This month, we welcome Dave Alba of Grid Logistics to Intelatin. Dave is an entrepreneur from East LA. His startup is housed at LACI in downtown LA. Last week, I entered into the world of entrepreneurship by laying a business on the table and dissecting it for my audience. That business was a film called Bella Vita, directed by Jason Baffa. Without a doubt, it was the least listened to podcast of my career and I can’t explain this phenomenon. It seems to me that listeners get all hyped up when you feature somebody famous. Typically, that famous person doesn’t give a fuck about you. Listeners don’t seem to get too hyped up when the subject is not famous and does give a fuck about you. Intelatin attempts to dedicate itself to the latter rather than the former. We want to showcase people and projects that have a sensibility towards the issues affecting undocumented youth. So, despite having the worst listenership in five years, I am going to record another episode on entrepreneurship with the hopes that the information sticks at some point.
Dave Alba grew up in East LA. As a child, his proudest moment came when he won a chess tournament in Los Angeles for seven consecutive years in a row. He says that he learned to be strategic and he learned patience and in a few minutes you’ll understand why this was a monumental learning lesson for Dave. He graduated from Roosevelt High, then East LA College and then USC where he matriculated with a business degree. Afterwards, he got a job with Super Shuttle at a time when they were granted one of the first functioning GPS technologies in the US. He worked for years with Super Shuttle and then he went to work for the Port system in Los Angeles.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach combined together create a super port that enables the entire economies of hundreds of countries, including the US to grow. Through the import and export of goods, businessmen and women all over the world, depend on the efficacy and efficiency of the Port of Los Angeles. However, it’s not very efficient or effective at all. In fact, it’s a mess. And after years of working with the Port, Dave Alba began to understand how and why it was a mess and he conceptualized a way to fix it. He created his idea called The Super Dock.
It’s been close to ten years since Dave Alba had his idea. Because his idea incorporated aspects of both land and sea, he knew that his knowledge of the sea required a co-founder with the knowledge of the land. So, he found an engineer with knowledge of the land, his name is Richard Mueller. Together, they worked for five years to protect their idea in the US, in China and in strategic locations throughout the world by way of a patent. Once their patent was issued, they began to conceptualize the phases necessary for developing an idea this size. It seems that the more and more detailed they got with their plan, the larger the plan got and now its in the billions. It will take 30 million dollars as a California corporation to realize an infrastructure project for Los Angeles that would cost billions of dollars. Some entrepreneurs can’t think that large. Dave Alba can.
Timing, Patent Protection, Risk, these are all concepts of entrepreneurship that need to be taken seriously. But, who thinks that waiting five years for a patent is sexy? Who thinks that struggling for ten years on the timing of an idea is sexy? Not of it is sexy. Its only sexy in the moment when you get rich. And you can start travel. And you can eat and drink in the most luxurious of places. And when you have the power to dictate your life the way you want to live it. Let’s break for some tunes and come back to Dave’s story and what it has in common with Stanford University and the upcoming Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit on Saturday, May 14.
On Saturday, May 14, Frank Carbajal will be bringing together 250 leaders in business, government, education, and industry, plus selected MBA students, for a one-day conference at the Stanford Faculty Club at Stanford University. Attendees will learn first hand from successful entrepreneurs, executives and political leaders what it takes to survive and succeed in today’s world. The summit is designed to inspire and suggest innovative changes needed for future Latino generations to succeed. Frank believes that this is the right time and place to talk to top executives and leaders and make the right contacts. I’ll be attending the summit. I’m going to meet with Frank and I’m also going to meet with Remy Arteaga and Dr. Jerry Porras. They run networking groups in the Stanford orbit that attempt to provide both data and opportunity to young Latinx looking to penetrate Silicon Valley. Ultimately, everybody needs resources. I want every Latinx to know the following:
- Which Silicon Valley investors are currently marketing for Latinx entrepreneurs?
- What do Latinx entrepreneurs have to do to access those funds?
- What support system is in-place in the Stanford orbit to support those entrepreneurs?
I’ll keep you posted with what I discover after May 14.
Featured Guest: Dave Alba of Grid Logistics
Music performed by John Mark Nelson, Chicano Batman, Ditch Party, Jane Weaver, Petite Noir, Céu, Rosie Carney, Calma Carmona, Chynna Rogers, Mia Doi Todd, Rozi Plain, Chief Ten Dogs and Lennon Stella.
The next Intelatin episode will be released on the supermoon of May 2016.
Intelatin is a monthly radio broadcast hosted by Sergio C. Muñoz in Los Angeles, California. It is published on Latino Rebels, marketed by Audioboom.com and podcasted on iTunes. You can also find us on Stitcher. Latin American culture is the focus of the program: music, film, food, literature and business. It is in its fifth year of production and is dedicated to the passage of the federal DREAM Act. The radio broadcast for Intelatin was started in 2012 at California State University Long Beach as outreach for their majority Latinx campus. The broadcast aired on KBeach Global and KKJZ 88.1 FM. Connect on Twitter @Intelatin.