Starting a Latino Venture: A Founder’s Story

23 Dec

Have you ever had a burning desire to be your own boss?

Edrizio De La Cruz, a recent MBA graduate from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, founded Regalii and leads the UPenn team working on it. For Edrizio, It’s a personal mission. “I grew up in the Dominican Republic,” Says Edrizio, “and immigrated to New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood, which was probably 110 percent Dominican. But I went to high school in Queens, where I used to play basketball with Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians and Salvadorians. I quickly assimilated to each subculture. But my social circle was pretty homogeneous. Almost everyone around me was an immigrant. So I assumed that only immigrants sent money or remained connected to family in Latin America.”

While at Wharton, Edrizio realized that wasn’t the case. He said: “At UPenn, I must have met over 100 Latinos, in every shape and form. Some immigrants, some native. From affluent backgrounds and very humble backgrounds. No matter what, the majority remained connected to their culture and family in Latin America.” In talking to other Latinos, Edrizio noticed how frustrating, archaic and anti-social sending money abroad is. “Its like going to the DMV to pay alimony. You wait on long lines and don’t really look forward to it”.  That frustration kindled the fire that sparked Regalii.

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