"The way I think about diversity is different. First and foremost, hands down, I believe it's going to make better portfolios, much better returns. It helps companies understand their customers, which is the entire population, and the entire population of the United States does not look the same."
– Samara Hernandez, Founding Partner of Chingona Ventures—a Chicago-based Early Stage VC Fund
Chingona translates to an intelligent, fearless woman who can get things done. Founding Partner of Chingona Ventures, Samara Hernandez, is as Chingona as it gets. Samara launched Chingona in 2019, made 18 investments, and received part of a $50M investment from PayPal Ventures. She focuses on investing in overlooked, massive, and growing markets.
We talk about spotting opportunities, diversity as an accelerant to outsized returns, and why cultivating different networks improves your chances of success.
Samara was born in Mexico and came to the U.S. at a young age. Growing up in a dual-language, multicultural household, she did not pick up English as quickly as Math, which led her to pursue a skillset and a degree in Engineering at the University of Michigan. For about ten years, Samara had a career on Wall Street, in public markets at Goldman Sachs, and went on to get her MBA at Northwestern University.
Chingona Ventures focuses on massively changing industries and founders whose backgrounds uniquely position them to create businesses in growth markets that are often overlooked. Their focus areas are financial technology, female technology, food technology, health/wellness, and the future of learning.
VentureFuel builds and accelerates innovation programs for industry leaders by helping them unlock the power of External Innovation via startup collaborations.