Posts

Rosario B. Casas shares how the pandemic has accelerated technology and tech trends to keep an eye on

Since the pandemic, businesses have been forced to adapt to the “new normal,” causing a huge rise in tech advancement, tech trends, and reliance on digital tools to thrive. 

Women-in-tech leader Rosario B. Casas is building a community for the digital transformation and business growth of Hispanic entrepreneurs. (Photo courtesy Rosario B. Casas)

During Latina in Business’ March virtual panel, “Latina Small Business Post-Covid: Recovery Resources and Trends,” panelists discussed how the pandemic has shifted our relationship with technology. Now more than ever, businesses are relying on digital tools to connect with customers, grow, and thrive. 

Rosario B. Casas, award-winning women-in-tech advocate and co-founder of Business Creative Partners, BCPartnersTech, shared some insights on recent tech trends that have emerged since the pandemic. 

The pandemic fueled huge leaps in tech advancement

Speaking with panel moderator, Pilar Avila, Latinas in Business executive board member and founder of Renovad Experiential Retreats, Rosario shared some insights into the world of tech. In our increasingly fast paced world, tech is always changing and growing. However the pandemic caused an even greater push to the pace of change. 

Rosario B Casas, Colombian born serial entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Business Creative Partners (BCPartnersTech), and award-winning women-in-tech advocate.

Rosario B. Casas 12:30 

Since the pandemic has started, we finally realized that the world is not going back to where we were before. It means that the pace of change will be increasing, like double every year. I mean, many technologies, and in the use of technology, the world advanced like 10 years, during the pandemic. It means companies finally understood that they can’t fuel their companies or can’t plan their companies without the use of technology to be more efficient. But with all this, and in every industry, if you see, we realize that sustainable energy is important. Finally, we get that point. And of course, many industries will need to update their sensors, their installations, everything. And with that, what comes is basically that training and education and learning is not anymore, an alternative, it’s a must. It is not possible to think that I will keep being myself with what I know today for the next years to come. 

Rosario emphasizes that going forward, as tech advancement continues, adaptation and lifelong learning will be a must, not just for individuals, but companies and organizations as well. For businesses to thrive, post-pandemic, and keep up with evolving tech trends they will need to start adapting and learning side-by-side with the changing technologies. 

Rosario B. Casas 14:30

It means acquiring new skills every day to be updated….And also upscaling, it means if I already know how to do this, how I’m jumping into the next level of training. And with that, I am sure that events like this are not only becoming part of that lifelong learning educational system in formal educational system, but of course, that people with kids and people with adults at their homes will fill that gap that they need to bridge with training and education in new ways that we were not imagining before.

Pilar Avila  15:19  

Amazing. So the growth trend, and the possibilities that technology and digital applications bring is not only about one sector of the economy or one function, it really goes across every function of business. But this topic of training and lifelong learning, has been absolutely transformed during the pandemic, thanks to the accessibility of technology. 

You might be interested: Innovative attitude: the 7 keys to becoming an innovative entrepreneur

Three key tech trends business owners and entrepreneurs should tap into

Pilar Avila 24:20

I want to hear a little bit more about how you know on the ground, you’re helping companies really coming to the digital age, and what are the trends, maybe certain applications beyond the workforce engagement that you might be observing that we need to be aware of and tapping? 

Rosario B. Casas  24:40  

Well, yes, sure. Thank you. When the pandemic started, and we started with my husband, seeing small businesses closing, we decided to create a program, a 10 weeks program for small business owners in order to help them acquire not only digital skills but also a digital mindset. And well Susana [Baumann] is one of our coaches, and we have 65 phenomenal mentors. But the idea is to create a community of Hispanic business owners both in the US and Latin America because also if small businesses are closing any of both geographies we are having huge issues….We need these businesses to keep thriving, growing. And of course, their leadership is growing in the new digital era. 

Where I see the three key [tech] trends: Ecommerce, for sure and E-services is a must. The second is, all the touchless economy, how we can grow the services and the systems without or avoiding the risk of touching and cleaning and acquiring or assuming all that cost that it implies. And Google has amazing tools for where technology companies can build things there. And the last thing that I think is Productivity and Personal Life, for sure, is a trend. We need business owners to learn how to be productive, how to use technology to make their life easier, how to automate processes, right. And basically, these three trends are where we are trying and helping business owners to acquire skills.

Through the 10-week incubator program, Brookly2Bogota, which is currently running in both New York and Colombia, business owners and entrepreneurs gain access to tools, mentors, networking, and training to accelerate the growth of their company in the new digital world post-COVID and carry out the digital transformation they require while acquiring knowledge and skills related to design thinking and agile methodologies.

The program is currently on its second cohort. For more information visit: brooklyn2bogota.mn.co/ 

NJEDA

NJEDA & digitalundivided showcase resources for Black & Latino Entrepreneurs

Members of New Jersey’s innovation community had the opportunity to learn about public and private resources available to entrepreneurs of color during a “Removing Barriers for Diverse Entrepreneurs” Instagram Live discussion on Wednesday that featured New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Sullivan and digitalundivided CEO Lauren Maillian. The chat also spotlighted the recently-proposed Black and Latino Seed Fund, which the NJEDA intends to create to drive capital to Black- and Latino-owned enterprises.

NJEDA

The innovation economy is facing a nationwide diversity crisis. According to Crunchbase, American companies raised a record-setting $150 billion in venture capital funding in 2020, but less than one percent of this went to Black-owned companies. The numbers are even worse for women. According to digitalundivided’s ProjectDiane, Black and Latina women received just 0.64 percent of total venture capital investment between 2018 and 2019.

During the event, Sullivan and Maillian spoke about ways their organizations are working to increase access to capital for minority-owned businesses and discussed initiatives created to empower Black and Latino founders, foster equitable entrepreneurship, and create the most diverse innovation ecosystem in the country.

“Reclaiming New Jersey’s position as the nation’s leader in innovation hinges on welcoming all entrepreneurs with original ideas to pursue their dreams,” Sullivan said. “Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, we’re working with our partners in the public and private sectors to close funding gaps that exist for far too many entrepreneurs of color and ensure that founders have the resources they need to succeed.”

NJEDA

newjerseyeda We were thrilled to team up w/ @digundiv for last night’s “Removing Barriers for Diverse Entrepreneurs” Instagram Live event! Couldn’t join us? Get details on resources for entrepreneurs of color & a link to a recording of the chat. Link in bio. #IGLive

Sullivan gave an overview of New Jersey’s proposed Black and Latino Seed Fund, which will focus on driving capital to Black- and Latino-owned enterprises. Governor Phil Murphy has proposed a $10 million Fiscal Year 2022 budget allocation to create the Fund. Crafted with input from Black and Latino founders, investors, and policy experts, this seed fund is an important step toward tearing down the institutional barriers that hold Black and Latino entrepreneurs back and replacing them with accessible resources that respond to these innovators’ unique needs.

The concept for the Fund resulted from a Request for Information (RFI) issued by the NJEDA last year to solicit input on ways to increase access to capital for Black- and Latino-led startups. The RFI sought input from a diverse range of stakeholders, including fund managers, angel investors, venture capitalists, small-business owners, researchers and practitioners involved in entrepreneurship work, industry and trade groups, and other states’ governments.

You might be interested: It will take two centuries for the gender wage gap to close for Latinas if we do nothing

Sullivan also outlined a comprehensive suite of initiatives advanced by Governor Murphy to foster equitable entrepreneurship and create the most diverse innovation ecosystem in the country. This includes adding new bonuses to:

It also includes adding a diversity bonus to the NJEDA’s own venture investment plan, and an increased investment cap for investments in certified woman- or minority-owned businesses under the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund, created under the Economic Recovery Act of 2020.  

During the Instagram Live chat, Maillian highlighted digitalundivided’s mission and resources it offers Black and Latina women entrepreneurs. digitalundivided is a non-profit, social startup that leverages data and advocacy to catalyze economic growth for Black and Latina entrepreneurs in innovation and technology. Maillian spoke about the groundbreaking programs they offer including  START 2021,  a three-week virtual program for Black and Latina women founders at the idea stage of their entrepreneurial journey. She also talked about BIG Pre-Accelerator, a fast-paced pre-accelerator program for high-potential, pre-revenue Black and Latina women-led startups, as well as the Do You Fellowship, which positions high-potential, innovative Black & Latina founders for growth by providing them with funding, professional development, and access to exclusive mentorship and resources.

“Responsibility falls on all players in the innovation ecosystem to break down the barriers that far too often impede the path to success for entrepreneurs of color,” Maillian said. “It’s important to keep having conversations like we had this week and to continue connecting diverse entrepreneurs with critical resources like the programming spearheaded by NJEDA and digitalundivided. Working together, we will encourage innovation in NJ and have a lasting impact on the nation’s economy.”

A recording of the Instagram Live chat can be found at https://www.instagram.com/p/CNYd6tUobXu/.

About the New Jersey Economic Development Authority

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) serves as the State’s principal agency for driving economic growth. The NJEDA is committed to making New Jersey a national model for inclusive and sustainable economic development by focusing on key strategies to help build strong and dynamic communities, create good jobs for New Jersey residents, and provide pathways to a stronger and fairer economy. Through partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders, the NJEDA creates and implements initiatives to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the State and strengthen New Jersey’s long-term economic competitiveness.

About digitalundivided

digitalundivided is a non-profit, social startup that leverages data and advocacy to catalyze economic growth for Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs in innovation and technology. Our goal is to create a world in which all women of color own their work. digitalundivided merges data and heart to change the trajectories of women’s lives. We are a connector and a catalyst, supporting Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs through best-in-class programming, mentorship, training, resources and investment. We offer unparalleled thought leadership in the space. And we bring together the shared experiences of our community to produce ground-breaking authoritative research on Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs. For more information, visit: www.digitalundivided.com and follow us on Twitter (@digundiv) and on Instagram and Facebook (@digitalundivided).

To learn more about NJEDA resources for businesses call NJEDA Customer Care at 609-858-6767 or visit https://www.njeda.com and follow @NewJerseyEDA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Damaris Diaz Joins National Conversation with Latina Leaders to Address Small Business Recovery Post-Covid 19

Damaris Diaz, popular correspondent who runs entertainment, fitness, and unique human-interest stories in Despierta America, the national morning show on Univision network, joins the National Conversation with Latina Leaders as Celebrity Speaker. The event also gathers a stellar lineup of leaders, influencers and entrepreneurs from around the country to talk about “Latina Small Business Post-Covid Recovery: Resources and Trends”.

Damaris Diaz, Stacie de Armas, small business recovery post-Covid

Damaris Diaz joins Stacie de Armas as Guest Speaker for virtual National Conversation with Latina Leaders event.

The free virtual event takes place Friday, March 19 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST – 9:00 am to 11:00 am PST on Zoom and Facebook Live. For free registration visit https://latina-small-business-recovery.eventbrite.com. Open to all entrepreneurs regardless of gender, race or ethnicity, and the general public. Organized by Latinas in Business Inc. a national non-profit membership organization.

She joins Keynote Speaker Stacie de Armas, Senior Vice President of Inclusive Insights & Initiatives and a leader within Nielsen’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practice, to help amplify the voice of the Latinx community struggling for resources and funding for small businesses, and protection of essential workers.

Susana G Baumann, President and CEO of Latinas in Business Inc, states, “After this very challenging year, it is important to regroup and think strategically about how to recover and protect our businesses and essential workers. I am very grateful for the response of these amazing Latina leaders that will provide the knowledge and resources needed for our community not only to survive, but to excel.”

Latina Leaders

Panel 1 Guest Speakers: Jennifer Garcia, Wendy Garcia, and Christina Fuentes.

The March 19 virtual event will include two panels with other remarkable guest speakers. Panel 1 will feature Jennifer Garcia, Interim CEO at Latino Business Action (LBAN), Stanford University; Wendy Garcia, Chief Diversity Officer at the Office of the NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer; and Christina Fuentes, Managing Director, Community Development, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA).

Latina Leaders

Panel 2 Guest Speakers: Rosario B Casas, Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon, and Lucy Pinto.

Panel 2 will feature Rosario B Casas, CEO VR Americas; Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon, Managing Partner of Avante Capital; and Lucy Pinto, Grow with Google Program Manager.

“Although it is evident that throughout the United States, Latino entrepreneurs have encountered extreme difficulty, it is important to note that they have been extremely resilient and have adapted their businesses to navigate these ever-changing conditions,” Baumann continued. 

Join us and all our supporting organizations in bringing post-Covid recovery solutions to America’s backbone, small businesses, and especially minority women and Latina-owned businesses, their talent, innovation and their constant sense of purpose to support their communities. 

For registration to this free event, please visit: https://latina-small-business-recovery.eventbrite.com

small business recovery post-Covid, Damaris Diaz

Supporting media partners and organizations.