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Emanuel Pleitez shares his experience at the WeHack/Southeast Cities Hackathon

By Adriana - February 4, 2016 No Comments
Emanuel Pleitez is a Los Angeles-based community leader who currently works in a venture capital firm that invests in technology. He also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports Latino leaders with educational and workforce programs. Last month, he served as a hackathon judge for the WeHack/Southeast Cities Hackathon, which was held in South Gate. Pleitez recently spoke with us about the work that Sabio is doing.

"Sabio is at the vanguard of what our economy needs, especially when it comes to creating and promoting more technical talent of color," Pleitez said. "Lilliana and Gregorio [Sabio's co-founders] are living the entrepreneurial life and left their jobs to create this program. It's not just another dev bootcamp -- it's an interesting enterprise that is led by two people with a great vision. And the hackathon is an embodiment of their vision."  

Pleitez noted that holding the event in South Gate, in the Southeast region of Los Angeles County was unique because it's an area that doesn't receive much attention from the local tech community. He had never seen an assembly of tech talent of color who were addressing community concerns in a competition like the WeHack/Southeast Cities Hackathon. He was also impressed that many of the teams had only met that weekend and didn't know each other prior to sitting down and creating their apps. 

"I have worked in a few tech start ups myself and have run for office in Los Angeles, so I have seen the needs of the region for tech talent. I currently work for a firm that invests in technology companies, both large and small. I have seen a need for tech talent and that there's a lack of diversity," Pleitez explained. "The fact that Sabio is in LA, in a large economy that has communities that are underrepresented in these elite industries. So Sabio is in the right spot to address the need in this economy to diversify its technology workforce." 

As Chairman of the Board for the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Pleitez identifies Latinos who are able to impact the well-being and empowerment of other Latinos. He explained that the Hispanic Heritage Foundation wants to help Latino entrepreneurs like Liliana and Gregorio because they will impact other Latinos. The foundation recently launched the Code as a Second Language campaign to introduce elementary, middle school, high school and college students to computer programming with the goal of creating a pipeline for young people to attend programs like Sabio's bootcamp. 

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