Alberto Altamirano, most commonly known as Beto Altamirano, has transformed his passion for public service into a successful business that helps better communities. From early on, he embraced the teachings of his immigrant father and took ownership of his life. Going through the harsh sadness and frustration of having his father deported at 18 years old, he turned adversity into opportunity. Beto became involved in policy and social justice and found his calling to public service as he assisted underserved communities in Southern Texas.
“I felt viscerally involved in something greater than myself, that had the potential to have a deep impact on other people’s lives.”
Since then, he’s made it his mission to positively impact communities and has worked at the Texas House of Representatives, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Department of State. He has been a public service innovator and through his perseverance, has grown his business exponentially. Beto has gone from co-founding Irys in 2017 to winning the VotoLatino Innovators Challenge, to now raising over $1M in venture funding and being recognized among the brightest entrepreneurs in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
“This experience has resonated with words my parents would repeat to me (both entrepreneurs); to be successful is to refuse to give in to a negative worldview. Life isn’t always beautiful or fair, but in the challenge lies the merit; respecting life’s ups and downs teaches you invaluable lessons – about achievement, about growth, about dealing with undesired outcomes.”
Irys focuses on improving the quality of life in communities through technology and is the embodiment of Beto’s vision. In a world where urban areas continue to expand, public health, environmental, and infrastructural challenges are an unavoidable issue. This is where Irys comes in. Irys makes the community’s own citizens its stakeholders, rather than leaving all of these issues up to the city’s government. When it comes to local municipal governments, reporting and communication channels are archaic and broken, causing a gap between its residents and community improvement. This is why Irys builds a collaborative and supportive community where residents can use the Irys Community app as a one-stop shop for all government information and non-emergency services. Beto explains:
“Through the app, citizens can easily initiate 311 service requests for potholes, power outages, infrastructure issues, and much more in less than 20 seconds. Citizens are even able to provide location information and pictures to better provide city officials with an understanding of the issue. Once the report is made, users can follow the progress of their request and check its status in real time.”
Beto has not only created a user-friendly app for underserved communities, but has also continued to further develop this business. With the Irys for Military product, military bases can effectively communicate service requests and housing issues. Irys for Business provides engineering design firms improved input for public projects. It is through the development of Irys that Beto continues to make economic mobility more available for urban residents.
“I believe that through the use of technology we can better identify excluded people and communities. Our social impact is direct, and has benefitted many communities.”
For Beto, it is important for citizens to be directly engaged in policy-making and public service delivery. He has taken time to organize communities and listen to their concerns. With great enthusiasm and a clear organizational mission, he has been able to transform his passion into a successful business. He continues to evolve and think innovatively, and plans to expand development in the military sector this year. For Beto, there is no giving up and he wants you to keep dreaming – because it all starts with a dream.
“Try again. Try again. And try again. Also, never stop learning, always seek inspiration, and listen… a great business leader knows how to listen.”
To learn more about his inspiring story and work, follow him on Instagram here.