In the heart of Santa Cruz County, where innovation thrives and diverse perspectives converge, TEDxSantaCruz stands as a beacon of collaboration and inspiration. On April 13, 2024, the stage will be set for thought-provoking discussions under the theme “Rising Together,” where global challenges meet local solutions.

Among the lineup of speakers, Jacob Martinez, alongside Digital NEST alumni Martin Vargas and Alex Chavez, will share their journey and insights on the power of mentorship and community support in career development. Their story, rooted in the transformative impact of mentorship, promises to ignite motivation and empowerment among attendees.

Jacob Martinez, Founder and CEO of Digital NEST, embodies the spirit of innovation and community empowerment. Through Digital NEST, Jacob has pioneered initiatives to bridge the digital divide and provide underprivileged youth with access to technology and mentorship opportunities.

From left to right: Alex Chavez, Martin Vargas and Jacob Martinez

From left to right: Alex Chavez, Martin Vargas and Jacob Martinez

Joining him are Martin Vargas-Vega and Alex Chavez-Guerrero, both alumni of Digital NEST, who have carved remarkable paths in the tech industry. Vargas-Vega, a devoted philanthropist and software engineer, and Chavez-Guerrero, a trailblazing software engineer, bring their unique perspectives and experiences to the TEDxSantaCruz stage.

Their collective narrative underscores the importance of fostering inclusive environments where mentorship flourishes, driving individual and collective growth. By sharing their stories, they aim to inspire the next generation of leaders and changemakers to harness the power of mentorship and community support.

TEDxSantaCruz serves as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue and action, bringing together visionary leaders and innovators who are committed to driving positive change. As we embrace the theme of “Rising Together,” let us heed the call to collaborate, innovate, and empower one another towards a brighter, more inclusive future.

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TEDxSantaCruz Speakers

TEDxSantaCruz 2024 Jacob Martinez Digital NEST

Pictured left to right from top:
Terry Carr, Co-founder, Vilij
Martin Vargas Vega, Founding Engineer, Habu
Esabella Bonner, Founder/Executive Director, Black Surf Santa Cruz
Jacob Martinez, Founder & CEO, Digital NEST
Nicole Beck, CEO, 2NDNATURE
Natalia Ocampo Peñuela, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz
MariaElena DelaGarza, Executive Director, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County
Juliano Calil, Founder, Virtual Planet Technologies, Inc
Kat Armstrong, Performance Artist, Drag Queen
Luna HighJohn-Bey, Lead Researcher, London Nelson Legacy Initiative
Madeline Aliah, Poet, Orator
Galina Hale, Professor of Economics, UC Santa Cruz
Kyra Bobinet, CEO, Fresh Tri
Effron “Donnie” Veal, Program Coordinator, Rising Scholars Cabrillo College
Stephen-Will Weir, Growth & Sustainability Expert, Radar 2030
Maria Cardenas, Executive Director, Ventures
Daisy Nunez, School Counselor, Watsonville High School
Antonella De La Tore Marcenaro, Founder/Executive Director, PUENTES
Cesar Rojas-Bravo, Astronomy Ph.D. Candidate, UC Santa Cruz
Jorge Guillen/Xinistra, Performance Artist, Drag Queen
Kara Mayberg Guzman, CEO/Co-founder, Santa Cruz Local
Alex Chavez-Guerrero, Software Engineer, SuperCMO