June 16, 2011

Latinos, education & tech entrepreneurship

JD LasicaHow do you overcome the obstacles you face as a Latino in the fields of technology, math, science and engineering?

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.

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