Why I Joined Chingona Ventures
I am excited to announce that I’ve joined Chingona Ventures!
My journey to venture capital began in college, when I serendipitously decided to enroll in an Intro to Econ course despite my intention to declare a Spanish Literature major. In that class, I encountered frameworks and concepts that allowed me to interpret and understand the world around me. Halfway through the class, I changed my intended major from Spanish Literature to Economics, Political Science, and Latin American studies. I spent the rest of my time studying societal challenges and economic history through the lens of political economy and getting involved as a student leader in equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives for undergraduate students on campus.
Beyond my time on campus, I also had internships where I learned about digitization and database management challenges at a human rights organization in Argentina and developed materials to explain the mortgage crisis and share resources for homeowners at risk of foreclosure and tenants at risk of eviction with a housing non-profit in Chicago. Oftentimes, however, I felt that informational resources without capital were insufficient to grapple with systemic inequities.
Determined to become a capital allocator, after college, I sought opportunities to continue growing my economics, finance, and business expertise through managing data regarding publicly traded companies, running product updates for a financial data provider, helping shape and launch state-run investment programs, and learning about sustainability and diversity integration in investment management. While the public sector isn’t traditionally thought of as an entrepreneurial actor — although it should be! — my experience in government ultimately introduced me to purpose-driven, strategic investing.
Transition to Venture Capital
In my previous role, I developed my research, policy and investing skillsets through interviews with stakeholders, writing policy briefs, assessing market opportunities, analyzing business fundamentals, and understanding the players involved in large-scale policy issues to determine how government intervention could alleviate or support affected residents while generating investment returns.
As I learned about what it takes to build effective, revenue-generating programs and investment portfolios, I continually ran into resources for founders and investors in venture capital. Eventually, I began consuming all types of content about venture capital for fun and decided to pursue formalized education experiences to tangibly demonstrate my interest in the field.
That summer, I completed the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting Credential, the Techstars Venture Deals course, and VC University. I was also a Chicago Venture Fellow with Chicago:Blend and spent the summer learning from and meeting with many of Chicago’s top venture capitalists and rising founders. My experience as a Venture Fellow, in particular, confirmed my decision not only to transition into this sector, but to be involved with all aspects of the venture business — from investing to fund operations and post-investment portfolio company support.
Why Chingona Ventures
Although I have been fascinated by the business of running a successful venture capital fund, the art of investing, and the role of venture in the broader U.S economy, I also came across several concerning metrics regarding the state of diversity across the venture ecosystem. As of 2021, Latinos comprise about 7% of VC investment professionals in the United States and around 4% of VC investment professionals in Chicago. The numbers are similarly low for Black VC investment professionals and diverse or non-traditional founders who receive venture capital funding, despite the economic and cultural impact diverse populations have had and will continue to have in the United States.
I am excited to join Chingona Ventures because of the firm’s track record of investing in diverse founders at the earliest stages of institutional funding, the business opportunities within the fund’s sector focuses, and the incredible team. Personally, I am drawn to companies that leverage sustainability for business opportunities (like Beni and Topl) and femtech-oriented companies (hello, shematters, expectful, and Dame!). Additionally, one of the aspects of my role I’m most excited about is formalizing the fund’s post-investment support for portfolio companies.
“Chingona” refers to a woman who is intelligent, fearless, and can get things done– a badass– or, in this context, the first and largest check in a venture financing. I’m excited to work closely with a badass team at a Latina-led and owned company. Chingona Ventures was a fit for me from everything to investment stage, geographic location, and company ethos and I could not be more grateful to join this growing team.