made By Own Self
“…I decided to focus my impact in one organization at a time, knowing change was only possible from within. But I kept hearing comments like, “Jose isn’t ready, Johnny isn’t ready.” Over and over again, the candidates they passed over were Mexican and Mexican Americans. I’d ask the managers to tell me more about why they would refuse.
“Well, you know they’re still learning. …And they love their job.” That response burned my insides. Because I knew that person. That person was my dad, my uncle, my friend, my sister. That person was someone who had gotten an MBA even while being a cashier and applied to seven different jobs internally, and never get the promotion. That was someone who had been working in the warehouse or in the fields for 10 years, who never even got a second look.
I remember being so excited that I was able to help one such young man move up and get a promotion to an office-role. When he applied, everyone laughed, “A cashier applying for a VP role?!” But I took the time to sit and talk with him, and I learned his background and saw his potential. I was thrilled when he got the job.
He died three months later. I went to his funeral, and his mother came up to me and told me that those were the best three months of his life — all he had wanted for so long was an office job where he felt he “mattered.” She thanked me.
I felt even more committed to see more like him, even as my work was becoming filled with moments of frustration, and I often was met with wrongdoing, hatred, and cruelty. A White man who was my senior screamed at me and pointed into my face; when I asked administration to look into, I was told to “grow a thicker skin.” What that really meant was that only some of us are expected to grow thicker skins. Every large company I saw was filled and fueled by inequities, and I felt it, both as a Mexican American employee myself and as an expert in talent management.
I knew I had to drive the kind of cultural and intellectual shift required to make progress, but I couldn’t impact wide-scale change especially as I was fighting the very same issues myself. I would have to do something different. And, without any background in it, I realized it would have to be tech.
With no money, I quit my job. I began to work on madeBOS, an AI platform that would create smart career pathing solutions, helping organizations stop turnover waste and individuals build a life they were well paid for. I found an incredible tech co-founder, Juventino Mejía Jr, and convinced him to quit his job at Apple to join me…”
Read our full founding story by clicking the button below in our feature with our first VC investors, Camelback Ventures!
Our Summer 2017 Press Release:
Martha Hernandez, Founder and CEO of madeBOS surpassed her fundraising goal by a mind blowing 216% in crowdfunding platform Republic. madeBOS makes it possible to retain and empower early career employees through a proprietary technology that focuses on a proven career pathing methodology that Martha developed during her tenure as a high senior level HR leader at multiple American corporations. Martha’s experience as a Talent Acquisition and Management Executive at Coro, Mi Pueblo Foods, Save Mart Supermarkets and Inner City Advisors, inspired and motivate 291 investors, the majority being Latinas, to back her dream of building a technology platform that solves the interconnected issue of employee retention and professional growth. It is notable that the great majority of her investors are Latinas which is a unique outcome in the traditional dominated venture world. The success of this campaign facilitated a partnership with Tangelo, a venture studio and innovation lab in Palo Alto, California that executes digital transformations and develops deep technology platforms. Tangelo works with startups, midsize companies and corporations like Intel, Intuit, Facebook, and Google. Tangelo designed and built the newly launched madeBOS platform. “I am really blessed to have investors, advisors, champions and partners that believe in the work we are doing, especially new clients waiting to use our platform” says Martha Hernandez with regards to the partnership. “We are thrilled to have Martha Hernandez as one of Tangelo’s partners. Her presence and drive matches our values and she embodies hard work and high standards through her work. Martha is a trailblazer in her field and we are proud to be supporting her company’s growth” said Antonio Altamirano, CEO of Tangelo, Inc.
We are also thrilled to announce the hiring of Juventino Mejiaas our full time CTO and co-founder. Juventino holds a Computer Science degree from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and is a former Apple engineer with 10+ years of development and management experience across a diverse set of industries and platforms within Apple and other Silicon Valley tech companies. “Juventino joining our team is an example of our commitment to the madeBOS value proposition; After learning about Juventino’s background, technical proficiencies and accomplishments, I immediately knew he was the right fit for madeBOS. However, I had to strategically support his professional growth and development to eventually recruit him,” says Martha.
“Martha reached out several times about what she was building and although fascinating I did not have the financial backing to leave my career and become a startup founder. Luckily today, my story is different and I can commit to solving a very common problem that I experienced first-hand but that thanks to the madeBOS methodology I successfully navigated,” says Juventino.
“This is a game changer,” says madeBOS advisor Daniel Sonsino, HR Talent Management expert and Guia Founder. “Martha and madeBOS have solved a problem for multiple industries as we see the unemployment rate dropping to 4.1%. Both companies and individual employees alike will benefit from this incredible technology that is thoughtfully designed and artfully created. Leveraging madeBOS inside your organization will increase employee engagement and commitment, improve retention, and demonstrate that you truly value your people. Employees will value the personalized approach to driving their own career aspirations, while connecting to a company they already value. When Martha showed me her idea I was intrigued, when I saw the actual platform, I was amazed,” states Daniel.
Juventino is a first generation Mexican-American who is passionate about utilizing technology to help people reach their highest potential. Martha and Juventino come from humble backgrounds. They are the children of field workers from communities that lacked resources and representation in the technology space. “madeBOS is taking proactive action in addressing 58.3 million workers stuck in jobs that pay under $15 per hour, that is nearly half the workforce, sadly disproportionately represented by people of color and women. Personalizing career pathing for our labor force makes them aware of unknown career opportunities and helps them to better understand their potential which will ultimately restore hope for the future workforce of America,” says Jesse Martinez, madeBOS advisor and investor and founder of CareerForce.
Currently, Martha is focused on strategic partnerships and in growing the sales funnel while Juventino focuses on the madeBOS technology. However, in their limited spare time, given madeBOS is going through a growth phase, you can find both jamming with the local Bay Area Mariachis - the artistic passion that led them to meet.