Ladder works is a publishing platform for various picture books and online programs whose mission is to empower more than one million children to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features our interplanetary journalist Spiffy’s interviews with inspiring social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ecosystem builders advancing the United Nations SDGs.
Hi guys! Spiffy here, your trusty interplanetary reporter back on planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs making a difference in the world! I have another great interview for you this week. Today, I am thrilled to sail with Cristian Raygoza, the founding partner of Illuminar Ventures. Let’s see what he does to make a positive impact.
Nice : Thanks for joining me, Cristian! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing?
Cristian: Glad to be with you, Spiffy! I am a venture capitalist in companies that operate in Latin America. I invest money in start-ups through Iluminar Ventures to support the growth of super exciting new products and technologies in the fast growing Latin American market!
Nice : Very cool! What motivated you to do it?
Cristian: Latin America has always been an overlooked market for investors targeting tech start-ups. The choice to invest in the region was due to my awareness of the untapped potential and rapidly growing opportunities, as well as the enthusiasm to support the region of my heritage and the people who have so often been left behind by the financial markets.
Nice : Very cool! How are you and your team at Illuminar Ventures working for a more equitable world?
Cristian: By helping entrepreneurs access needed capital, they can grow their businesses and help their societies become wealthier, healthier and happier. And by helping local investors in these communities participate in this growth, I ensure that the wealth gain is not only captured by foreign investors.
Nice : Tell me about a recent Illuminar Ventures milestone. What impact does it have?
Cristian: We’ve invested in over 25 companies in the region since August last year when we started, and I’ve been very pleased to see the incredible progress the founders I’ve backed have made. so far !
Nice : Congratulations on this first success! Tell me about a startup or project you’ve worked with that exemplifies the impact you’re striving to have.
Cristian: Thanks! And of course. For starters, issues of access and inclusion are even more pronounced in Latin America than in the United States. Infrastructure for things like education and internet access is less readily available. Siglo, a company I invested in late last year, aims to solve this problem by providing low-cost internet access to customers outside of wealthier central urban markets. Companies like Siglo make it easier for communities in Latin America to access a variety of important services and resources that we often take for granted in more developed economies.
Nice : Thanks again for talking to me today, Cristian, it was an honor!
Cristian Raygoza is the founding partner of Illuminar Ventures and a venture capital partner at Gaingels. He lives in San Francisco and Mexico City and is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where he studied economics. (Nominated by the Ladderworks team. First published on the Ladderworks website on August 11, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy artwork by Shreyas Navarre. For the Ladderworks Digital Curriculum to help children in K-3 advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy’s Corner here.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.