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Who are El Matriarcado? They are “the matriarchy” of Argentine startups, with Belén Fernandez and her women cofounders at the center, and they are growing a woman-led startup community in Mendoza, Argentina, and beyond.

Belén found startups through her husband. He was accepted into the Startup Chile program, but he didn’t speak English fluently—and as a former English teacher, she did. She joined him in the program and fell in love with the power of innovation and all things startup. She became determined to bring these back to her home in Mendoza, Argentina.

In 2014, Belén discovered Techstars Startup Weekend. It was exactly the sort of inclusive, community-led startup programming she was looking for, and she has been a force, organizing and facilitating Startup Weekend events, ever since. This year, she attended the Multinational Unsummit in Cordoba, Argentina, where Techstars gathered community leaders from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Mexico to meet and share learnings from their journeys in community building.

Belén has co-founded incubator AgilMentor with Paula Aldeco and Luis Videla, and co-founded Mendoza accelerator Embarca with Valentina Terranova and Gonzalo Innocenti. In both cases, the founding teams are 2 women, 1 man—a “matriarchy” of women who are leading their startup scene.

Together with her co-founders and other community leaders, Belén is building an inclusive startup community in Mendoza, and they inspire startup ecosystem builders across Argentina, Latin America, and the Techstars worldwide network.


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