Latinas in Tech & Venture Capital take the industry by storm.
We had the opportunity to speak with Marisela Garcia Marquez, founder of Iberus, a venture she launched in 2015 to focus on cross-border investments in tech startups between San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and international markets.
Marisela is a third-generation San Franciscan and the first Latina Millennial leading in this field. She is blazing a trail that paves the way for increased diverse representation in venture capital and tech. It was a pleasure getting to speak with her about this evolving landscape.
LatinX: What inspired you to pursue a career in venture capital, and how did you manage to obtain access?
Marisela: I was inspired to pursue and gain access to a career in venture capital when I led my first sister city alliance in Mexico. The rise of emerging markets in Latin America and Europe inspired me to lead cross-border opportunities for international tech companies and investors.
LatinX: Given how representation of women in the industry is sorely lacking, what is it like being in that ecosystem?
Marisela: To date, men make up 90% of venture capital firms in the US and 74% of VC firms do not include a female partner. Access to networks, investors and quality deals is challenging for women in the industry. We must count with the right advocates, mentors and male allies to help elevate our success.
LatinX: When did you decide to start Iberus and what is your mission?
Marisela: Iberus was founded in 2015 with a mission to transcend borders and provide access to early stage investment opportunities for global investors.
LatinX: What are ways that you are working to create opportunities for other women?
Marisela: It is imperative to build an inclusive future for women. In the venture capital industry we must create avenues to increase the representation of women in VC and escalate the number of managing partners within firms. In 2018 I founded the Global Women in Venture Initiative. Our global mission is to unite all women in the venture capital industry to increase the diverse leadership of women in VC to build a supportive and resourceful platform for female investors and women-led companies.
LatinX: What do you see as the future of the industry?
Marisela: Venture Capital teams led by innovative diverse talent and investing in all exceptional founders around the world.
Marisela notes that while there is much work to be done, progress is being made. She is actively working on a relaunch of the Iberus website, and makes time in her busy schedule to guest speak on panels. Effectively, passing the torch to other young female entrepreneurs who seek to step into the arena.
Recently, she was awarded the Ultimate Drive Award by Latino Leaders Magazine and BMW. She was also the recipient of the Global Entrepreneur Leader Award by the Mexican Association of Business Leaders in Guadalajara, Mexico.