Posts

From books to dating to DREAMERs, 6 apps by Latinas in tech to celebrate

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 Latina entrepreneurs 

apps by latinas

BookSloth 

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.” 

apps by latinas

Typic  

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. 

apps by latinas

Caribu 

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! 

 You might be interested: Rosario B. Casas shares how the pandemic has accelerated technology and tech trends to keep an eye on

Latiner is the first Latina-created dating app for Latinx and Hispanic singles. (Image courtesy of Latiner)

Latiner

After experiencing racial based rejection on mainstream dating platforms, 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.”

apps by latinas

DREAMers Roadmap 

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! 

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.”