I believe investors hold the power to unlock opportunities for overlooked communities by funding those startups attempting to tackle challenges within them.
My story begins when my family and I immigrated to the United States after my aunt entered my parents’ names in the U.S. visa lottery without their knowledge. Despite never previously considering leaving their home in Peru, they decided to make the move so that I would benefit from growing up in a country rife with opportunities. They were unmoved by the fact that they would have to start over in the States without the language, financial stability, network, or emotional support we had in Peru. They left their promising careers and, with me in tow, moved to south Florida.
Growing up, I carried a debt with me as I witnessed the constant struggles my parents faced. I channeled this energy into following the boilerplate path to success for immigrant families, becoming a doctor. I pursued biomedical engineering, thinking this was a way to honor my parents’ work. However, I quickly realized I wanted an environment that was different from a laboratory: one that was still innovative and hands-on, but more fast-paced and highly collaborative.
To find that place, I had to let go of this self-imposed debt. I could honor my parents by championing my own path, the way they forged their own here in the U.S. This misunderstanding turned out to be a blessing—it pushed me to face my truth early on in life and shaped the sense of debt into a passion for paying it forward. Paying it forward will forever be ingrained in the way I view the world.
With newfound clarity, I pursued roles at high-growth startups where I learned the business from the ground up. As an operator, I spent over 6 years as a product manager across e-commerce, legal tech, and healthcare in NYC. I created the product roadmap and cross-departmental processes to operationalize product launches at Inturn; I developed the first—and award-winning—SaaS product at Axiom; and I spearheaded an M&A transaction to operationally support the growth product and its client implementations at Integra. Similarly to how I acted as a translator for my parents when we moved, I built bridges between different departments, teams, and people, acting as a translator between seemingly disparate worlds.
While I could see the tangible impact my products had on our users, I knew that I wanted to drive even broader impact as an investor. I have spent my career as an investor thus far working on making changes within the industry and creating paths to capital for diverse founders. As a first-generation immigrant and a woman of color, I am keenly aware of those who do not speak, look, or think like others. I believe investors hold the power to unlock funding to companies attempting to tackle challenges and create opportunities in overlooked communities.
I look forward to working with those founders who are breaking the mold by forging new paths and being unconventional.