By Grace Austin

The rapidly expanding Latino/Hispanic demographic has become the newest and most exciting market in the U.S. Two tech entrepreneurs, Wolf Bielas and Alex Goldstein, have attempted to capitalize on these demographic changes with a new “lifestyle” mobile application that caters to the Hispanic business and consumer market. Named elwiri, after “wiriwiri,” meaning “people talking” or “chatter” in Spanish, the national app was introduced at the San Diego Latino Film Fest this spring.

The application capitalizes on the mass coupon popularity made famous (and financially successful) by sites like Groupon and Living Social. elwiri expands on coupons and discounts, also offering movie reviews and showtimes, videos, daily updates, news, blogs, and information on local events.

“More than many other groups, Hispanics go online to socialize, find good deals and purchase new products and services.”

“The internet audience is changing fast. More than many other groups, Hispanics go online to socialize, find good deals and purchase new products and services. elwiri offers San Diego merchants a way to generate new customers, and Spanish-language consumers can receive location-based coupons and discounts from local merchants,” explained Bielas.

The veteran entrepreneurs saw opportunity in the explosion of mobile phone usage for information among Hispanics. Hispanic mobile usage is growing four times faster than the general population. The demographic currently represents twenty-five percent of
total U.S. iPhone ownership.

Bielas and Goldstein both have Hispanic roots—each has ties south of the border. Beilas was raised in Mexico City and later moved to San Diego. Bielas previously founded and ran two tech companies and began a venture fund for startups. Goldstein, who has past experience in advising and capital raising, grew up in Tijuana and also lives in San Diego.

“As a multicultural individual, I felt a sense of disidentification growing up. I was raised in Mexico for the majority of my childhood and then immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager. The transition was a struggle,” said Bielas. “In our new age of social media, I seek to provide a platform for our Hispanic population to connect on many levels. With the content exclusively in Spanish, elwiri represents the first vehicle made by and for Hispanics living within the United States to promote integration while staying loyal to our roots.”