a platform that allows anyone to pose questions and or concerns to influential people like politicians or organizations and have them answered by these folks.


CoupleCare is the first app that allows couples to track their fertility goals


saySquare is a technology that will make cell phone payment via SMS a reality for Latin America


Cycle Money brings a platform of recycling electronics and building computers from the functioning recycled parts


My bigame is a betting platform for gamers.

We are elated that Manos Accelerator continues with its success of bringing Latin@ owned tech companies the education so that they may succeed.

We at SVLatino continue with our mission of highlighting these success stories so be on the lookout with continued coverage of Manos Accelerator and their 2nd Cohort.






2014 Manos Angel Network One Day Conference

2014 Manos Angel Network One Day Conference

Manos Accelerator announces 7 new Start-ups



Congratulations to the 7 new startups at Manos Accelerator for the summer! We look forward to learning about your businesses and how they can help us.

Edward Avila – SVL Cultura Ambassador


Edward Avila is the CEO of Manos Accelerator, a first-of-its kind accelerator targeting the development of Latino entrepreneurs.  He is a native of San Jose and has worked in Silicon Valley over the last 20 years as a Human Resources Professional, Executive Coach with companies such as Philips Semiconductors and Intersil Corporation and as an Entrepreneur.

Edward Avila - SVL Cultura Ambassador

Edward graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University.

Edward has been recognized by PODER Hispanic Magazine as a Top 20 Latino Entrepreneur and also as a Game Changer by Hispanic Executive Magazine and has also been featured on ForbesTechCrunch, and The Wall Street Journal.

He is also proud to serve as an Advisory Board Member to Silicon Valley Latino.

Jennifer Arguello – SVL Cultura Ambassador

We continue with our SVL Cultura Ambassador recognition with Jennifer Argüello

Jennifer Arguello SVL Cultura Ambassador

Jennifer is Senior Tech Advisor at the Kapor Center for Social Impact, an organization which relentlessly pursues creative strategies that will leverage information technology for positive social impact.  STEM education and entrepreneurship, especially for women and minorities, are her passions hence she is part of various socially focused organizations. In 2012, she co-founded the Latino Startup Alliance, which is an organization to promote and nurture Latinos in the tech startup community.  She recently served on the national board of directors for the Society of Hispanic Professionals Engineers, the largest organization of Latinos in STEM.  She currently serves on the alumni advisory board for the computer science and engineering department at her alma mater.  Throughout her career, Jennifer has won numerous awards and received various honors, including most recently being named to the Top 50 Women to Watch in Tech by Femm-o-nomics. She holds a BS in Computer Science from the UC San Diego

“Avion: An Accelerator For Latinas Takes Flight” by Giovanni Rodriguez

The launch of Avion, an accelerator for Latinas, comes at a key moment in N. American history and they plan on making history! Good luck Deldep & Jesse.