Antonio Ruiz-Gimenez is an entrepreneur with a record of launching progressive, dynamic companies across multiple industries from finance to fashion to social media.
Most recently, Mr. Ruiz-Gimenez embarked on reshaping several industries through Infrastructure Media Group Holdings – IMGH and Innovators Fund; two enterprises he co-founded in 2012. IMGH is a holding company focused on global infrastructure, energy, commodities and public private partnerships. Innovators Fund is a collaborative based seeding platform focused on investing in novel, disruptive technologies across multiple disciplines globally.
Prior to his current ventures, Mr. Ruiz-Gimenez co-founded healthcare hedge fund YYC Capital in 2009 and oversaw the fund through early 2012, during which time his fund’s portfolio manager was recognized in Fortune’s 40 Under 40.
Mr. Ruiz-Gimenez’s earlier ventures include Cabool Australia, a surf clothing line that he founded in 2003 and grew from a mere concept to a brand with an international presence in over 250 stores spanning four continents. Prior to Cabool, in 2000, he pioneered one of the original European social media networking sites, altering the way we communicate far in advance of today’s platforms.
Mr. Ruiz-Gimenez holds a law degree from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He dedicates his free time and resources to PVBLIC Foundation, a foundation focused on repurposing media for social impact, amongst other philanthropic and charitable activities.
1. Share the greatest impact of your childhood.
My grandfather Joaquin Ruiz-Gimenez Cortez has been the greatest impact in my life. As a lawyer, politician and scholar, my grandfather was the vice president of the Plataforma de Convergencia Democratica (the Platform for Democratic Convergence) in 1975; and between 1951 and 1956 become Spain’s Minister of Education. In 1982, he was elected to the Intstituto Internacional de Derechos Humanos (International Institute for Human Rights); thereby becoming Spain’s First Public Advocate at a juncture where Spain was transitioning to a new democratic social construct after General Franco’s death. My grandfather’s boldness and care for his fellowmen led him to become Spain’s UNICEF president between 1989 and 2001. My grandfather always considered himself a civil servant and protector of his people and family. My memories of him give me strength and inspiration in all of my endeavors.
2. Define your experience growing up being Latino and being Latino in today’s world.
There is no better time to be a Latino especially in the business world. Growing up as a Latino has given me unprecedented opportunity. The values, pride and dedication of my community have instilled in me valuable work ethics. I always thought that Latino’s possess a true entrepreneurial spirit; thereby, being a businessperson could be described as an instinct inherited from my Latino roots. In today’s world, the Latino community is becoming more educated in science, technology and international trade. Thanks to this renaissance amongst Latino leaders, I am more inclined to reaching my goals as a businessperson.
3. Tell us some of the challenges you’ve had to overcome.
Arriving to the United States and thriving as an entrepreneur has not been an easy endeavor. Being far from the family, from the things one grows up with can at times make us apprehensive. However, as a self-motivated entrepreneur, I have been able to carve out a space for myself in America. Yet, my ultimate goal is to motivate other Latinos to overcome their challenges and thrive for excellence in their careers. Personally, I have been utilizing my challenges of fitting in a new country as a spring for perusing happiness and self-actualization.
4. What would you say was the greatest positive influence on your career?
The greatest influence in my career has been the entrepreneurial spirit of other fellow Latinos thriving for success in the US. It gives me satisfaction knowing that I am part of this Latino vanguard. I believe that Latinos represent one and other; for this reason, my goal is to become a column that helps maintain the foundations for Latinos success within and outside of the US.
5. As an honoree, what do you hope that being a trendsetter will inspire you to accomplish?
First and foremost I am honored to consider a trendsetter in the Latino community as well as for receiving this recognition. Hence, there is a host of young Latinos with astounding career goals, business ideas; perhaps, hard laboring individuals who find themselves at an impasse unable to attain their goals. My objective is to serve as a role model and an adviser to other young trendsetters, whom I may have the privilege and honor to cross paths with as other Latino leaders have done with me.