Capital is not enough

Reposted from East Los Capital website:

You, the CEO, have many choices when deciding to receive investment capital. Our firm aims to be your best choice. As we assembled our team, one thought stood out: capital is not enough. Private equity firms need to bring more than capital to the companies in which they invest. With hundreds of billions of dollars in private equity dry powder, private equity firms face increasing competition for deals. They must differentiate themselves. Whether venture, lower middle market, middle market, or large buyout, private equity firms must adapt. Unfortunately, industry pressures, norms, biases, do not provide much incentive to change.

We choose to be different from the beginning. We will always push ourselves to understand our industries better through strong research to make sure we help you become an industry leader. We will leverage our relationships and technology to scour the market to ensure we find the best paths to exit for you or find future acquisitions that will make you stronger. While most private equity firms tout some of the points above, we will truly distinguish ourselves in our roll-up-the-sleeves approach through technical operations.

We want to make sure you have access to 1) the best technology and 2) people who can build that technology. Technology is impacting every industry and we will do everything we can to provide the best tools available in order to lead your industry.

Aside from capital, we bring a hands-on team with individuals who have worked at and built best in class technology companies in Silicon Valley and beyond. Our team has:

  1. facilitated international growth of companies to over 40 countries,
  2. grown a company from zero to $70 million of annual consumer subscription revenue without venture funding,
  3. trained hundreds of software engineers,
  4. founded a data science platform used by 40 U.S. hospitals,
  5. acquired a cloud solutions business in one country and integrated it into another in a different country,
  6. built a consumer styling business into $20 million of annualized recurring revenue without institutional funding,
  7. pioneered the technology-enablement of a chemical manufacturer utilizing software best practices,
  8. scaled an edtech company to $12 million in revenue without external funding,
  9. built software products used by 1 million small to large enterprises.

Aside from technical operations inside of fast-growing technology startups and middle market companies, our team has learned from seeing the insides of companies such as Accenture, Amazon, Disney, Evercore, GoDaddy, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Intel, KKR, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, Sequoia Capital, Symantec, TCW, Vista Equity Partners, VMware, and the U.S. Treasury. We’ve also invested in dozens of companies in consumer, healthcare, internet, media, services, and software. Lastly, we’ve done deep industry research covering public companies such as Amgen, Comcast, Facebook, Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Netflix, Procter & Gamble, Expedia, LinkedIn, Marriott, Pepsico, Walmart, and Yahoo. We want you to have access to all this in your next leg of growth.

East Los Capital is not your typical lower middle market private equity firm. We’re here to join forces with you to maximize your potential.

Motivation repost: Full Circle of Leadership

This article serves as motivation to continue my work from my day job advancing in a tough industry to my nights and weekends volunteering my time to help others to spending time with my family and raising wonderful kids – second on the way :-)!

Thank you to Antonio Tijerino, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (parent of LOFT) staff, my wife, Rebecca (now a tech startup founder herself), my mom (who raised my sister and me by herself throughout South Central and the Eastside of L.A.), and all those who have worked with me, trained me, and pushed me along the way.  Much more work to do.  Eternally optimistic despite the circumstances, let’s not stop creating a better world.

Full Circle of Leadership

by Antonio Tijerino

Full Circle Of Leadership: By Antonio Tijerino, HHF CEO

As Emanuel Pleitez navigated his way to the podium through the traffic of college students during the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s (HHF) Coder Summit in Palo Alto, CA, I heard one of the students in our network murmuring to another, “he’s one of us.”

Indeed, he is.

From the moment Emanuel Pleitez received our Los Angeles Regional Youth Award and then the National Youth Award as a high school senior from el barrio, he has always been a part of our mission.  An embodiment of our mission actually – we strive to identify, prepare and position a Latino leader to impact hundreds or thousands of others in various “tracks” or fields through our award-winning LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) program – Emanuel’s impact has been felt as a student, as a professional and now as the Chairman of HHF’s Board of Directors.  He’s always been focused on shining a light on various paths for young Latinos and even an old Latino like me.

As a college student at Stanford, Emanuel worked tirelessly to organize the Latino student body in various areas including community service, voter registration and leadership.  He also mentored, connected and mobilized thousands of fellow HHF Youth Awardees to create a support system for each other and younger Latinos.  Another area of focus was finance after getting an internship with Goldman Sachs through various support systems including LOFT’s Workforce Initiative.  By leveraging LOFT’s infrastructure, he developed Finance Boot Camps at Stanford and other universities in an effort to expose, connect and prepare Latinos to the financial services industry. Upon graduation from Stanford, he worked for Goldman Sachs in San Francisco and then joined US Department of the Treasury for the Obama administration in Washington, DC.  During this time, he exposed thousands of young Latinos to public policy careers in addition to financial services. Some of the efforts he created during this time continue today such as the Bay Area Latinos in Finance and the Latino Legacy Weekend which takes annually during Memorial Day weekend.

Emanuel then went on to work at McKinsey & Co. followed by stints at a couple of start-ups as Chief Strategy Officer and now he’s an investor at Sunstone Partners while serving as only the 4th Chair of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and his shared vision with the team has moved us into interesting directions.  But always moving …

Whether he was a teenager, young professional or more seasoned influencer, he has always challenged me, our staff and the entire Latino community to be more innovative.  For instance, several years ago he called me randomly and said, “hey, we really need to think about getting our kids into coding, job opportunities are projected to be a million by 2020 and there’s a shortage.”  Pow!  Next moment there’s a brainstorming with HHF Advisor Eliana Murillo and Code as a Second Language (CSL) was born in East LA.  CSL is now in over 20 regions across the United States led by Emanuel’s protégé Alberto Avalos, also from East Los.  But it doesn’t stop there, when Emanuel was visiting my home, I asked him to watch my then 5-year-old son for a few minutes.  When I returned, Emanuel was teaching him how to code while my son thought he was playing a video game.  He doesn’t know how to stop.  And neither do I.

Which is why as HHF’s leadership, we have to deal with the concern/criticism that we “try to do too much.”  We do.  Yes it’s a problem in terms of communicating our brand.  But it’s also an interesting concept in a world of linear thinkers and doers.

We are scattered, but so it our impact.  When one is constantly creating, challenging, taking risks, impetuously executing, yes it’s maddening but our philosophy is that every issue should be approached with a simple concept, “this is possible.” The rest is a bundle of details.  But the concept has to be simple and focused on what’s possible.  That’s Emanuel.  That’s me.  That’s HHF.

That’s the philosophy that makes not only CSL go from idea to action but also LAtinas, Investor’s Forum, Charlas, LOFT Lab, Video Gaming Innovation Summit, Tech Entrepreneur exchange with Israel,  LOFT Network, and so many other initiatives that are influencing tens of thousands of young Latinos across the country.

As a hush settles over the hundreds of Latino programmers and developers attending the Coder Summit, the HHF Chair at his Alma Mater at Stanford, the energy in the room focused was on Emanuel Pleitez who was at the podium.

His words resonated with the audience in a way the other influential speakers that afternoon including Members of Congress, Fortune 100 leadership and entrepreneurs did not.  “I was where you are not too long ago and took my role as an innovative Latino leader very seriously.  We hope to not only give you a voice but the infrastructure for your ideas to become a reality.  The time is now to change how we think, how we do, how we want the world to look.  So let’s get to work.”

Yes, Emanuel, let’s get to work.

Article link:

Navigating the Politics of Contextual Inquiry

We all know that users often misreport when asked questions, not because they are looking to intentionally deceive us, but because they are humans with their specializations, constructed self-images, and fallible memories. One method for overcoming this problem is contextual inquiry, more commonly known as contextual interviews.

Source: Navigating the Politics of Contextual Inquiry

UX Battle of the Week: Zillow vs Redfin

We ran a quick UX benchmark study between Zillow and Redfin to see how their online experience compared. Here are the results.

Source: UX Battle of the Week: Zillow vs Redfin

How to Recruit for UX Research & Usability Testing – Webinar Q&A

We recently had a webinar with Leah Kaufman of Lenovo to discuss how to recruit participants for UX research and usability testing, and our attendees had a lot of questions for her. Here are her answers to some of the most common questions on recruitment for UX research and usability testing.

Source: How to Recruit for UX Research & Usability Testing – Webinar Q&A

Why You Should Always Test Your Prototypes

Releasing products without testing prototypes with your users is like buying a car without test driving it. Here’s 3 reasons why you should always test your prototypes.

Source: Why You Should Always Test Your Prototypes

How To Create a Standout Brand Through Digital Marketing and User Research

Brands are numerous and come and go at a rapid pace. Those that truly resonate with their audience are those that stand the test of time, and last through generations of consumers. In this post, we’ll outline five ways you can create a standout brand that might just make you a household name.

Source: How To Create a Standout Brand Through Digital Marketing and User Research

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