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BMCC alum Juan Proaño understands that communication goes nowhere without the technology to direct it. In 2001, the Democratic National Party hired Plus Three, the small firm he co-founded, to create Demzilla, a database built in response to the Republican Party’s Voter Vault—and the race for a constituency was forever changed. Demzilla enabled the Democrats to raise more than $85 million online in 2004— surpassing, for the first time in campaign history, the Republican National Committee’s fundraising efforts.
Today, Plus Three’s mission—using social media and Web-based technology to promote social change remains strong. “We’re a minority- and woman-owned business,”says Proaño.
“We employ about 30% Latinos—in an industry where less than 2% of thetech work-force is Latino.
We’re engaging Hispanic and African American populations, women, and the LGBT community.”
The company provides online tools to nonprofit, advocacy and political organizations including the Green Spaces Alliance, Emily’s List and the NAACP, and Proaño has shared his expertise atthe Democratic National Convention’s Latino
Leadership Conference, as well as BMCC’s Spanish Heritage Month and recent Success Conference. He was named one of the Top 100 Hispanic Entrepreneurs by Hispanic Trends magazine, and Plus Three was recognized as one of the top 100 fastest growing Hispanic businesses for threeyears in a row.
Proaño worked in a Tribeca sporting goods store when he was a student at BMCC, graduating in 1997 with an Associate degree in Liberal Arts.
“I was inspired by the diverse student and faculty community, and classes that provided a foundation to understand some of the challenges in starting a company,” he says. “Plus I graduated having paid for my classes myself,
without having accrued the large debt you’d typically see in a 4-year college—and that gave me more options, when I graduated.”