September 26th, 2018
Crowdismo: Crowdfunding The Hispanic Creative Economy
Just a few days ago, on this blog, I urged readers to rethink their approach to National Hispanic Heritage Month. Concluding my review of Rick Najera’s memoir, Almost White, I observed: “It’s not about just reading about heroes of the past. It’s about becoming the heroes of the future.” That was day one of Heritage Month, and today, on day five, I have a second recommendation. If you are still looking for something to do this month, go out and fund an Hispanic startup.
The idea came to me last week when I caught up with Jose Huitron, co-founder of Crowdismo, a newish venture that’s taking a fresh approach to the otherwise crowded crowdfunding market. First, like a few other platforms in the US and Latin America, Crowdismo is serving the Hispanic entrepreneurial marketplace. It’s a rich niche that requires intimate knowledge of the culture (and sometimes language). Second, Crowdismo is combining online savvy with offline engagement. A leader in the emerging California Central Coast startup community, Huitron has been quietly building an ecosystem of supporters by participating in all the weeknight and weekend meetups for local entrepreneurs. It’s a model that Crowdismo hopes it can take to other cities as their online reputation grows. If you are serious about community, offline matters.
But what I like most about Crowdismo is the impact it hopes to have on the Central Coast and other communities. Crowdismo seeks to crowdfund not only tech companies, but the broader range of ventures that make up the Hispanic creative economy. It’s part a larger trend I’ve been following over the past six months, beginning with what’s happening in places like San Juan, Puerto Rico. Hispanics are beginning to understand that startups from a wide range of creative disciplines — technology, media, the arts and design — can have massive impact on local economies. They can help create jobs. They can help create tax revenue.