In this episode of Immigration Law for Tech Startups, I’m excited to welcome Carmen Palafox, a venture capitalist based in Los Angeles who is launching her own firm, 2045 Ventures. She is on the Board of Directors of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and is a founding board member of Latinx VC, a group of experienced venture capitalists who connect, engage, and foster the Latinx VC ecosystem.
Carmen offers up her invaluable advice and best practices for startup founders, including Dreamers, who are seeking investment capital.
Carmen describes herself as a “generalist investor,” which means that “I am industry agnostic,” she explains. That said, she gets most excited about startups in fintech, climate tech, ed tech, and healthcare. “And I’m not afraid of hardware,” she adds.
Most recently a partner at MiLA (Make in LA) Capital, which focuses on hardware startups, Carmen is starting 2045 Ventures based on the thesis of diversity. “Diverse teams outperform non-diverse teams,” she says. “Diverse perspectives bring more opportunity to the table. Diverse founders are able to build relevant products and services that expand to reach broader communities. Diverse perspectives and networks will capture more of the market.”
2045 Ventures will invest in pre-seed, bridge, and seed 1 stage companies. Carmen anticipates investing in about seven companies a year. “That’s not a lot,” she acknowledges.
“Fifty-eight percent of the startups I’ve invested in have immigrant founders on their founding team,” Carmen says. “I’m very passionate about immigration reform,” That’s why “it’s imperative for the U.S. to have a startup visa to remain competitive. We as a country should be trying to retain high growth startups. The multiplier effect startups have [on job creation] is 5x.”
Please share this episode with any startup founders or entrepreneurs who can benefit from it. Reach out to us if we can help you determine your immigration options whether you’re in the U.S. or abroad.
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
- How Carmen defines pre-seed, bridge, and stage 1 funding and evaluates risk.
- Why venture capitalists have their own lingo when it comes to funding amounts and investment timing
- What Alexandra Rasch, the founder of Caban Systems, is doing that proves Carmen’s investment thesis for her new firm
- How the expanded movement for racial equality has impacted investment priorities among VCs
- Whether international startup founders should remain in their home country or come to the U.S.
- Why VC investment into the U.S. continues to decline
- What the U.S. needs to do to support diverse founders and startups
- Carmen’s advice to startup founders, including Dreamers, who are seeking funding
- The best practices for founders when pitching investors
Don’t miss my upcoming conversations with other top Silicon Valley venture capitalists, startup founders, professors, futurists, and thought leaders on Immigration Law for Tech Startups. Subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or whatever your favorite platform is. We appreciate your ratings and reviews of this podcast.
Enroll in Alcorn’s Extraordinary Ability Bootcamp to learn the best practices for securing the O-1A visa, EB-1A green card, or the EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) green card—the top options for startup founders. Use promo code ILTS for 20% off the enrollment fee.
Immigration Law for Tech Startups:
- Episode 3: The Different Types of Nonimmigrant Visas
- Episode 11: Your Startup’s First H-1B
- Episode 14: Visas & Green Cards Based on Past Accomplishments
- Episode 16: E-2 Visa for Founders and Employees
- Episode 31: H-1B Nitty Gritty #2: H-1B Transfer for Startup Founders
Alcorn Immigration Law’s page on:
- H-1B Visa for Specialty Occupations
- O-1A Visa for Extraordinary Ability
- EB-1A Extraordinary Ability Green Card
- EB-2 NIW (Exceptional Ability with National Interest Waiver)
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Get Alcorn’s Immigration Law for Tech Startups eBook