Google for Entrepreneurs and Manos Accelerator, a newly created startup accelerator in San Jose, Calif., have formed a partnership to increase the number of Hispanics in the entrepreneur community.
Manos Accelerator is a mentorship-driven accelerator program that provides hands-on education, business resources, infrastructure and mentorship for promising startup companies in the heart of Silicon Valley, according to a release.
"The goal is to have five startup teams for our first cohort starting Aug. 12," Edward Avila, co-founder and CEO of Manos Accelerator, told HispanicBusiness.com. "Since the press release, I've received over 25 inquiries from startup teams across the U.S. and a handful from Latin America countries such as Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Chile and Peru."
Although Silicon Valley is known as a model for entrepreneurship, "there has been an ongoing gap for Latinos to be active participants of this startup ecosystem," said Jerry Porras, professor emeritus at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.
"Manos Accelerator has designed a robust program where they identify and mentor aspiring Latino entrepreneurs who are creating innovative solutions to real-world problems," he added.
Manos Accelerator has taken on the role of filling a critical talent gap in the startup market -- the development of Hispanic entrepreneurs. The move is garnering praise from search giant Google as well as Hispanic luminaries.
"We are excited to be partnering with such a great organization to provide resources to increase the number of Latino entrepreneurs in the global tech community," Mary Grove, director of global entrepreneurship outreach at Google, said in a statement.
"I applaud Manos Accelerator for identifying and promoting Latino entrepreneurs to showcase their products, new ideas and businesses to the world," said Mario Lopez, actor, television personality and host of EXTRA TV. "Manos Accelerator is making a difference and attracting more Latinos to the high-tech world. They are a game changer!"
Manos Accelerator invites early-stage U.S. Hispanic entrepreneurs to apply for the fall 2013 session in San Jose, in which the incubator will connect Hispanic startup teams with mentors, corporate executives, angel investors, venture capitalists and technology contacts in Silicon Valley.
"I'm very humbled by the number of responses thus far," Mr. Avila said. "I know there's a need for such an organization and I hope this makes a significant impact with increasing the number of Latinos in the startup space."
Manos Accelerator is accepting online applications at http://www.manosaccelerator.com/. Deadline for submissions is July 31.
More information on Google for Entrepreneurs is available here and here.
The Billion Dollar Club -- the HispanicBusiness 500 now lists five billion-dollar-plus companies on its index of the top-earning U.S. Hispanic enterprises.
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