SDEE Interviews: We Tha Plug
Luis Martinez, MSOL
Luis is an Afro-Latino from Honduras and raised in Brooklyn, New York with an M.B.A. in Organizational Leadership, Luis is an advocate, networker and ecosystem builder for Blacks, Latinos in tech & innovation throughout the United States and abroad.
A Former Pro Basketball Player and U.S. Navy Veteran, currently he is the Director for Startup Grind San Diego. Startup Grind is the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting 3,500,000 entrepreneurs in over 400 cities.
Luis felt the need to create a movement aimed at creating the super ecosystem for Black & Latino Founders, Venture Capitalist & Angel Investors. The lack of access and information about tech and innovation that flows to these underrepresented communities is causing these communities to be behind in Math, Science & current Technology.
Also, there is a disconnect between minorities that have been successful in tech & innovation and those back in communities in which they came from. By creating “We Tha Plug”, Luis is connecting businesses, organizations, and individuals, leveraging their resources and talents to build a stronger Black & Latino tech and innovation community through collective efforts.
Christiana Russell, M.Ed
Christiana is the owner of Mendedwing Consulting, LLC an agency that focuses on strategic planning and process management for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Christiana’s early years began in South Central LA, but later relocated with her parents to Tucson, AZ where she earned her BA & M. Ed at University of Arizona & Northern Arizona University. She spent the next 9+ years working in the Mental Health & Prevention Education industries operating as an advocate and servant leader with a mission to combat social justice issues.
Most recently, she has found herself in the tech and innovation space becoming partner with Luis Martinez at We Tha Plug, to build a strong ecosystem that ensures Early Stage Pan African, Latinx and other underrepresented entrepreneurs and startups leverage every opportunity to advance from ideation, pre-seed and series A funding. We believe creating a safe environment that fosters support and empowerment is key to sustaining present and future founders.
We Tha Plug is a global virtual ecosystem that works with Pan African, Latinx, other under-represented founders & early stage startups from ideation phase to pre-seed and series A round. We are building a community that encompass investors, business professionals, and creatives that spans all genres of the startup space. One pathway to manifest this vision is through our 1000/100/10 Initiative. This initiative will yield data driven impact through proven best practiced methodology implemented through We Tha Incubator. We Tha Incubator focuses on four areas:
• Bridging the gap between ideation and raising capital.
• Providing coaching and mentoring to founders.
• Eliminating the lack of access to ecosystem networks, technical and engineering challenges.
• Providing training on the fundamentals of building a startup company.
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