Hispanic Heritage Month has been filled with internal celebration and education at Rubicon as we honor the rich heritage of so many colleagues, partners, and customers.
Entrepreneurship is at the heart of the Hispanic American story. In continued celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we have compiled a list of some of the most impressive Hispanic American entrepreneurs in the country, proving, as Rubicon hauler partner Oscar Vasquez noted in a recent Haul of Fame interview, that it’s about “leadership, commitment, and ambition when creating a new business—and nothing more!”
The quintessential technology entrepreneur, Marcelo Claure was born in La Paz, Bolivia in 1970, and moved to the United States in 1989 to attend university.
Claure founded the wireless services company Brightstar in 1997, which went on to be ranked as the largest Hispanic-owned business in the United States for six years in a row. In 2014, with annual revenues of $10 billion, Claure sold Brightstar to Sprint, after which he became the mobile company’s president and CEO until 2018, and its executive chairman between 2018-2020, during which he oversaw Sprint’s merger with T-Mobile.
Today, Claure is CEO of technology investment company SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group Corporation, overseeing portfolio companies such as Boston Dynamics, Arm Holdings, Fortress, SB Energy, and WeWork. In his role, he is also head of the $5 billion SoftBank Latin America Fund.
Anthony “Tony” Jimenez Jr.
Anthony “Tony” Jimenez Jr. is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of MicroTech, one of the largest Hispanic-owned IT Integrators in the United States.
A retired Army Officer and a Service-Disabled Veteran with more than 24 years of active military service, and an appointee in both the Bush and Obama administrations, Jimenez founded MicroTech in 2004, growing it from a kitchen table startup into a profitable half billion-dollar company with “skilled professionals in more than 40 states supporting more than 100 prime contracts throughout the Federal Government and providing IT, Network, and Telecom support to numerous Fortune 500 companies around the globe.”
The Hispanic Business Magazine named MicroTech the number one Fastest-Growing Hispanic-Owned Business in the Nation for three years in a row (2009-2011), and Jimenez himself has earned numerous awards including Executive of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, and CEO of the Year.
Martha de la Torre
A first-generation American born to Ecuadorean parents in Los Angeles, California in 1957, Martha de la Torre is a self-described “reluctant entrepreneur.” She worked many years as a CPA and audit manager before becoming Chief Financial Officer of La Opinion, the largest Spanish language daily publication in the United States in 1986. Shortly thereafter, he branched out on her own to found El Clasificado, a print and later online directory of classified advertisements focused on the Hispanic American and new immigrant market segment.
Success was far from smooth-sailing for de la Torre. Admitting to having thought about walking away from the company multiple times in its early years, and having to take on consulting work on the side to keep the business afloat, de la Torre’s entrepreneurial spirit came out in full force when, in 1996, she was quick to establish El Clasificado as an online presence.
Today, El Clasificado receives over 14 million monthly page views to its website, with over 400,000 print editions still being sent out each week.
Born in Cali, Colombia in 1970, Alberto “Beto” Pérez was working as an aerobics instructor when, forgetting to bring his usual exercise tapes to class one day, he improvised by adding dance moves to what he could remember of the class’s main exercises.
Moving to Miami, Florida in 1999, Pérez tried to promote his new form of fitness-dance routines while continuing to teach aerobics classes on the side. In 2001, the owner of a large fitness center took a chance on him, allowing Pérez to promote his routines at the center. Two years later, he received financial backing that allowed Pérez to put on his own workshops and produce DVDs, which quickly gave Pérez and his Zumba Fitness routines an international following.
Zumba has since become the largest branded fitness program in the world.
Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, in 1972, Sofía Vergara is a Colombian-American actress, television producer, presenter, and model who held the title of being the highest-paid actress on American television from 2013-2020, and the highest-paid Hollywood actress in 2020.
In Vergara’s most famous role, in which she has played Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in ABC’s Modern Family since 2009, she was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, and eleven Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Moving to the United States in 1998, Vergara soon showed herself to have strong entrepreneurial roots. She is the co-founder of Latino World Entertainment, a multi-million-dollar media and talent agency, she has her own denim brand, Sofía Jeans by Sofía Vergara, and she has a fragrance line, a furniture line, and a range of other for-profit ventures.
Known as the “The Dog Whisperer” for his starring role in a long-running television show of the same name, Cesar Millan was born in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico in 1969.
After coming to the United States when he was just 21 years old, Millan, who was already a natural with dogs (his friends in Mexico referred to him as el Perrero, or “the dog herder”) started work at a dog grooming store before a chance encounter with actress Jada Pinkett Smith and a contract for his own television show with National Geographic threw him into the spotlight. The Dog Whisperer aired for nine seasons, during which Millan founded a rehab complex, the Dog Psychology Center, in Los Angeles.
Today, Millan owns and operates his new Dog Psychology Center in the hills of Santa Clarita, California, and he stars in his new television show with National Geographic, Cesar Millan: Better Human Better Dog, which began airing in 2021.
Born in Ensenada, Mexico in 1986, and immigrating to San Diego, California in 2007, Jordi Muñoz is the Co-Founder of 3D Robotics, a technology company that makes enterprise drone software for construction, engineering, and mining firms, along with government agencies.
With offices in Berkeley, California, and Tijuana, Mexico, Muñoz founded 3D Robotics out of a fascination with the underlying technology. After arriving in the United States, Muñoz passed the time waiting for his permanent residency and work authorization by building a prototype drone in his garage out of a video gaming console’s remote control, manipulating the sensors on the console to build the world’s first auto-piloted drone. British-American technologist Chris Anderson was impressed and sent Muñoz a $500 check to begin a collaboration.
Editor’s Note: References made to businesses/companies in this post are not meant to convey affiliation with or endorsement of Rubicon by those companies in any way.
Janel Moreno is a Business Process Analyst at Rubicon. To stay ahead of Rubicon’s announcements of new partnerships and collaborations around the world, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us today.