Featured Geek: Marisela García Marquez on Breaking Barriers in Tech Investing

Marisela García Marquez founded iberus to bridge the gap between Silicon Valley and Mexico’s startup ecosystem.

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Marisela García Marquez, founder of iberus is a young woman that saw an opportunity and seized it. She’s blazing new trails in venture capital for women in the US and globally. She is a champion for the empowerment of women and leads cross-border investments in tech between San Francisco/Silicon Valley and international markets. She is a tech trailblazer that advocates for the startup ecosystems in Latin America and Europe and is the Founder of Women in Venture initiative, which seeks to create a global pipeline for women in venture capital.

What inspired you to create Iberus?

In 2013 I had the opportunity to work for local Mexican government, which led me to discover Mexico’s tech ecosystem.  Immediately I realized the potential of this emerging ecosystem, but also its setbacks. The ecosystem being so young, means that the entrepreneurs are not prepared to compete on a global stage, but above all investors are not prepared to invest or mentor entrepreneurs and that is where I enter with my company, Iberus. Due to this unique experience I was inspired to bridge Silicon Valley and Mexico’s ecosystem with a true understanding of both cultures.

What does being a Latina in tech (#LatinaGeek) mean to you?

It means being the proud new face of global innovators and investors, while being a pioneer and leader for mi gente.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve overcome to date in your entrepreneurial journey?

Entering both a male-dominated industry and country, such as Mexico where gender discrimination is heavily present in the workplace has been a challenge I have been able to navigate.  However, it is a constant struggle I continue to face today.  

What is some advice you would give to other women to overcome these obstacles?

Stand your ground. Continue to be persistent, realistic and focused to confront all situations, especially unforeseen obstacles. It is imperative that you remain true to your mission and build champions and allies along the way.

What inspires you?

I am truly inspired by the women who have previously paved the path for so many young women today. I believe that as the new generation of female leaders continues to evolve, we have the honored responsibility to continue inspiring and mentoring our young latinas and all women across the world.

What are some of the lessons you’ve learned along the way?

I’ve learned that both time and patience are a virtue. As a millennial, I too have succumbed to instant gratification, but the reality is success doesn’t happen over night.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Do not seek validation from others. If something feels right trust your intuition and keep going. Do not overthink or second-guess yourself.

What’s the strongest skill female entrepreneurs need to nurture to thrive?

Drive. Being focused and always motivated to overcome the every day obstacles.

Who is your hero and why?

My mother is my hero. My mother has always led by example. At an early age I learned what having a strong work ethic means with a clear understanding of sacrifice and risk. What I most admire about her is her courage to confront all hardships with grace, humor and faith. My mother is my hero and number one fan.

Can you share a life changing / shifting moment that got you to where you are today?

A visit to the U.K in 2016 led to new opportunities. A gateway to the eastern hemisphere. I met with a diverse group of angel investors and venture capitalists from Europe, Saudi Arabia, India and learned that my services were of great interest to these individuals. They understand the importance and value of having a person on the ground that has a network and understands the Silicon Valley culture. I can provide them with not only quality deal flow, but also valuable insights from Silicon Valley and Latin America.

What are you looking for help with today? How can we help you achieve what you want?

I want to motivate and introduce more Latinas into Venture Capital by sharing my story with women entrepreneurs and women looking to become the next generation of investors.

Amigas, please comment below and thank Marisela for sharing her story with you.