According to the United States Census Bureau, Latinos represented 16.9% of the entire U.S. population in 2012. In the country’s startup community, however, Latinos are a bit harder to come by. In fact, less than 1% of venture-backed startups were founded by Latinos. Manos Accelerator, out of San Jose, is looking to change that.
Manos Accelerator is a new initiative geared towards early-stage projects led by Latino and Hispanic entrepreneurs. It is currently in search of startups to join its first acceleration program, which is set to take place this fall.
To accomplish its acceleration goals, Manos has enlisted the help of Google for Entrepreneurs, a global initiative to empower entrepreneurs through programs, partnerships and Google products. It runs over 50 programs in 110 countries.
Edward Avila, Co-founder and CEO of Manos Accelerator, expressed confidence in what’s to come for the endeavor, giving a nod to the program’s stellar location and clout-carrying partner:
It made perfect sense to establish Manos Accelerator in the Capital of Silicon Valley. We want to create a vibrant community of Latino entrepreneurs that attracts the brightest and most talented. We want all aspiring Latino entrepreneurs in the US and Latin American countries to know that they now have a place to go for turning their innovative ideas into reality. I’m very excited to have Google for Entrepreneurs in our corner as a partner who shares our vision and has a successful track record of supporting similar organizations from around the world.
Mary Grove, Director of Global Entrepreneurship Outreach at Google, added:
We are excited to be partnering with such a great organization to provide resources to increase the number of Latino entrepreneurs in the global tech community. Our mission with Google for Entrepreneurs is to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship around the world and we believe in supporting the current and future entrepreneurial leaders in our communities.
Manos Accelerator will feed into the Silicon Valley ecosystem and add more Latino entrepreneurs into the mix, helping them to develop their ideas as leaders and creators. The objective: to build companies along the lines of multi-million-dollar Latino endeavors such as BlueGrace Logistics, BrokersWeb and Innotion. It will also give Miami-based organizations a run for their money as hubs Latino entrepreneurial talent.
Latino entrepreneurs from around the United States are invited to apply for the inaugural three-month Manos program, which will commence in early September. The accelerator is searching for technology-based projects with at least one founder of Hispanic or Latino descent.
Six to eight companies will be selected to work with Manos Accelerator at a co-working space located in the heart of San Jose, where they will receive a wide range of educational opportunities and business support. Note that Manos does not yet provide funding to its startups, though it plans to do so in the near future. It also takes 4% equity in the businesses it accelerates.
Submissions will be accepted through July 31st, and the startups selected will be announced on August 2nd. Find out more about Manos Accelerator and apply here.