13-Year-Old Shark Tank Winner to Keynote Startup Chica

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Latinitas’ Startup Chica Conference Aims to Teach Girls How to Turn Their Bright Ideas Into Businesses

The 3rd annual entrepreneurial conference will feature Shark Tank kid CEO Mikaila Ulmer and a diverse panel of judges from Central Texas’ entrepreneurial scene

Mikaila Ulmer, Founder of Me & The Bees Lemonade

Mikaila Ulmer, Founder of Me & The Bees Lemonade

AUSTIN, TX – October 11, 2017 — Austin-based nonprofit Latinitas will be hosting its 3rd annual Startup Chica Conference on October 14, 2017, from 9am to 5pm. Girls of all backgrounds between the ages of 9 and 18 will learn how to come up with innovative ideas to help solve social issues and turn them into products and apps that they will pitch to judges.

Latinitas is honored to have a special keynote speaker that the girls can really relate to: 13-year-old entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer, Founder and CEO of Me & the Bees Lemonade, which can be found at Whole Foods Market and other natural food stores. “I felt it was very important to be a part of this event because it is an opportunity for me to inspire young girls like myself to dream big and go, with full force, towards their dreams,” said Ulmer. “I am excited to share, learn, grow and inspire!”

The full-day conference will take place on the first floor of Austin’s hub for innovation, Capital Factory (701 Brazos Street, Austin, TX 78701), which has played host to former President Barack Obama and Apple CEO Tim Cook. The girls will spend the day learning how to identify and solve problems, define their market, price and market their products, and present their ideas. The event will close with the girls pitching their ideas to a panel of judges.

Judges include Dr. Mark Sanders, Director of Transportation and Mobility at the Austin Technology Incubator at the IC2 Institute of the University of Texas at Austin; Luis Rodriguez, President & CEO of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Nelly Garcia, Co-Founder of Rocheli Patisserie; and Maria Peña, Co-Owner of Donn’s Bar-B-Que, which has several Austin locations.

“Blacks and Latinos have always been entrepreneurial. At Latinitas, we are enlightening young Latinas and other girls to their existing entrepreneurial DNA and will also have a workshop for parents explaining the same because for some families, encouraging their daughters to be entrepreneurial is as risky-sounding as being a writer or an artist. At Startup Chica, we are not only channeling Latina and other girls’ unique points of reference and innovation, but we are aiming to diminish the fears about pursuing an entrepreneur’s life,” said Latinitas Founder and CEO Laura Donnelly.

The $15 cost of attendance includes lunch and materials, and will be waived for all Club Latinitas members. Financial assistance is also available for those who may require it. Parents are invited to attend a workshop in the morning on how to support their child’s entrepreneurial spirit. The event is sponsored by eBay, Bumble, Capital Factory, Wells Fargo, LevelUp Institute, Donn’s BBQ, and the City of Austin’s Economic Development Cultural Arts Division.

More information on the Startup Chica Conference and the link to register can be found at www.startupchica.com.

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About Latinitas

For 15 years, Latinitas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has been empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually. Founded by two journalism students fed up with the lack of representation of Latinas in media and technology industries, Latinitas presents enrichment programs at Texas schools, libraries and community centers that use culture as a thread to teach web and graphic design, blogging, video and audio production, photography and of late: video game and app development and coding.


About Mikaila Ulmer

When Mikaila Ulmer was just four years old, she was stung by two bees in the same week. Her parents encouraged her to do some research on the bees rather than being upset with them. Upon discovering the important role that bees play in our ecosystem, Mikaila was determined to help them. Using her Great Granny Helen’s flaxseed honey lemonade recipe, Mikaila launched her business from her home in Austin, Texas in 2009. Landing a deal with Daymond John on the show Shark Tank was just the beginning of Me & the Bees’ many business successes. Today, the award-winning lemonade is buzzing off the shelves of Whole Foods Market, Austin Starbucks and natural and organic food stores across the country. At just 12 years old, Mikaila has shared her story with Good Morning America, NBC News, The Real, Forbes and TIME, among others, and has been invited to speak on social entrepreneurship at prestigious gatherings including the White House United State of Women Summit, where she introduced President Barack Obama; Microsoft We Day, alongside Satya Nadella; and the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network Summit in South Africa.

Contact: Vicky Garza / 512-900-0304 / vicky@latinitasmagazine.org@latinitasmagazine.org


Quiz: Think You Know Latin America?

latin-america-flags-timizzerHispanic Heritage Month may have ended on October 16th, but it doesn’t mean we cannott celebrate all year long. So why not celebrate your Hispanic heritage by brushing up on your knowledge of Hispanic geography, culture and history. How much do you know? Check it out below.

1. What is the largest Island in the Caribbean?

a)     Cuba

b)     Jamaica

c)     Puerto Rico


2. Where is Puerto Rico?

a)     The Caribbean

b)     The Pacific

c)     The Atlantic

3. What is South American’s smallest Hispanic Country?

a)     Uruguay

b)     Ecuador

c)     Paraguay


4. Which flag has red and white stripes, a blue triangle and one white star?

a)     Mexico

b)     Puerto Rico

c)     Cuba


5. How many states does Mexico have?

a)     30

b)     25

c)     31


6.  According to the Census Bureau, how many Hispanics are currently in the U.S?

a)     50 million

b)     25 million

c)     39 million


7. Who is widely honored in South America as the Liberator?

a)     Jose Marti

b)     Simon Bolivar

c)     George Washington


8. Who painted the mural, “The History of Mexico”?

a)     Frida Kahlo

b)     Diego Rivera

c)     Salvador Dali


9. What is the capital of Uruguay?

a)     La Asuncion

b)     Quito

c)     Montevideo


10.   What scientist made the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador famous?

a)     Albert Einstein

b)     Charles Darwin

c)     Alexander Fleming


11.  The driest place on Earth is located in South America. Where is it?

a)     Peru

b)     Brazil

c)     Chile


12.  Mexico City holds the distinction of being the first Latin American city to:

a)     Experience an Earthquake

b)     Host the Olympics

c)     Had been ruled by a monarchy


13.  Which of the following did the ancient Maya civilization develop?

a)  Math

b) The wheel

c)  The concept of zero


14.  Angel Falls (El Salto Angel), the tallest Waterfall in the world is located in:

a)     Argentina

b)     Venezuela

c)     Uruguay


15.  The Equator Line passes through:

a)   Colombia, Brazil and Peru

b)    Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil

c)    Colombia, Venezuela and Guyana


 Ready for the answers?


Answer Key

  1. Cuba
  2. The Caribbean
  3. Uruguay
  4. Puerto Rico
  5. 31
  6. 39 Million
  7. Simon Bolivar
  8. Diego River
  9. Montevideo
  10. Charles Darwin
  11. Chile
  12. Hosted the Olympics
  13.  The concept of zero
  14. Venezuela
  15.  Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil


Spotlight: Actress Yvette Yates

In today’s world, there are many roads a young girl can take to reach her goals. Many little girls dream of becoming a ballerina, a veterinarian, a rock star, or an actress; the best way to go about these artistic aspirations is to first get a bachelor’s degree in physiological science. Well not exactly, but that’s the road Latina actress Yvette Yates took to become the well-rounded individual she is today. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Yates to talk about her career, her background and her representation of Latinas.

Yates met with Latinitas when she took time from her busy acting career to visit her hometown of El Paso for Hispanic Heritage month. With a strong commitment to giving back, she dedicated her time back home to speaking at high schools, churches, theatre groups, the film commission and discussion panels at El Paso Community College. Yates spoke about the role of Hispanics in the movie industry and how they survive and thrive in the business. Supporting her local film community, Yates was also a special guest at the movie premier of Bless Me Ultima at the Plaza Theater.  She is also currently part of the on-going charity program called Unite Me Now.

Growing up in El Paso, Texas, Yates had the traditional border town family upbringing and is now an American proud of her Mexican heritage. Yates attended Loretto, the local all girls Catholic school, which paved the way for her to attend the University of California at Los Angeles, UCLA. What really got her film career going was her job at a production agency.  Although her family was under the impression that she was going to do something in the medical field, they were extremely supportive and created a strong foundation for her new beginnings. Yates started with short films and landed the lead role for Nina Quebrada, which won Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and a nomination at the Imagen Awards. Later, she moved to bigger films and worked alongside Anna Paquin and Eva Longoria, among others. In her latest movie, El Gringo, she was able to work with Christian Slater and Scott Adkins. With this film, among many others, Yates says she wants to spread knowledge about the Hispanic culture.

I asked Yates if she had ever been typecast or stereotyped in Hollywood or if she has seen these actions, and she answered, “directors put out descriptions of a character and your managers or agents decide what is best for you. In El Gringo, they wanted me to have a thick Mexican accent because my character was from a border town.”  Yates explained to the producers that she was also from a border town and had the ability to speak perfect English and Spanish. Yates mentioned how Latina characters are usually asked to provide an accent but sometimes “they’ll (writers, producers, directors) mold the character around the actor.”

When asked who her inspirations were, or her dream film cast, Yates named Meryl Streep and Marion Cotillard. She explained how they are both able to act out emotions and use their body language to communicate with the audience, and that is something she appreciates in actors. Yates also mentioned Lupe Ontiveros who recently died of cancer, but played a very important role for the Latin community in Hollywood. Ontiveros played hundreds of maids and not one judge, but she played the role of a maid with the respect and dignity real housekeepers deserve. Yates said she had the opportunity to go to Ontiveros’s funeral. “Sometimes you create an image as an actor but you try to open up and play other parts, sometimes they have nothing to do with being a Latina,” shared Yates of the acting roles available to Latinas.  “It just goes back to those who created the roles, and how you approach the role, no matter how small.”

Yvette Yates Day September 26th

“Learn as much as you can in the field,” added Yates about her advice for our young Latinitas who want to make their own career in the acting field. “Learn every facet and understand the whole film process to better prepare for the audition or interview, they will notice. Continue to be consistent with your work and challenge yourself.” Her advice to help out those who are a little more discouraged with their trials was, “don’t limit yourself, be prepared until the right role fits, the look, the feel; focus on your work or craft. Certain characters speak to you and it’s the most amazing feeling ever. We are our own obstacles, give it your best.”

On using her resources, Yates added, “Network, the people you’re around are your support system. Share, use social media and people to help you further your career.”On her last thoughts, Yates mentioned how she would love to do family movies. She highlighted that the movies she has chosen mostly try to send out a message and that most of her films have no nudity. Seeing as though she is extremely family oriented and loves her hometown, she is a Latina talent who should be appreciated.