Sacramento Team Helps Latinas Manage Their Memorable Birthday


MakeMyQuince is the first to bring online event planning and crowdfunding to Quinceaneras.

Users will be able to sign in to Make My Quince website/app using their instagram account where they can brainstorm ideas for their quinceanera by creating “dreamboards” from the most popular quinceranera hashtags. Once they are ready to begin planning, they can create a custom planning check list and budget that fits their Quince needs. Make My Quince will provide recommendations on items they have chosen on their checklist. They will also have the option to have “Madrina crowdfunding” where they create a custom page and invite family and friends to contribute to various items needed to have the perfect quinceanera.

Our team met at StartUp Weekend Sacramento in November 2014. Co-founder Fatima Ruiz pitched the idea of “crowdfunding for Quinceaneras” and as a team we developed a business plan, revenue streams, brand identity and won 2nd place that weekend. We have continued as a team since November 2014. We have had three focus groups and each one lead to big “AHA” moments – these have shaped our direction and validated the need and desire for our service.

The company will make a money from two distinct revenue streams. The first is through a percentage of the crowdfunding for the quinceaneras (5% of the money collected for the event through the site), and the second is through vendor advertising.

Make My Quince brings Quinceanera planning to the digital/mobile age and provides an empowering tool for our users to plan a once in a lifetime event all in one place at any time.

The business could have a negative impact on event planners, as girls and their families take more control of more details involved in putting on the event.

The business could have a positive impact on many of the local businesses that serve quinceaneras. Families may have more money for the event as the financing for the event is confirmed.

We look to provide a service to anyone planning to celebrate a Quinceranera.

The market size is determined in part by the population we serve. It is a niche market consisting of girls from Latin American backgrounds in their early teens, and their families. The primary markets include the U.S. market (market size estimated at 400,000 quinceaneras per year), as well as girls in Latin American countries (approximately 6,500,000 fourteen year old girls).

WeddingWire, an online marketplace, connects event planners with merchants and creative professionals servicing weddings, reunions and more.

Pinterest is a social bookmarking site with a virtual pinboard interface that visually showcases the user’s interests.

Latina Magazine, Quinceanera Magazine

Indiegogo is a global crowdfunding platform empowering people around the world to fund projects that matter to them.

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform for creative projects such as movies, music, art, theater, games, comics, design, and photography.

Instagram is a free photo sharing application that enables its users to take photos, apply filters, and share them on social networks. We are a visual content discovery & social commerce platform for wedding industry, bringing bridal community and vendors together. (Malaysia)

WeddingLovely is a collection of wedding tools and directories for promoting small business, local and independent wedding vendors. (US) is an online platform designed to find the best wedding vendors in town ! It’s a one stop solution for all the wedding needs. (India)

Wedding Channel is a wedding portal, including planning, checklists, dresses, photos, etc.(US)

The Knot ( is the Internet’s most-trafficked one-stop wedding planning solution. (Pre-launch: The Knot provides a number of resources for couples looking to plan their weddings) (US)

Manos Acelerator & Google for Entrepreneurs

-Fatima Ruiz:
-Chris Cacciatore:
-Ramona Maurer:
-Laura Gonzalez:

As a team, we value time for our families and sharing our family history. All of us honor our families in pursuing this start-up and making Make My Quince a successful service that our users enjoy. Our role models are our families, youngest to oldest, all supporting our dream.

In entrepreneurship, there are no limits to making your vision become a reality. It takes continuous commitment (hour by hour) and the ability to bounce back from every failure and roadblock. Ironically, at these lowest moments is where a vision is reignited with energy, hope, and the passion for executing better.

Fail Quick and Fail often. Failure shapes your vision, deliverables, experience, and execution.
People will tell you what they want, all you have to do is listen.

Be open for all feedback and learn to get comfortable asking for feedback, advice, time, and money. Do not be afraid to ask for things your team needs to create amazing products and services – be fearless in your asking. You will get turned down, but you will also meet people who believe in your vision and will help you see it through.

Companies and Nonprofits Connect, Share Smiles thanks to Bay Area Startup


Quick Pitch
SmileyGo is about making mutually beneficial connections between nonprofits and companies, and helping to create lasting relationships between them.

The Business 
SmileyGo is revamping the concept of sharing through entrepreneurship. We motivate corporations to invest more of their CSR (corporate social responsibility) via smarter ways to create a win-win situation between them and nonprofits. SmileyGo’s market approach is about closing the gap between the public and private sectors. The idea is simple, yet revolutionary. Nonprofits are constantly underfunded, while large companies have a surplus of resources. By creating a platform to connect these two together, SmileyGo helps both businesses and nonprofits. SmileyGo is the filter for nonprofits at a global scale. SmileyGo’s ultimate goal is to make kids smile by getting businesses to sponsor NGOs all around the world through its interactive website.

The "A-ha" Moment
SmileyGo started as a class project in Engineering 145, Technology Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. It was one of the only social ventures in the class, and is the only one to have kept going after the end of class. It is also the only incorporated corporation to come from the class. Forever an entrepreneur seeking to improve the world, Pedro Espinoza has evolved the company from a class project into a corporation.

How does it make money?
We plan to get 10K benefactors (companies & individuals) and 30K nonprofits by 2016. In the first couple of years we will generate revenue of $35M per year with our platform by charging a finder’s fee to the nonprofits. In addition, we will annually charge a premium SmileyGo Benefactor membership to the companies and individuals, which will not only give them access to the entire database but also marketing services with media & press releases for their company.

Businesses it could disrupt
SmileyGo’s aim is to make it easier for businesses to donate to nonprofits, which would greatly help both sectors. It could disrupt large organizations that already have a donation system in place, such as the Red Cross, though SmileyGo aims to bring companies into donating, and not just individuals. Therefore, the negative impact of SmileyGo is minimal.

Market Size
SmileyGo’s market is international—it targets big corporations as well as small businesses, and on the other side of the spectrum, targets local nonprofits as well as global nonprofits. SmileyGo’s reach is around the world.

Likely Competitors
SmileyGo is the first of its kind, as no other websites currently have SmileyGo’s vision for a globally connected donation system.

Partnerships or collaborations
SmileyGo’s first customer, in terms of nonprofits, is Pan Peru (, which has already received funding and sponsorship from SmileyGo. One of our first customers in terms of businesses was the Wealthing Institute in Menlo Park, CA ( Wealthing Institute donated 100 textbooks about personal finance and entrepreneurship to Pan Peru, which were given to the underprivileged in the Peruvian Andes. Other corporations that have already pledged to SmileyGo’s cause include Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and Toyota.

Management Team 
Pedro Espinoza, Chairman; Dante Alvarado Leon, CEO; Madhav Goel, COO; Christina Luk, Chief Policy Consultant; Michelle Hong, CMO; Michael Ingraham, tech advisor; Ben Medler, CTO; Lei Tian, Secretary

Contact Information; Cell phone #: (786) 479-2146

Who are your role models?
Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Guy Kawasaki, Ernestine Fu, Tina Seelig.

What's the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
Smiling, laughing, being proactive.

What's the best advice anyone's ever given you?
Be proactive.

What advice would you give to others? 
Success comes from teamwork.

Unsigned Artists Share Music, Receive Feedback & Build Fan Base on Latino-Led Platform


Interview with DreamTuner

Quick Pitch...
Dream Tuner is a music platform that combines data analytics and music discovery in order to empower unsigned musicians.

The Business
Dream Tuner is a technological platform meant to help independent and unsigned musicians achieve their dreams. A main issue for musicians is getting their music heard by the right people, obtaining instant feedback and at the same time having specific analytic data to help them achieve their dreams/goals. Dream Tuner is combining an online radio with detailed metrics so that musicians will be able to not only get their music out to the public and receive instant feedback, but also have substantial data that can be used for planning tours and marketing campaigns, identifying new fans and acquiring leverage when dealing with key industry players.

The "A-ha" Moment
It started while I was doing my MBA in the University of Texas at Austin. I was visiting my family in Miami and was giving my youngest brother a ride to the University of Miami radio station where he was dropping his band’s demo hoping that the DJ would like it and maybe play it sometime. That is when it came to me, why are there so many tools for musicians and yet they are still getting their music out there the same way for the past 40 years. I got back to Texas with the idea of empowering musicians with all the information that can help them. I talked to my other brother and a couple of friends and we started devising what would become Dream Tuner.

How does it make money?
Dream Tuner will (after beta) have three revenue streams. Advertisement,corporate accounts and membership accounts charged to musicians for detailed metrics.

Businesses it could disrupt...
It will have an impact on the music industry and all that derive from it. From record label companies to the corner bar where musicians hope to play on a week night.

Market Size
The idea of Dream Tuner is that unsigned musicians will learn to use this tool in their favor when negotiating, be it a small bar, an indie festival, a new record label or going up to a local radio station to get their art out there. Also, there are many early adopters searching for new music,we want to bring them to our platform to discover new music and promote it.

Likely competitors
Currently there are huge competitors such as Spotify and Soundcloud where artists can upload their music and hope to get discovered. However, when you are a small pop band and U2 is in the same genre as you, it is pretty hard for you to get discovered. We want to clear the noise and let the unsigned bands showcase their art on a leveled playing field.

Partnerships or Collaborations
We have as an advisor Dae Bogan, have collaborated with InfinixSoft, and have been part of the Made in the LAB Miami program.

Management Team
Alejandro Carrasco – Cofounder and CEO; Gabriel Carrasco Co-Founder

Contact Information;

Who are your role models?
Our role model was our grandfather, a person who had to support all his family as a teenager and who taught us that honesty, loyalty, perseverance and family are the most important things in life.

What's the best thing about being an entrepreneur?
The best part about being an entrepreneur is not knowing what the next day, month, year will be like. Every day is an adventure, which can be overwhelming but at the same time makes life a whole lot more interesting.

What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Don’t be like someone else, inspire others with your actions so that someday they will want to be like you.

What advice would you give to others?
Don’t be a lion, a fox or a shark. Be the salmon swimming against the current.

 Click here to watch Dream Tuner’s official video.

Future Airline Stockholder Began Career at Manos


Interview with Manos intern, Adriana Torres.

Where are you from? 
I was born and raised in Hollister, Ca.

What do you aspire to accomplish in the future? 
I’ve always had an interest in airplanes and airports. My ultimate dream goal is to be a stockholder of an airline. If that does not work out I would love to work in Wall Street as an investment banker.

How did you hear about Manos Accelerator? 
I heard about Manos through Ed Avila on LinkedIn.

What was your role at Manos? 
With Manos, I was an operations intern. I was in charge of coordinating calendars, scheduling sessions with Advisers, scheduling meals for startups while maintaining a balanced budget and keeping documentation of all expenses. I was also in charge of hosting a 20+ group of entrepreneurs from Mexico and scheduled tours to companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and other big tech companies.

How has Manos helped you grow personally and professionally? 
During the Manos internship, I went to many networking events. Since then, I feel more confident being at a networking event and being able to network with others.

What did you take away from your experience at Manos? 
I networked a lot with Manos, which is how I got my new and current job.

How has your internship with Manos prepared you for a future career? 
Prior to Manos, I had not worked in a job culture like the culture Manos has. This will help me in the future when and if I work in a bigger company, I will be able to not take things personal and focus on my job.

What was one thing that you were exposed to at Manos that you would not have experienced anywhere else? 
The culture of Manos. More than coworkers, and bosses, the people of Manos became more of a family to me.

Share a memorable experience. 
My most best memorable moment with Manos would be our trip to NCLR in Los Angeles. It was amazing to see how Latinos can come together and do have amazing events such as NCLR.

How did you change during your internship from your first day to your last day? 
I feel like I matured in my career. Manos was my first internship, so this was all a new experience to me.

What was your favorite part about being an intern? 
My favorite part of being an intern was being able to visit big companies, and being able to learn about the entrepreneurship industry.

Describe your relationship with your bosses and the startups. 
We became a family. Not only with bosses and some startups, but also with my co-interns.

Where are you now? What are you doing? 
I am now in my last year as an Economics and Finance major at San Jose State. I am currently working for a supply chain and logistics software company as an executive administrator and data analyst.

Manos Intern Ready for the Real World


Interview with Manos intern, Sofia Wang.

Where are you from?
Caracas, Venezuela

What do you aspire to accomplish in the future?
Short term: get a Masters degree in Applied Mathematics or Data Science.
Long term: I’d like to start my own company.

How did you hear about Manos Accelerator?
A friend mentioned to me about it and said it would be a good idea to apply.

What was your role at Manos?
I am an intern, whose main role is to organize the day-to-day operations/logistics.

What did you take away from your experience at Manos?
Met great people, had a good time with my co-interns.

Describe your relationship with your bosses, and the startups.
My bosses definitely challenged me. I have learned a lot of skills that can prepare me for the real world, such as making quick decisions because of last minute changes. People from the startups are great, never thought I would bond with them from all these daily one-hour lunches.

Where are you now? What are you doing now?
I just graduated this weekend, ready to go into the real world.