Puerto Rican ‘serial entrepreneur’ out to give the world new experiences
By John McPhaul
Angel Munoz is a self-taught “serial entrepreneur” with a strong Puerto Rico connection who has immersed himself in stock broking, banking and gaming and, most recently, launched Beacon Technologies, a full-service communications platform to compete against the likes of Facetime and Zoom.
Munoz, 61, was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents, spent part of his youth in Puerto Rico, and shares a family tree with none other than former governor and founder of the Popular Democratic Party, Luis A. Muñoz Marín.
“I consider myself and identify myself as Puerto Rican,” said Munoz, who doesn’t use the tilde (~) in his last name. “My parents both live in Puerto Rico, I went to the UPR [University of Puerto Rico for two years, I have done consulting for the Puerto Rican government without compensation.”
Munoz started as a stock broker in 1985, founded his own investment bank, New World Investment, in 1990, jumped over to gaming in 1995 by creating an online “social media community,” or gaming chat platform, Gaming Tribe or GTribe, and then most recently created Beacon Technologies in 2020 under his umbrella company Mass Luminosity.
“Four basic principles set Beacon apart from other communications platforms,” Munoz said.
Number one is simplicity: “We put the focus on people and not a lot of buttons,” he said.
Second is “how fast you can make a connection.”
Beacon can make the connection instantaneously whereas other platforms can sometimes take up to three minutes for a connection, Munoz said.
Third is high quality compared to the competition.
“We are the Rolls Royce of communications platforms,” he said. “We are innovators. We are not a ‘me too’ product.” One of the main features that set Beacon apart from the competition is integration of an artificial intelligence component called the Socially Advanced Machine Intelligence, or “SAMI,” on which Munoz holds a patent pending. One of the SAMI’s features is the ability to transfer calls from one computer to another with voice activation.
Fourth is security and privacy.
“Our platform is completely encrypted,” said Munoz, noting that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently sanctioned Zoom, levying an $80 million fine for selling clients’ information to third parties.
The basic Beacon product, which includes the online face-to-face communications, is free of charge.
Munoz said he keeps reinventing himself because of his desire to “change the world by providing experiences that do not exist.”
“Beacon Plus,” which has additional features such as translations from 81 languages, costs $4.95 a month.
The “Beacon Max” product, at a cost of $14.95, includes the use of SAMI and a seminar component where users charge people for online seminars and keep 80 percent of the profits, “90 percent if you’re really popular,” said Munoz, with the remaining 10-20 percent rolling back to Beacon Technologies.
All of Munoz’s achievements in the business world come from a college dropout.
Munoz went to high school in Puerto Rico at Luz América Calderón and completed the advanced class program and was granted a full year of college credits.
“Furthermore, I was tutored by Father Santiago Vela, and participated in his Master Psychology program at Interamerican University of Puerto Rico before I graduated from high school,” Munoz said. “I then went to the University of Puerto Rico [Río Piedras campus] and took both literature and psychology classes, and after a year moved to Miami-Dade Community College [downtown] as they had an interesting computer science program. After a year I dropped out and ended up working with IBM mainframes for large companies.”
Munoz said he is motivated to reinvent himself by a desire to see change in the world through the magic of the marketplace.
“I look at things the way they could be and not the way they are, and then convince myself that fixing it has a potential marketplace,” he said. “Everything from financial markets, interactive entertainment, sports, art, nootropics and now communication have fallen under the scrutiny of my mind, and I have managed to make changes that altered the landscape of the industry for everyone.”
“It also helps that I hire young people with an infinite capacity for not knowing what cannot be done,” he added.