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Last weekend, I attended a startup hackathon at Toolbox.la! The goal was to create an app that helped the LatinX community. We got familiar with the Lean Canvas Model which is a more connected and abbreviated form of a business plan. This way, we will understand why a business goes in one direction over another.

Lots of mentors from CTOs to VCs guided us through each hurdle! The insights I got from these mentors are something I will always treasure since I rarely get to speak with such accomplished people, especially since I want to try my own startup soon.

The venue was a place called Toolbox.la which is sort of a makerspace, co-workspace hybrid, that often holds events. The San Fernando Valley is not a tech hub, so it's nice to know that a place like this exists. For this reason, our app idea was to try to bring opportunity to under-represented communities. Many socio-economic problems stem from lack of social capital. For example, being from the ghetto part of the valley, I wasn't raised in a tech/business community, but rather a working class. Similarly, the LatinX community tends to be related to labor, textiles, food, etc. If I wanted to transition to tech, marketing, startups, etc. I wouldn't be able to find mentorships, professional development opportunities, and related events nearby. In reality, most of the tech related events in the Los Angeles area are around Downtown LA or Santa Monica. If you're not from there, you'd have to fight through hours of traffic which often lasts longer than the events themselves.

Our solution was nothing crazy. It's basically an app that aggregates events and willing-mentors and recommends them to each person depending on their preferences and interests which they fill out before hand. It also lowers the barrier of hosting such an event by simplifying the process. However, in order to be effective, you need to first have a strong community. This is what we're currently working on with FreeCodeCamp Northridge. We are also looking for other communities and sponsors to partner with, so if this interests you, don't hesitate to send us a message at hello@chainxp.org

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