Recognizing 8 VC Trailblazers for Hispanic Heritage Month

News & Insights

Every year, mid-September brings the start of Hispanic Heritage Month—a time to celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic Americans whose ancestors come from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central/South America.

In 2022, Hispanic employees comprised just 7% of the overall workforce at VC firms and 5% of investment partners positions according to our VC Human Capital Survey. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re spotlighting eight trailblazers in the VC industry to share their impressive track records and historic career accomplishments.

Be sure to also check out the great work our partner organizations like LatinxVC and VCFamilia are leading year-round to support the Hispanic VC community.

Note: List is alphabetical by last name.  

Noramay Cadena

Managing Partner, Supply Change Capital

Noramay Cadena is the Managing Partner of Supply Change Capital, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage food tech. Over the last eight years, Noramay has invested in over 75 companies across industries and stages. Prior to her career as an investor, Noramay spent over a decade in the aerospace industry as an engineer and operations leader. In 2022, she was recognized as one of 10 women of influence in private markets by PEI. She’s also been named one of 55 rising-star VCs who shook up the industry (2021) and one of 50 renowned women in robotics (2020) and was named one of the top 100 influential Latinas in the United States by Latino Leaders Magazine from 2020-2022. She’s an original cofounder of Latinas in STEM (2013) and LatinxVC (2019), a Kauffman Fellow, and holds three degrees from MIT.

Michelle Gonzalez

Corporate Vice President and Global Head, M12

Michelle Gonzalez is corporate vice president and global head of M12, Microsoft’s venture capital fund. In this role she leads the fund’s investor strategy, research, portfolio development, marketing, and business management activities. In the six years since M12 was founded, it has invested in more than 100 companies, including 15 unicorns and 6 of its portfolio companies have exited through IPOs.

Before joining Microsoft in 2021, Michelle was the managing partner for Area 120, Google’s internal incubator, where she led a transformation to align the organization’s strategy and investment criteria to key thematic areas within and adjacent to Google’s core businesses. Her tenure saw a record number of projects “spin in” to become key products or capabilities at Google. Michelle first joined Google in the Office of CEO, working on special projects related to startups and innovation.

Prior to Google, Michelle held roles at Comcast Ventures, IBM Ventures, Apple, and McKinsey & Co.

Carolina Huaranca Mendoza

General Partner, First Close Partners

Carolina Huaranca Mendoza is a General Partner at First Close Partners, a fund of funds that has invested in over 100 funds across the globe. She began her investing career as a Principal at Kapor Capital, where in addition to investing in startups, she also designed Kapor’s first formal LP strategy into diverse led fund managers.

Upon graduating Cornell University, Carolina worked in M&A investment banking as well as in sales and product marketing roles in edtech startups. She launched her own startup, Spriggle, a marketplace for STEM education products, before serving as Founding Director of the Clubs Division of Girls Who Code. Carolina is a Kauffman Fellow Class #28 and has been featured in TechCrunch, CNN Money, SF Chronicle, and USA Today.

Sergio Monsalve

Founding Partner, Roble Ventures

Sergio Monsalve is Founding Partner at Roble Ventures, an early-stage fund that focuses on startups that advance socio-economic human progress. He began his venture capital career more than 14 years ago as a Partner at Norwest Venture Partners, where he invested in and served on the boards of unicorns like Udemy, and Adaptive Insights. He also personally invested in Kahoot! in their seed round.

Sergio co-founded the Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program at Stanford and lectures there at the Graduate School of Business and Education.

He is an active board member of LatinxVC, an organization aiming to increase Latino/Latina success in venture capital. Sergio attended Stanford (BS Engineering) and Harvard (MBA).

Rami Reyes

Co-Founder and Managing Director, NextEquity Partners

Rami Reyes is a Co-Founder and Managing Director at NextEquity Partners, a value-oriented Series B-D venture firm ($240m AUM), which he co-founded with former Apple Chief Software Officer Avie Tevanian, former Apple CFO Fred Anderson, and long-time private equity executive Adam Hopkins. Rami co-leads all investments at NextEquity and has invested in leading companies, like SentinelOne, Arctic Wolf, Bridg, and Ring.

Previously, Rami was a principal at Elevation Partners, where he worked on investments in leading tech companies, such as Facebook, Marketshare, Airbnb, and Sonos. Rami also co-founded LatinxVC, a non-profit aiming to increase Latino representation in venture capital and helped with the launch of the SEO Scholars free high school program in San Francisco.

A native of Miami, Rami graduated with a BS in Economics from Penn’s Wharton School, where he received the Dean’s Award for Excellence, the school’s top graduation award.

Miriam Rivera

CEO, Co-Founder, and Managing Director, Ulu Ventures

Miriam Rivera is CEO, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Ulu Ventures, a
top seed-stage venture fund in Silicon Valley focused on innovation across
the enterprise, fintech, consumer, health, and sustainability sectors.

Previously, Miriam was Vice President/Deputy General Counsel at Google,
joining as its second lawyer. Her work to simplify contracts helped Google
scale from $85m to $10b in five years.

Miriam earned AB, AM and JD/MBA degrees from Stanford; was a trustee at
the University and currently serves on Stanford’s LEAD Council and the
Diverse Manager Initiative advisory committee. Stanford has honored her
with the Multicultural Hall of Fame award and the Stanford Medal, awarded
to fewer than one percent of alumni.

Miriam serves on the boards of the Kauffman Foundation, Acumen Fund
America, and Sesame Workshop. She also serves on the Launch with GS
Advisory Council, a Goldman Sachs initiative to reduce the investing gap for
Black and LatinX founders.

Santi Subotovsky

General Partner, Emergence Capital

Santi Subotovsky serves as General Partner of Emergence Capital, a venture firm that invests in people who change the way the world works.

Before joining Emergence, Santi founded AXG Tecnonexo, a SaaS e-learning company in Argentina. He expanded the company to 150+ employees with operations across Latin America and the U.S. Santi is also a founding board member of Puente Labs, an organization that helps founders of Latin American high-potential growth companies scale their businesses globally.

He is a Kauffman Fellow, an Endeavor Entrepreneur, and currently serves on the boards of Airkit, Civitas Learning, Clearco, CrunchBase, High Alpha, Openpath, Quasar, Restorando, Talent Hack, Top Hat, Xapo and Zoom.

Santi was named #23 of the top 100 VCs on the Forbes Midas List in 2021. He was one of the first three LatAm VCs to ever make the list.

Alberto Yépez

Co-Founder and Managing Director, Forgepoint Capital

Alberto is Co-Founder and Managing Director at Forgepoint Capital, a firm focused on early-stage cybersecurity startups. He is a seasoned investor and serial entrepreneur with a proven track record of building global businesses and leading them to successful exits.

Alberto is currently a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Cybersecurity Group and serves as the Chairman Emeritus of the Hispanic IT Executive Council. He was previously on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association, the Board of Trustees of the University of San Francisco, and member of the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers Community.

Fortune recognized Alberto as one of the top VCs Dominating Cybersecurity Investing. He was also featured on TAG Cyber’s “Fifty to Watch: People Shaping Cyber” list.

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