Hispano Chamber helps launch tech startup accelerator

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A new business accelerator is launching in Albuquerque to help Latinx entrepreneurs build tech companies. 

The accelerator, called EmprendeLatino and the first of six planned to debut nationwide, has joined forces with the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, backed by Perpetua Partners, a venture capital fund targeting Latinx-led tech firms. 

The Hispano Chamber will collaborate with the accelerator on marketing and developing the entrepreneurial program, a news release says. 

The inaugural class will include 10 startups with access to mentoring from industry experts and space at EmprendeLatino's Downtown Albuquerque location, 1015 Tijeras Ave. NW. 

The 12-week accelerator will provide companies with "capital, coaching, curriculum and community," in an effort to help create scalable companies prepared for later-stage venture investment, according to the release. 

The startups will receive $100,000 in seed money upon completion of the program.

"Bringing diversity and inclusivity into venture capital poses a complex challenge, so having strong partners invested in the Latinx community such as [the Hispano Chamber] is critical to the success of our mission," said EmprendeLatino Executive Director Lucrece Borrego in a prepared statement. 

A 2018 analysis by digitalundivided's ProjectDiane found less than 2 percent of funded startups in the year prior were led by Latinx founders, Forbes reported. Digitalundivided is a social enterprise focused on encouraging entrepreneurship among black and Latinx women. 

Applications for the accelerator are open until Aug. 11 and it begins later that month.

Leslie Shioshita