Last Saturday, we traveled to California to participate in the closing event for the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leadership Fellowship program. The highly-selective program aims to double the number of Latino-owned businesses valued at $10+ million, 100+ million, and $1+ billion by 2020—and as participants, we had access to a unique mix of courses, professional mentorship, and an exceptional Latino entrepreneur network.
One of the biggest benefits we have realized from the program is the opportunity to be part of a more extensive entrepreneurial community. Just as valuable as the profound and insightful mentorship from Montage Capital’s Eric Gonzales on topics like acquisitions, board of directors and advisors, was the access to his network and introductions to key people in our industry.
Courses like “Scaling Excellence Through Innovation” with professors Huggy Rao and Bob Sutton and talks focused on access to capital and the unique challenges Hispanic entrepreneurs face when scaling a business. We also were reminded that excellence is doing the right thing even when no one is looking, and that we need to get more without settling for less.
Already, we have directly applied these teachings to our own business: we’re undertaking process and management improvements at Wovenware in order to foster an even stronger sense of collaboration and accountability, while reducing the cognitive overload our staff sometimes faces.
Scaling a business is hard. Sometimes it feels like navigating a ship to port on a very dark and moonless night (without any electronics), but this course has given us a primer and real world examples on how to get it done.
It was a great honor for us to have participated the Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leadership Fellowship Program, and an invaluable experience for the company. We encourage other Latino companies to learn more about the program and apply here.