Ivon Rodriguez is the Chief Marketing Officer at Linqto, a private investment mobile application company with a focus on unicorns. Throughout her life, she has broken through every barrier. A “double first-generation” student, she was not only the first to graduate from university in her family, but from high school as well. Her parents emigrated from Cuba during the revolution and became entrepreneurs out of necessity. Rodriguez says, “The idea of making something out of nothing has always intrigued me.”
She attended Brown University for both her undergraduate and Executive MBA degrees, but out of college was mostly looking for jobs that would pay the bills, not ones that would necessarily lead to a career. Rodriguez got involved in media and marketing, working for NBC-Telemundo Enterprises. She moved up quickly, helping to launch Telemundo Boston and Telemundo Providence, before becoming General Manager for the Telemundo Connecticut and Western Massachusetts stations.
During a group project for an MBA finance class at IE Brown, Rodriguez came to an understanding that would change the trajectory of her career. Her project team decided to focus on a FinTech option, and she realized that the digitization of traditional business spaces was not going anywhere—it was the inevitable path of the future. From then on, she decided that she wanted to be at the forefront of the tech disruption.
After working extensively in the media marketing space, Rodriguez founded The 360 Group, which delivered customized branding campaigns, as well as PR and marketing services to clients. She used her position as a consultant to help businesses of all kinds transition to a tech-centered paradigm. Even up until 2016, prospective clients viewed some of her suggestions as far-fetched such as when she approached a global law firm and suggested strategies incorporating legal tech. Bill Sarris, the CEO of Linqto reached out to Rodriguez in 2020 to have her consult on the business’s overall marketing strategy which in turn evolved into a full-time position.
Rodriguez says her favorite thing about working at Linqto is the community. The Linqto team is accessible to accredited investors who want to know more about their investment options. The company also offers a variety of virtual events, free of charge, which allow their community to ask questions directly to company executives of the businesses and industries innovating in tech. Rodriguez says, “We’re truly humanizing this space by engaging candidly with people… It’s a genuine conversation and we’re all in it together.” Rodriguez also appreciates Linqto’s diverse customer base, who come from all over the world from various backgrounds and careers, stating, “The fact that everyone is different, and everyone has something special to add to the conversation; that diversity is really embraced, and that’s something I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of.”
The private investment space has mostly been reserved for the accredited investor that met certain salary and net worth requirements or one of several certifications. Recently, however, there has been a lot of public discussion about opening up general investing options to the average person. From the crowdfunding cap being raised to $5M to the Robinhood GameStop controversy, people are expressing that they want in. Rodriguez feels strongly about democratizing private investing, and she hopes as times passes more and more people will be allowed to play in the space. Linqto offers a discount for the preparation of the Series 65 exam through ExamFX. Individuals passing the exam will be certified as accredited investors. She says, “At Linqto we hope to continue to make private investing simple for accredited investors while simultaneously paving the way for opportunities that will allow others to become accredited.”