Our statement on who pays for what we do (and who doesn't) and how you can independently get involved to support us.
ken deckinger
Oh. Hello. ¡Este toro definitivamente no nos paga! Photo credit: Ken Deckinger

This is an important post and a topic that people have asked us about. As such, I want to come out and make sure that we clear the air and tell you who pays us. Being completely transparent with you helps everyone stay better connected and feel most comfortable supporting what we do.  

The short answer is that this project is funded by you and our brand partners: To sustain the platform, we make money through advertisements, sponsorships and partnerships with consumer and media brands that we respect and believe in and that align with our core values. It’s how we stay independent and unaffiliated. We believe in breaking down cultural barriers, making connections and putting smiles on people’s faces while we do it.

“We live in a complicated world, and we recognize that the work we do sits in the middle of that complicated world.”

Co-Founder and CEO, Ken Deckinger. Photo credit: Karen Vierbuchen

We’ve grown a lot since we started. Today, in addition to our work in Cuba, we now include Puerto Rico and the broader Latinx community in the United States in our projects. With regards to the US-Cuba debate specifically though, we’re nonpolitical and don’t take sides. We are not involved, connected, associated, affiliated, aligned with or even in close proximity to a government organization or government funding. We have not, we do not — and will not — take money from governments, or government supported organizations of any country. This ensures that we do what we want to do, without agenda.

We live in a complicated world and we recognize that the work we do sometimes sits smack dab in the middle of that complexity. We do, however, realize that it comes with the territory. Fostering these important discussions and showing all sides through our stories makes our efforts all that much more important to us.  

“I hope that you stay involved with what we’re doing. I hope that you learn something. I hope that we can make you smile.”

I hope that you stay involved with what we’re doing by joining our weekly newsletter. I hope that you learn something. I hope that we can make you smile. And of course, if you’re interested in working with us, I hope that you’ll reach out to chat. Our audience is very loyal and your support plays an important part in keeping the lights on and the cafecito cranking.

Photo credit: Karen Vierbuchen

(BTW – You do realize that two of the greatest foods on the planet come from Latin America, right?: the Cuban sandwich and the al pastor taco, of course!)

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Ken Deckinger is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Cuba and the executive producer and host of its namesake docuseries. A native of South Florida, Ken has been an entrepreneur for his entire professional career. Previously he was co-founder and CEO of HurryDate, pioneering the global concept of speed dating to 45 cities throughout the US, UK and Canada. HurryDate eventually evolved into online dating and was acquired by Spark Networks, the parent company of ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com. Ken is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Florida, where he was honored with the University’s Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Under 40 award and sits on the Board for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He actively advises entrepreneurs and is a two-time protagonist of a Harvard Business School case study. Ken’s filmmaking and journalistic journey is inspired by a love of travel and authentic connections with other cultures. He believes that the more we know about each other, through stories, the closer we can become — thus the mission of Startup Cuba: to amplify the voices of the people sharing stories in the Latinx space. After living in New York City for 15 years, he encouraged his wife to move their family to Miami to get back to his South Florida roots. Needless to say, it was a short discussion and he and his family now call Boston, where his wife grew up, their home.

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