Joe Vasquez

Co-founder of StartX Accelerator and Co-Director of Runway.is

“I was always different than everybody else in so many different ways.” 

Joe Vasquez is not your average Silicion Valley entreprenuer, he’s an extraordinary human being. Originally from New York, Joe grew up in a multicultural family with Cuban roots from his father’s side. Although at first Joe didn’t have a clear sense of belonging; he always knew he wanted to change the world through technology, through people, and through impact.

Having lost his hearing at a young age, Joe was forced to learn to adapt to his situations even when things felt very foreign. “I went to a school for the deaf as my first school. I lost most of my hearing when I was born in my left ear. I can’t hear anything at all. In my right ear I have about 30 percent of my hearing. I remember being one of the only people in my school who couldn’t hear. And I was always different than everybody else in so many different ways. I was a painter, I was a creator, I was deaf, I was different. And oftentimes when you’re different, you see the world in much different ways and you’re forced to think about how you can adapt.”

“I was always different than everybody else in so many different ways.” 

Joe Vasquez is not your average Silicion Valley entreprenuer, he’s an extraordinary human being. Originally from New York, Joe grew up in a multicultural family with Cuban roots from his father’s side. Although at first Joe didn’t have a clear sense of belonging; he always knew he wanted to change the world through technology, through people, and through impact.

Having lost his hearing at a young age, Joe was forced to learn to adapt to his situations even when things felt very foreign. “I went to a school for the deaf as my first school. I lost most of my hearing when I was born in my left ear. I can’t hear anything at all. In my right ear I have about 30 percent of my hearing. I remember being one of the only people in my school who couldn’t hear. And I was always different than everybody else in so many different ways. I was a painter, I was a creator, I was deaf, I was different. And oftentimes when you’re different, you see the world in much different ways and you’re forced to think about how you can adapt.”

“I started my first company in 2009, which was an accelerator for Stanford startups called StartX.”

Joe made his way to the West Coast to attend Stanford University to learn more about how he could change the world through technology. “While I was at Stanford, I was exposed to a wide variety of people from Africa, Asia, from all the coast of United States, from Europe. And I realized that there’s so much out there beyond what I had been exposed while growing up.” Although he studied electrical and civil engineering, fundamentally, he was always interested in bringing people’s ideas come to life. “I started my first company in 2009, which was an accelerator for Stanford startups called StartX.” StartX is an educational non-profit that accelerates the development of Stanford’s top entrepreneurs through experiental education. It’s one of the top five accelerators in the United States right now.

“I started my first company in 2009, which was an accelerator for Stanford startups called StartX.”

Joe made his way to the West Coast to attend Stanford University to learn more about how he could change the world through technology. “While I was at Stanford, I was exposed to a wide variety of people from Africa, Asia, from all the coast of United States, from Europe. And I realized that there’s so much out there beyond what I had been exposed while growing up.” Although he studied electrical and civil engineering, fundamentally, he was always interested in bringing people’s ideas come to life. “I started my first company in 2009, which was an accelerator for Stanford startups called StartX.” StartX is an educational non-profit that accelerates the development of Stanford’s top entrepreneurs through experiental education. It’s one of the top five accelerators in the United States right now.

“I believe in the power of people.”

” One of my personal motivations why I work so hard is because I believe in the power of people. I’m also motivated by the fact that so many people told me what I could not do. For much of my life I was told that I was less than, that I was not able to, that I was different because I’m deaf. I want to create a world where anybody, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, what their abilities are, what their knowledge is, can do whatever they want and push for whatever they want.”  

“I believe in the power of people.”

” One of my personal motivations why I work so hard is because I believe in the power of people. I’m also motivated by the fact that so many people told me what I could not do. For much of my life I was told that I was less than, that I was not able to, that I was different because I’m deaf. I want to create a world where anybody, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, what their abilities are, what their knowledge is, can do whatever they want and push for whatever they want.”