Chingona Ventures
Chicago, Illinois 

What it is: Founded in 2019, Chingona Ventures is a pre-seed fund that makes investments in founders in nontraditional backgrounds that position them to create businesses in markets that are growing and often overlooked. 

Leadership: Founded by Samara Mejia Hernandez, previous early-stage investor with MATH Venture Partners and Goldman Sachs

Minimum investment: $250,000

Investment style/track record: The firm makes seed stage investments of $100,000 to $250,000 to pre-seed and seed stage companies that have typically raised under $1 million in outside funding. The fund seeks companies where the founders do not fit a traditional mold. 
Since 2019, the fund has invested in 15 startups.

Chingona Ventures is one of the eight early-stage, Latinx and Black-led venture capital funds that will receive a portion of $50 million from PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL) in an initiative that was announced in October.

Quote: “The Latino market is one of the most overlooked opportunities in the venture capital and startup community. Currently, very little money goes into fund managers – 0.5% of all VCs are Latinas who raised their own funds and that translates to less than 0.4% of all Latina CEOs who receive VC money,” said founder Samara Mejia Hernandez.

This story and others on New Builders Dispatch are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit and connect with and