To celebrate and bring attention to Latina entrepreneurs in tech, we’re sharing some awesome apps by Latinas. These apps bring innovation, connection, and problem-solving for their niche audiences, and each app is uniquely inspired by their Latina founder’s origins, experiences, and culture.
Latinas in tech are still massively underrepresented. Currently, women comprise 28.8% of the U.S. tech workforce, but only 2% of those women are Latina, according to a 2020 study. There is a need to push for more Latinas in tech, especially in our digitally-focused and tech-driven age since the pandemic.
Latina entrepreneurs bring valuable cultural knowledge and experiences that enrich products and companies. We need these women in tech!
6 apps by Latinas in tech
BookSloth is an app for the young adult book community. Founded by 28-year-old Puerto Ricans Lincy Ayala and Xiomara Figueroa, the app connects users with other readers who share similar books tastes, allowing them to chat and discuss their favorite reads. BookSloth also improves the book discoverability process, allowing readers to discover books they might not hear about otherwise and providing a space for young adult readers to have meaningful discussions. Readers can also rate their favorite books, create recommendation lists, keep track of their To-Reads, and participate in reader challenges.
On the inspiration behind the app, founder Xiomara Figueroa said, “After the hurricane [Maria], we didn’t have phone service or internet for weeks or electricity for months. As book lovers, we turned to books as an escape from our reality at the time and saw the importance of having books and the value of connecting with others through our love for reading.”
Typic is a text design app founded in 2012 by Colombian entrepreneur Margarita Acosta and her two brothers, Steve Urrego and Julián Urrego. The app adds design text over photos and videos—something we may take for granted now, but which was not so common when they first created the app.
“I remember we joked around expecting about 20 downloads and got 1,500 on the first day, and this number grew very quickly. We were getting downloads from all around the world!” said Margarita Acosta.
In 2014, Typic was selected by Apple as one of the Best Apps of the year. Typic has expanded to include five apps: Typic, Typic 2, Typic Grid, Typic Kids, and Typic Baby. With new features, Typic does more than add text to images now. Users can draw, add stickers and animation, create stylized grids for their Instagram feeds, and more!
Fabulous Cuentos y Cantos
Founded by the same sibling team as Typic, Fabulous Cuentos y Cantos is an audio player that brings fun original short musical stories for children to start conversations around relevant issues such as emotional learning, anger management, diversity, self-esteem, and compassion. The fun stories feature Latin American endangered species and help educate while having fun.
This app is an excellent tool for parents to navigate important issues with children in an age-appropriate way. The app is also very Latin American-focused, perfect for families who want to share and teach their heritage with their children.
Born out of a need during the pandemic, Caribu is a virtual playdate app for children. Founded by 38-year-old Cuban American entrepreneur Maxeme Tuchman, Caribu allows kids to connect with trusted friends or family members and draw, play games, color, and read books while on video calls.
“What we have been hearing from parents during the pandemic is that finally the child is engaged in a video call with grandma, which has never happened before. We create magical moments between different generations,” said founder Maxeme.
In 2020, Caribu was named one of the Best of 2020 by Apple and Best Products of 2021 by Good Housekeeping. As we continue to navigate the pandemic through the omicron surge and beyond, an app like Caribu will continue to keep children connected with friends and family in fun, engaging ways!
After experiencing racial based rejection on mainstream dating platforms, Latina entrepreneur, Maria Camila, created Latiner –the first Latina-created dating app for Latinx singles.
At 25 years old, Maria Camila is already making a name for herself as an entrepreneur. Born and raised in Bogotá-Colombia she studied business administration at Fundacion Universitaria Cafam. She now lives in San Francisco where she works at a logistics company and she is now also the founder of Latiner.
The idea to create Latiner came to Maria in January of 2020, after many unpleasant and disappointing experiences on mainstream dating apps. Maria’s friends in the U.S. set her up on many blind dates but most ended the same way. “Some of them turned me down because of racial differences, while others said they were afraid of the ‘Latina temper’,” explains Maria.
Then Maria began her own online dating journey and learned first-hand how racists people could be when it came to dating.
“I kept coming across profiles stating ‘Whites Only’,” she says. “As a Latina, it does take an emotional toll when people turn you down constantly, simply because you’re not their dating preference, not to mention the colossal waste of time swiping the wrong one on a wrong app.”
Founded by Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca, DREAMers Roadmap is a nonprofit app that helps undocumented students across the country find scholarships to help supplement what financial aid won’t cover.
For many undocumented immigrants, college does not seem possible. To qualify for financial assistance for college under FAFSA, a student must have a social security number – a form of identification that undocumented people do not possess. Because of this, many students believe they cannot afford higher education.
However, DREAMers Roadmap helps to seek out alternative scholarship opportunities. What began as a seed of an idea in 2014 ended up winning the Voto Latino’s Innovator Challenge in 2015, earning Espinoza Salamanca and DREAMers Roadmap $100,000.
Since its creation, the app has helped over 20,000 students continue their education.
These inspirational Latina entrepreneurs have impacted their ventures, and we could not be happier to support them. Representation matters and we need more Latinas in tech, so that young Latinas of the future know they have a place in these industries too!
What we’re reading: Healing Leadership: How to Lead, Love, and Thrive in Business and Life
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