Our mission is to foster a new generation of Latino entrepreneurs by providing access to early-stage capital, mentorship support and resources that will enable them to build and grow their startup companies.
We aim to provide "hands-on" expertise in the areas of product development, design and user experience, customer acquisition, business metrics, and pitch preparation through the 12-week mentorship and investor introductions.
Be recognized as an international hub for all Latino entrepreneurs from both U.S. and Latin American countries to launch their startups
Enable the brightest Latino entrepreneurs with innovative ideas through mentorship
Invest in Latino talent and equip them with today's technical and business skills to turn their ideas into reality
Increase the number of Latino entrepreneurs in the creation process of the startup ecosystem
Many editorials have theorized why so few Latinos are graduating with engineering degrees, qualify for high-tech positions, or are starting their own ventures.
With less than 1% of venture-backed startups founded by Latinos, there is a huge opportunity to develop this community and accelerate the growth of startups through this untapped entrepreneurial talent.
These observations frustrated the founders of Manos Accelerator and it invigorated in them a sense of purpose. They dared to ask a simple question, "What if?" They concluded that the correct response to these studies and speculations was to take action by developing a program that identifies and mentors a new generation of Latino entrepreneurs.
The founders of Manos Accelerator believe changing the world begins with entrepreneurial talent. They seek Latino entrepreneurs who have the following traits - creativity, an innovative spirit, a "can do" attitude and a desire to win. These are components for diversifying the local economy, finding inventive solutions, creating jobs and tackling the age-old perception that Latinos are not capable. Thus, the mantra was created: Dream Big, Believe More, Act Now.
When deciding on a name for the accelerator, the founders did not want something catchy yet culturally insignificant. They wanted a name that identified Latinos as a proud ethnic group that desired and achieved upward mobility. Latino workers and aspiring entrepreneurs do not want to be stereotyped as only taking food service, agricultural, manufacturing, construction, and other blue-collar jobs.
The founders wanted a name to show the world that Latinos are more than just a pair of "hands" (manos), and capable of so much more. As a result, the name Manos was selected as a motivation for all of the accelerator participants to never forget the hard work and challenges that other Latinos have had before them.
Sylvia Flores, CEO
Sylvia Flores is an award-winning entrepreneur and engineer with years of experience. She founded several startup companies and is knowledgeable of the U.S. Hispanic market. In 2003, she worked with the former President of Mexico Vicente Fox to establish a technology incubator for Mexican entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Prior to her career in startups, Sylvia held various engineering positions at IBM.
She has also served as the Regional National Vice President for the Society of the Hispanic Professional Engineers. She was awarded the 'Entrepreneur of the Year' award in 2003 from Latino Style Magazine. She earned a Chemical Engineering degree from San Jose State University.
Paul Charlton has over 25 years of industry experience. Diverse background in high technology business formation, venture funding, business administration, digital and analog hardware design and architecture, software design and architecture, bio-tech, retail and investment banking, building construction, and real estate.
Extensive experience with numerous modern programming languages, development methodologies, related tools, testing, and management of large-scale projects. Extensive experience with hardware design/debug. Extensive experience with numerous project management methodologies and philosophies.
Numerous quality software products which are used by hundreds of millions people on a daily basis, consisting of over 1,000,000 lines of concise source code which I wrote. US Patents 5,825,359; 5,875,354; 5,949,434.
Conceived and founded numerous high tech companies including one which was sold in 1998 for over $150MM. Designed and implemented over 20 products for numerous startups and well known companies, including Hewlett-Packard, Chase Manhattan Bank, Apple Computer, Sun Microsystems. Hired by, and worked for Jeff Bezos (founder, Amazon.com) and Charles Ardai (founder, Juno.com.) Technology portfolio review, including copyrights and patents, which resulted in injunctions against large public companies, and ultimately resulted in over $500MM of settlements in favor of my Fortune 500 client.
Julian has more than 20 years experience as an operating executive in international payments and banking, and is and independent advisor to startups, small and medium size companies, and investment firms. Julian has deep expertise in risk management, financial planning, strategy, corporate development, and is active in the angel investing and startup community.
As the Founder and Managing Director of Maacama Advisors, Julian has helped many companies in strategic planning, pricing, competitive intelligence, fundraising, market entry, governance, partnerships and M&A.
Julian spent 16 years with Visa, most recently as the Global Head of Enterprise Risk Management. He worked on the merger and reorganization of Visa's six global entities and IPO in 2008. He led the design, strategy and implementation of Visa's enterprise risk management capabilities, and led risk diligence efforts for all acquisitions, joint ventures and divestitures from the company's IPO until his departure in 2015.
Prior to Visa’s IPO, Julian led various teams at Visa Latin America and Caribbean, including Treasury, Financial Planning, Credit and Enterprise Risk. He was responsible for reporting to the Audit Committee of the LAC Board.
He began his career with American Express Bank, where he worked in Private Banking, Structured Credit, Corporate Banking, Syndications and Treasury.
Julian is from Miami, Florida and speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently. He holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business.