Google Offers Support to Latino-focused Tech Start-Ups


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The inaugural class of the Manos Accelerator pose at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View after pitching their companies to a panel of judges. Photo: Preeti Upadhyaya
When most people hear “immigrants in Silicon Valley,” they most likely think of Indian or Chinese engineers or entrepreneurs at big tech companies and startups across the region. Seldom do they think of Latinos as being a significant force in the technology world.
Edward Avila, co-founder and CEO of Manos Accelerator, is looking to change that perception. Avila created Manos Accelerator to be the first organization of its kind to appeal to Latin American entrepreneurs who are focusing on technology startups.
On Tuesday, Manos held its inaugural Demo Day event at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, supported by the Google for Entrepreneurs team. Seven startups from across the Valley — five of them with female co-founders — pitched their ideas to a panel of judges including VCs and other prominent Latin American entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Google is supporting Manos Accelerator as part of its initiative to grow diversity in the entrepreneur and tech sectors, said Mary Grove, head of Google for Entrepreneurs, which is the Mountain View company’s program to support entrepreneurs by providing financial sponsorships, networking events, workshops and training sessions. The group also provides discounts to startups on premium versions of Google products like its Maps API.
“Building communities is one of the core tenets of our mission,” Grove said. “Google believes in accelerating diversity in entrepreneurship.”
For Google, the partnership with Manos and other accelerators is a smart strategic move as well. By keeping startups close, the search giant has easy access to a strong pipeline of talent and cutting edge technology.
For Avila and Manos Accelerator, partnering with Google may….
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