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Tech-entrepreneur Maria Camila creates Latiner, a dating app for Latinx singles 

After experiencing racial based rejection on mainstream dating platforms, Maria Camila created Latiner –the first Latina-created dating app for Latinx singles. 

Founded by Colombian born tech-entrepreneur, Maria Camila, Latiner is the first Latina-created dating app for Latinx and Hispanic singles. (Image courtesy of Latiner)

According to Pew Research Center, the Hispanic population in the U.S reached 60.6 million in 2019 and accounts for approximately 18% of the country’s total population. For tech-entrepreneur Maria Camila, this realization coupled with negative experiences on mainstream dating apps, prompted her to launch her first venture. 

“It hit me that we, as the second-largest racial or ethnic group in the U.S., should have one dating app built on our own. A dating app catering to whoever wants to date Latin American singles, considering that mainstream dating apps are mostly created and dominated by white people,” says Latiner founder, Maria Camila. “Latin American singles need a comfortable and efficient dating platform. That’s what inspired me to create Latiner.”

From bad dating experiences to an entrepreneurial opportunity 

Latiner, Maria Camila,

Latiner founder, Maria Camila. (Image courtesy of Latiner)

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. 

“When I first came to the U.S. 2 years ago, I felt lonely, kinda hoping I could find a boyfriend to be around,” Maria says. 

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.”

Latiner, Latinx singles, dating app

Latiner is changing the game as the first Latina-created dating app made specifically for Latinx singles. (Image courtesy Latiner)

These experiences prompted Maria to do something to change the game for Latinx singles. She began discussing the idea of a Latinx dating app with friends in the IT industry. Soon she persuaded them to join her team and together they successfully developed the app in 3 months. 

“The key to success is to start before you are ready” 

Before launching Latiner, Maria did not have any experience or educational background in technology. Everything was new. She didn’t feel “ready” to start, but she had an idea that she believed in and so she sought the right people to help her make her vision a reality. 

Latiner, Maria Camila

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. The key to success is to start before you are ready.” (Image courtesy of Latiner)

“All I had was an idea of creating a dating app for Latino community,” she says. “But I had a bunch of friends who worked in the technology industry, and some of them were app developers. I told them about my idea as well as the prospect of Latino online dating market. They thought it was awesome, and they wanted to work together with me to develop the app.” 

When thinking back on her process, Maria recalls something she once heard from Steve Jobs about creativity. 

“He said creativity was just connecting things. People who were creative meant they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. In my case, I connected my unhappy online dating experiences with what I could do to make Latino singles feel comfortable while dating online, and I came up with an idea of making a dating app for ourselves,” Maria says. “In a word, you should know your community very well, know what they need, and you have to be creative and initiative to do something about that.”

You might be interested: 8 Steps to launching a tech startup

Through her experiences as a new entrepreneur, Maria has learned that anything is possible. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all,” she says. “Be brave. Every single woman, regardless of ethnicity, race, age, or whatever you think might hold you back, has the right to make her own choice. The key to success is to start before you are ready, nothing will work unless you do.”

Latina smallbiz expo

Super Bowl Champion Isaiah Stanback and “Latino Shark” Manny Fernandez to POWER UP 2019 Latina SmallBiz Expo

The 2019 Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch your Business Competition POWER UP! presents Super Bowl Champion Isaiah Stanback, Virtual Reality Guru Rosario B. Casas, and the “Latino Shark” Angel Investor Manny Fernandez. 

Wellness, Technology and Lifestyle international speakers will POWER UP! the 2019 Latina SmallBiz Expo and Pitch Competition to take place at the Hudson County Culinary Conference Center, 161 Newkirk St., Jersey City, NJ on November 8, 2019 from 12:00pm to 5:00pm, followed by the Investors Panel and 5th Anniversary Cocktail Reception from 5:00pm to 10:00pm.

Latina smallbiz expo

Isaiah Stanback, Supor Bowl Champion and Wellness Entrepreneurs

According to the US Department of Commerce, as of 2018, women of color account for 47% of all women-owned businesses. An estimated 5,824,300 women-of-color-owned businesses employ 2,230,600 people and generate $386.6 billion in revenues in the United States. However, Latinas grew faster than the average rate: 172%, equaling 2.1 million Latina-owned businesses in the US.

“Despite their growth, Latinas receive only 0.2% of all the VC and investment funding out there. This is unacceptable! Every year, we POWER UP the quality of our speakers and the quality of our events so that Latinas and other women of color can have the access, resources and encouragement they deserve!” Susana G Baumann, President and CEO, said.

“Our slogan this year encourages Latinas and other minority women to POWER UP THEIR ACCESS, BRANDING AND CONNECTIONS! We are extremely excited that Isaiah Stanback, Super Bowl Champion and Wellness Entrepreneur, Rosario B. Casas, CEO and co-founder of VR Americas, and Angel Investor Manny Fernandez, CEO of DreamFunded,  will power up our Expo and bring a wealth of information and inspiration to our members,” she added.

The Expo includes a Pitch Competition that offers a $12,000 Prize Package –$2000 in Cash an $10,000 in Business Services. “We are grateful that Rutgers School of Business is co-hosting the Pitch Competition this year offering a seat at the Entrepreneur Pioneers Initiative Program ($6000 value) to the winner to help her build and expand her business,” Baumann concluded.

REGISTER NOW FOR THIS EVENT: Latina SmallBiz Expo

latina smallbiz expo

Manny Fernandez, co-founder and CEO, DreamFunded

About the speakers

After playing college football, Mr. Stanback was recruited to the major leagues by the Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots and the New York Giants -during his tenure they won the Super Bowl XVLI. He now has become a Wellness Entrepreneur that advocates for young athletes and minorities, and encourages them to overcome adversity by being persistent.

Rosario B. Casas is a strong advocate for women in tech, and the data-driven Cofounder of VR Americas, the company that produced the Telemundo TV Network application for last year’s FIFAWorld Cup.  She is also co-founder of the investment firm BCPartners and calls herself #ProudlyColombian and #ProudlyLatina.

Manny Fernandez is the founder and CEO of DreamFunded, a world-class equity crowdfunding platform. He has been called the “Latino Shark” and was invited in 2016 by the Executive Office of The President to the White House to participate in a round table discussion on possible solutions to fund early stage companies in underrepresented communities. He is also part of the group SF Angels Group in San Francisco. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience for startups and growing companies in the new crowdfunding space.

REGISTER NOW FOR THIS EVENT: Latina SmallBiz Expo

 

You might be interested: Latina entrepreneur Ramona Ferreyra wins 2018 Pitch Competition

About Latinas in Business Inc.

Latinas in Business Inc. is a national non-profit organization that advocates for the economic empowerment of Latinas and other minority women entrepreneurs.For information and to register, please visit Latina SmallBiz Expo.For sponsorship and promotional opportunities, please contact Susana@latinasinbusiness.us/or 848 238 6090.