Google’s inaugural Latino Founders Fund awarded Chapman University alumnus Luis Barrera a $100,000 grant for his startup splyt, an application that helps people split the bill.
The Google for Startups grant aims to eliminate financial barriers Latino-led businesses face. Despite being the fastest-growing segment of U.S. small businesses, Latino-led businesses only receive 2% of total U.S. venture capital funding.
“I’m from Peru where food and moments around the table mean everything to us,” said Barrera, co-founder and CEO of splyt. “During the pandemic, restaurants brought the only sense of normalcy to our lives and we hated seeing people walk away from the table upset because they overpaid or even embarrassed because they couldn’t afford to split it conveniently. It was clear that other solutions only addressed part of the problem and something like splyt needed to exist.”
Barrera graduated from Chapman University in 2017 with a business degree and an emphasis in finance. Driven by his love for building, he’s launched ventures in custom apparel, e-commerce and technology.
“Chapman University’s Launch Labs was the first opportunity I had to surround myself with like-minded tech builders,” said Barrera. “Although I shut down the startup I was working on at the time, I took those lessons and applied them to future ventures.”
The Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics Launch Labs is a two-semester program for students to develop products or services solving real-world problems. Through the program, students receive mentorship and networking opportunities with other business-related organizations including the Chapman Alumni Entrepreneur Network.
“The Latino Founders Fund’s support will help us iterate faster, accelerate our growth and become diverse leaders to inspire future entrepreneurs,” added Barrera.