June 20, 2011

MyMic: Leave an audio comment on Facebook

JD LasicaIf you’re launching a startup today, your best bet is to build on top of a widely adopted platform — Facebook, anyone? — rather than try to rally users to a completely new site.

That’s the smart course LeaAnna Hernandez took with MyMic, a still largely undiscovered app (2,797 Likes) that lets anyone on Facebook record a message that you can post to your own wall or share with a friend. (The first 20 seconds are free.)

MyMic won the best startup award at Latino 2, a gathering of 160 thought leaders, chiefly from the Latino community, on June 11 in Mountain View, Calif.

I caught up with Leanna, creator of MyMic, toward the end of the conference.

Watch, embed or download the 5-minute video on Vimeo

“I would love to be the audio version of YouTube,” LeaAnna says.

Coming next: a mobile MyMic app and a MyMic website, where users will be able to record audio files and share them with anyone, whether or not they’re on Facebook.

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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