This Venture Capitalist Uses His Life Story To Help Others Break Into The Industry | Latin Post
By David Thompson
Venture capital firms can offer Hispanics and Latinos an important lifeline, allowing them to chart a new career, establish a solid financial future, and build wealth. However, people often don’t know where to start.
Beto Pallares, president and CEO for more than 16 years of Joseph Advisory Services and owner of his recently-launched, early-stage venture tech fund Audaz Capital, knows this struggle all too well. As a Mexican immigrant raised in Texas, he didn’t have any tips or fast-track methods for building his now-successful career as a leading venture capitalist.
Instead, he applied hard work and dedication. Pallares experienced a host of different careers on his path to the financial sector, including taking the oath to serve in the armed forces after 9/11 (but that’s a story for another day).
The skills and insights gained in each role helped Pallares leverage his knowledge of economics and start his career in the industry, and they are also reflected in the wide range of venture services offered to his quickly-growing list of entrepreneurs. He has backed dozens of Hispanic, Latino, female, and other minority clients, deploying more than $128 million into funds and high tech companies.
“You start out with nothing, and then you have to basically work very hard to create traction through the companies you invest in,” says Pallares. He started the first venture capital fund in El Paso, Texas, where he was raised. Nowadays, he advises a family office on fund commitments into private operating companies and is the general partner/manager of two funds.
Pallares says, “The responsibility is always to invest behind people. Not so much ideas or trends, it’s: Do we have the right person? Have we picked the right person to deploy capital and do I have the bandwidth to dedicate the time this person needs mentoring for personal growth?”
Mentoring is vital to Pallares, who notes that barely two percent of venture capitalists are Hispanic and that he wants to see others enjoy similar successes.
After beginning his career as a management consultant for financial services and telecoms, Pallares worked as a startup entrepreneur, telecom executive, restaurateur, nonprofit director, and professor. Now, he is a well-respected venture capitalist and industry mentor, sometimes referred to as the “OG in Latinx VC,” or “the most connected person in venture capital nobody’s heard of.”
In his short stint in the armed services post 9-11, Pallares was motivated “to serve the country that accepted me as an immigrant” – and now he’s trying to support others in a different way, opening the door for Hispanics and others who might otherwise face barriers to becoming tech entrepreneurs or venture capitalists.
As one recent news article notes, even though the U.S. has more than 62 million Hispanic or Latino people, they don’t even break double digits in key roles in the financial sector.
Being in a position of success, Pallares can give back to industry hopefuls by sharing his advice. Whether in his local community or his classroom as the Bill and Sharon Sheriff Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at New Mexico State University, Pallares hopes that his life story can be a positive example for minorities and others who think being a venture capitalist is impossible. For anyone looking for a way to start their financial career, his life shows that this is achievable, adventurous, and profitable.
“I try to be very careful with the people that I work with and sensitive to emotional needs as well. So investing is an activity, but being an investor is about character. You show up as an investor with everything you’re doing. If you have bad habits – your investments will tell over time. I’ve made a ton of mistakes and have a number of character flaws, but I am aware of these and desire to be better, and the investment decisions will reflect that and be better too,” he says.
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