Step one, says Jennifer Arguello — one of the panelists at last weekend’s Latino 2 conference in Mountain View, Calif. — is to find kinship with people who face the same realities, to compare experiences and to ultimately find the path forward.
Jennifer, a product manager at Mozilla (yay open Web!), took part in a “Latinas in Technology” panel that turned into a terrific conversation about how familial roots and community support can put one onto a path toward entrepreneurship and business success.
For Jennifer, the pivotal springboard was an event called Startup Weekend, a global series of events that teach tech folks how to become an entrepreneur. “You start on a Friday thinking you’re a regular old Joe, and by the end of the weekend you’re CEO,” she says. The program encourages participants to start with an idea, entice people to join your team and then pitch it to venture capitalists, all in the course of a single weekend.
Jennifer’s startup idea came out of the need she saw for more Latino parents to become more involved in their children’s education. She’s exploring an idea that would give parents a tool to seek out educational events in their community where they could go with their kids to as an alternative to the mall or the movies.
Jennifer, who’s a regional VP in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, says education is one of her passions. “You never know when a beautiful mind is sitting right next to you until you tap it,” she says.JD Lasica, founder of Socialmedia.biz, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.