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Hidden Gems: Meet Maria Maso

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Maso.

Hi Maria, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I am the CEO and founder of the business angel Minority Association – baMa. I am a passionate, driven and business-oriented entrepreneur and investor that combines my passion for innovation to support early-stage start-ups while investing in diversity. I have lived in over five countries and have a longstanding carrier in corporate and entrepreneurship with an international perspective on the matters. baMa came to life after I found myself without a real inclusive and diverse business angel network when I moved to the U.S. We saw that minorities, who had great ideas and start-ups, we’re not finding investment and that the investors were not from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, we created not only an early-stage investment network but a community that aims to bridge the investment gap in minority-led start-ups or start-ups targeting minority-driven markets.

I have further experience as an advisor, mentor, facilitator for various programs and as an IT International Program manager for several of the Fortune 500 companies, focusing on finance process improvements around the world.

Additionally, I am the founder of Building Bridges Venture. A company that aims to create business between Europe and the USA through approaching innovation globally.

As a well-known leader in the Houston start-up ecosystem, I have been recognized by Solo Mujeres Magazine with the Mujer Latina 2020: Soporte a la inversion” award, by the Houston Business Journal with the Women who Inspire 2020 award, and by the Houston Exponential Listes being the DEI Houston Champion 2020.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It hasn’t always been easy, there are many challenges when you have lived in 5 different countries with a different culture. You have to adapt, be open-minded, and give the best version of yourself to build a group of friends, colleagues and fit in. Indeed, baMa was born as a consequence of that. I wanted to invest in minorities and I got involved with one angel organization, which I realized after a while that the best deals never arrived at my table. They didn’t take me into account maybe because I am a woman and I am Spanish. I felt left behind, so with the support of a group of friends I decided to launch baMa to make a real impact in the minority investment ecosystem for both investors and founders.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
baMa aims to bridge the investment gap in MINORITY-led startups or startups targeting minority-driven markets. To achieve this, baMa’s vision is to activate more investors in diverse startups, get above-average returns on investments, and support innovation from minority founders. At baMa, we believe that if we support the innovation ecosystem through our investments, we will influence the companies that will lead our future. Additionally, Mckinsey & Company reports that when we invest in gender-diverse startups, the investors get 25% more returns. Likewise, when there are ethnically diverse startups, investors get 36% more wins. It is a diverse business angel network that believes in the power that diversity holds when doing early-stage investment.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
For those who are starting, I would advise them to know their strengths and be themselves. If they have a good idea around an innovative product or service, they must stop looking for perfection and be brave enough to be different and do it. If they do not, who is going to make the change they want to see happening?

 Pricing:

  • 1800 individual anual membership

Contact Info:

Image Credits
@allisonwhite and @miriamjave_photography

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