I spent the Friday in El Paso with my friend Beto Pallares. Beto is an amazing guy. He holds several degrees including a BA from Brandeis and a PhD from UTEP. He manages a $150M venture fund for one of the wealthiest families in all of Texas. He also sits on eight corporate boards, but spends a great deal of time mentoring and creating programs for young entrepreneurs. I asked for the meeting with Beto because he helped us kick off “Match-Up” at the L’ATTITUDE event. Match-Up is a program within L’ATTITUDE where we match entrepreneurs with investors like Beto. It was a big hit this year and we think it will be a massive part of L’ATTITUDE moving forward. The Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative suggests that Latino entrepreneurs are the least capitalized of any demographic. Latinos are prolific at starting new businesses, but those businesses tend to start small and stay small. Access to capital is one important reason why very few Latino-owned businesses get to scale. Beto helped me understand that cash is only part of the reason why venture capital is so important. According to him, companies tend to succeed when they have a good product or idea, a solid management team, and the right eco-system around them. When companies partner with the right venture fund, sure, they get cash, but they also get the expertise and relationships that the savvy fund managers bring to the table. One of the goals of L’ATTITUDE is to be the platform where Latino-owned businesses can get the money and mentorship needed to help them build the next generation of Latino unicorns.
Over the last few weeks, I have had the opportunity to speak at the T3 Conference in Florida…I surprised the audience when I explained how the issue of diversity has been framed incorrectly, and has for the most part alienated the business community.
When we invited Gary Vaynerchuk to NAHREP at L’ATTITUDE in 2021, I was mostly relying on input from others. Several members loved his content, but the little I saw online left me underwhelmed. However, I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation at our event, particularly his comments about toxic employees, which he says to dump with impunity.
Selling during a downturn required a more strategic approach, but the opportunities for growth and expansion are available to the savviest of companies. Here are some of the best ideas I’ve read about.