Amplifying Underrepresented Voices, Raising a $52M Fund, and Being a Solo Latina GP in the Midwest, with Samara Hernandez of Chingona Ventures

Amplifying Underrepresented Voices, Raising a $52M Fund, and Being a Solo Latina GP in the Midwest, with Samara Hernandez of Chingona Ventures

Justin Gordon talks with Samara Hernandez, the Founding Partner at Chingona Ventures, an institutionally-backed pre-seed stage fund investing in the next generation of badass founders building technology and technology-enabled companies all over the U.S.

Justin Gordon (justingordon212) talks with Samara Hernandez (@SamaraMHernandz), the Founding Partner at Chingona Ventures, an institutionally-backed pre-seed stage fund investing in the next generation of badass founders building technology and technology-enabled companies all over the U.S. In May 2022, Chingona Ventures announced the close of their $52M Fund II.

Samara has over 15 years of experience in investing, selling, and advising on both public and private markets. She has a background in sales, operations and technology at Goldman Sachs. She was an early-stage investor with MATH Venture Partners and advisor to Angeles, Camino Financial, and Chicago Blend. Samara is actively involved in the Chicago tech community and passionate about helping underrepresented groups get into STEM education, venture capital and entrepreneurship. She co-founded the Latinx Founders Collective organization to bring together Latinx founders, investors, and community leaders to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Samara is an active member of Latinx VCs, a San-Francisco based group of experienced venture investors coming together to connect, engage, and foster the Latinx VC ecosystem. She studied engineering at the University of Michigan, and has her MBA from Northwestern University. Samara is a proud Mexican immigrant and mama to a toddler.

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Website: Chingona Ventures

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/samaramejia/

Twitter: @SamaraMHernandz

Samara on the Just Go Grind Podcast in January 2021: https://www.justgogrind.com/samara-mejia-hernandez-podcast/

Show Notes

  • Samara’s journey to raising a $52M fund for Chingona Ventures, including doubling her target
  • Portfolio construction from Fund I to Fund II
  • Funding 80% women and minorities and getting them in a position to grow a venture-backed business
  • Building out the Chingona Ventures team and offering opportunities to interns
  • What Samara is prioritizing platform-wise
  • Having an authentic social media presence
  • The origin story of one of Chingona Ventures’ most successful investments, Career Karma, and meeting founder Ruben Harris via cold outreach
  • The process of raising Fund I vs Fund II
  • Participating as a Kauffman Fellow
  • Samara’s thoughts on leadership and passion

More About the Show

The VITALIZE Podcast, a show by VITALIZE Venture Capital (a seed-stage venture capital firm and pre-seed 400+ member angel community open to everyone), dives deep into the world of startup investing and the future of work.

Hosted by Justin Gordon, the Director of Marketing at VITALIZE Venture Capital, The VITALIZE Podcast features interviews with a variety of VCs, angel investors, and founders, with a particular focus on the future of work.

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Written by

Justin Gordon