500 Startups' Latest Graduating Class Is 10 Percent Latino
On Tuesday, the influential, well-connected startup accelerator and seed funder 500 Startups held Demo Day for "Batch 15," the latest class of up and coming entrepreneurs now being unleashed upon Silicon Valley. The group is one of the most diverse to come out of the accelerator so far, as women lead a third of the ventures, 15 percent were founded by blacks, and 10 percent are led by Latinos.
Batch 15 had the chance to strut their stuff in front of a big crowd of venture capitalists, influencers, journalists, mentors and investors on Tuesday. But the accelerator itself that had something special to reveal to the world, too: the latest diversity figures for that batch of entrepreneurs.
Diversity in Latest Class
500 Startups founding partner Dave McClure announced the stats onstage at Demo Day. He said that 44 percent of Batch 15's founders were international, 33 percent were female, 15 percent were black, and 10 percent were Latino. McClure also pointed out that more than 400 startups graduating from the accelerator had at least one female co-founder.
For the sake of comparison, the previous class, Batch 14, consisted of 39 percent international founders and 25 percent female founders.
Those were the only diversity numbers disclosed by 500 Startups on Tuesday, and it would be nice to see a little more detail as 500 Startups goes forward. Still, it's clearly on the right track.
While Latinos made up the smallest portion of diverse founders in this batch, the showing is actually quite an improvement over the industry average, assuming these founders will find some level of VC funding. While that is not a bad assumption, it's obviously not a certainty either.
As Latin Post previously reported, venture capital in Silicon Valley is not led by a very diverse crew, and only about 1 percent of startups founded by Latinos find VC funding to grow. Ten percent from Batch 15 is certainly better.
The quality of the startups chosen by one of the top accelerators in the industry is, of course, outstanding.
Take SimpliRoute, founded by Eyal Shats and Alvaro Echeverria from Chile, for example. Unlike a lot of startups these days that seek to undercut workers by performing the same tasks with less overhead (and usually independent contractors via an app, like Uber), SimpliRoute makes deliverers of goods and services better at their jobs.
The founders of SimpliRoute developed software that helps quickly plan delivery routes to customers. Their algorithms optimize the route along a number of variables, including fuel costs, optimal vehicle size in a fleet to efficiently deliver products using minimal vehicles, and theoretical scenarios on the road to estimate times of arrival.
In the fast-paced world of technology startups, there's little time to look in the rear view mirror, and 500 Startups' Batch 16 is already underway.
Included in the latest class is a very promising company (and mobile app) created by Raul Moreno and Alejandro Estrada called iBillionaire. The venture is based on the question "What are billionaires investing in?" Considering most billionaires seem to be good at earning money, it's an important question for regular investors to ask, but the answer may be hard for the average person to come by. iBillionaire compiles and parses the public records of top billionaire investors, curating the data and providing simple guidance on a smartphone for anyone looking to make money on Wall Street.
There's no word yet on the diversity figures for Batch 16, but with quality ideas like iBillionaire, the future of Latino-led startups is looking richer.
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