by Jesse Martinez - World Economic Forum 2020 Delegate |Co-author | 4X Startup Founder & Mobile Pathways Board of Directors
“Jesse was working in Silicon Valley before it was Silicon Valley. He took his years of experience with tech and launched the LatinX Startup Alliance to support fellow Hispanic entrepreneurs" - Natalie Harms, InnovationMap.com
My name is Jesse Martinez and I am a World Economic Forum 2020 delegate, 4X startup founder, and Founder + Chair of LSA Global - a 501(c)(3) social impact non-profit creating, developing, inspiring, championing, and supporting the Latinx tech ecosystem. I am also co-author of Hispanic Stars Rising: A New Face of Power.
My parents were both immigrants from Mexico and met at a church in Houston. I was born and raised in Texas, graduated from Texas A&M, and then moved to California in 1997 to join a Sequoia funded startup as employee #27. During my time in California, I became more educated and aware of immigration and immigrant rights. Having DACA undocumented dreamer friends further raised my awareness and my desire to help support dreamers in tech.
I launched the LatinX Startup Alliance in 2010 to encourage the cultivation of Latinx-led startup tech ventures via a support network of fellow Latinx founders, advisors, innovators, and investors.
I helped to champion and officially cofounded Dreamers in Tech in 2018, providing access to skill-building resources and a professional network for the undocumented community in the U.S.
My work began with Woodson Martin,Co-founder of Team Brownsville, who was on-the-ground providing humanitarian assistance for asylum seekers which inspired my continued work in the immigration space. That work has included co-chairing Una Noche, a fundraiser for Team Brownsville, hosted at the Salesforce Tower in downtown San Francisco. In addition, I was honored to be the first Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) at Salesforce Incubator in Fall of 2016, where I launched CareerForce helping to train more certified SalesforceAmins from diverse communities such Dreamers and DACA.
I met Bart and Jeff with Mobile Pathways through Salesforce in 2018, and ultimately, joined Mobile Pathways’ board of directors. In addition to supporting immigrants’ rights and training diverse communities in salesforce admin, I also assist nonprofits that need support with technology including critical infrastructure for tech, challenges with resources, human capital, and financial capital. Providing that type of support allows nonprofits to focus on the work that they do best.
My focus continues to be on learning more about the immigrant community—who they are, what they are doing, what type of work they are seeking—and to provide training to those interested in getting into tech.
Being in the immigration space has allowed me to build friendships and connections, and to focus on ways to support immigrants and create a safe community for them.