NSF ICORPS SUCCESS STORY: EMPOWERING COMMUNITY THROUGH “GENTEFICATION”

Gentefy founder Barney Santos describes himself as “a husband, an entrepreneur, and a passionate lover of all things creative”. A serial entrepreneur who has launched four companies and consulted with dozens of startups in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, his latest venture is more than a company, it’s a movement.

The movement is called Gentefication and represents “the process of upwardly mobile Latinos, typically second-generation and beyond, investing in and returning to the old neighborhood.” The gente comes from the Spanish word for people. Santos created the business to be a platform to inspire & empower the entrepreneurial spirit, one person, one business, one community at a time.  This is helping local businesses in Latino communities get more customers by effectively using social media.

So how did his experience in iCorps shape the way he’s building Gentefy? “iCorps was so eye opening for me,” explains Santos, “I’m a serial entrepreneur, but never had a method to the madness before.” He adds that the structure of the program gave him an actual system and process to move from idea to execution.

Santos also gives high praise for the engagement with other students as well as the mentors, even when “they affectionately and not so affectionately chewed me out”.

In addition to growing revenues with his team, he’s spreading his iCorps experience by teaching a class in New Venture Management at Cal State Los Angeles. He’s also teaching business advisement at the Pasadena Small Business Development Center.

Congrats to Santos and Gentefy for spreading both iCorps ideals and the Berkeley Haas defining principle of Beyond Yourself!