Episode 2: Overcoming Barriers to Funding through Passion and Perseverance

Hello listeners! On this episode of the Tech Forward podcast, I spoke with madeBOS founder and CEO, Martha Hernandez. Martha has served in several Talent Acquisition and Talent Management and Sales leadership roles for organizations such as Coro, Give Something Back, Mi Pueblo Food Centers, and Inner City Advisors’ Talent Management Initiative. Most recently, she was Save Mart Supermarkets’ Director of Talent Acquisition.

Martha has a successful track record of strategizing and delivering critical human capital initiatives, technical implementations and integrations. She’s passionate about adding transparency in the talent selection and promotion process, access to opportunity, diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

MadeBOS grew from Martha’s passion for shaping people’s professional growth and development, no matter their starting point or current trajectory. “Seeing people develop, starting in one place and seeing their growth into more influential roles, […] gave me a personal satisfaction. I wanted more of that.” To that end, madeBOS is an AI driven, career pathing platform that creates economic mobility for entry level workers in retail. “MadeBOS was simply a way for me to replicate that feeling, and be able to implement it globally.”

From a lightning bolt of inspiration, to a series of 52 handwritten note cards (really!), to the full-fledged AI platform that it is today, Martha’s journey to implement madeBOS has been a fascinating one. Despite lacking the “typical pedigree” that VC investors look for, Martha’s passion and enthusiasm never flagged. In this way, she has truly lived the process that madeBOS strives to deliver to its users. “Sometimes, we feel stuck. An opportunity might look so big that we quit.”

“I think we all have our moments. […] It’s important to get angry, because that’s a fuel to keep going, passionately. This persistence is also because we haven’t given the world — meaning people in general — an opportunity to do things differently. […] I’m not making excuses for people who haven’t invested in people like me. It’s just that [Latinx people] arrived to the party late, in terms of resources and access and social capital.”

In this episode, we discuss the barriers that Latina and other women of color entrepreneurs face in getting access to funding and other support for their businesses. What specific challenges and fears did Martha face along the way, and how did she overcome them? Listen along and find out!

Thank you so much for joining me for day two of the Tech Forward launch week.