• Evento de Founder Institute anoche con Juan Martinez

    • TropicalGringo-Founder-Institute
    • Founder-Institute-Colombia
    • Ciudad-de-Mascotas-FI
    • Juan-Martinez-Founder-Institute
    • Ciudad-de-Mascotas-Founder-Institute
    • Founder-Institute-Bogota
    • Founder-Institute-Recruiting-Bogota
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    • Founder-Institute-Pitch-Bogota
    • Juan Carlos Martinez Founder Institute Colombia

    Ante noche tuvimos una gran evento de Founder Institute con enseñanzas y experiencias de Juan Carlos Martinez, CEO de Ciudad de Mascotas.  Tuvimos una audiencia de mas de 25 emprendedores y emprendedoras interesados en aprender mas sobre startups y el programa del Founder Institute Colombia.  Gracias a Wayra Colombia por patrocinar el evento y al gran apoyo de Edgar Castañeda y Camilo Lucero, co-fundadores de Lorapp!

    Durante el evento, Juan Carlos compartió sus experiencias creando y creciendo su startup, Ciudad de Mascotas, y ofreció varios consejos sobre como escoger a un co-fundador, el proceso de conseguir inversion (Ciudad de Mascotas recientemente cerro una ronda de inversion notable).  Juan Carlos y los demás mentores de Founder Institute son la razón por la cual el programa ha sido tan exitoso no solo en Colombia sino por todo el mundo.

    Varias emprendedoras y emprendedores se lanzaron hacer su pitch y tengo que decir que he visto un gran progreso en ideas y presentación durante estos últimos cinco años.  Estuvieron muy abiertos a feedback y sugerencias para mejoras todo lo cual es de admirar.  Realmente puedo ver que el ecosistema a evolucionado y esto es muy alentador.  Les dimos, adicionalmente, unos ejemplos de las preguntas que encontraran en el examen de admisión que mide su ADN de founder y aptitude para crear un startup de alto impacto.

    Tuve oportunidad para hablar sobre estos éxitos y sobre la estructura del programa de 4 semanas con presencia una noche a la semana y trabajo fuera de las sesiones en construir y lanzar un startup.   Founder Institute no garantiza el éxito pero si evita cometer muchos errores básicos que pueden ser bastante costosos para un emprendedor o emprendedora.  Para los interesados, la aplicación para el Founder Institute no tiene costo y se puede aplicar haciendo click acá: http://fi.co/apply/2001

  • Interview with Tappsi CEO Juan Salcedo

    Juan Salcedo

    It was quite a treat last week to interview someone that I’ve gotten to know a lot better during the past couple of years, first, as Advisor to the company he co-founded called Tappsi, makers of the leading taxi hailing app in Colombia, and more recently as an Executive Vice President at that same company.  During this interview, part of a series for Startup Grind, I asked Juan about his journey towards becoming a successful startup founder (from Colombia to Canada and back) and the challenges of being the CEO of a startup that gets to compete with well-funded giants such as Uber.

    When Juan told me about Tappsi more than two years ago and introduced me to his co-founder, Andres Gutierrez, I had never seen growth numbers in Colombia such as the ones they were sharing with me (nor since).  It was absolutely phenomenal.  As Jerry McGuire might say, “you had me at 5000 downloads.”  I became their advisor when the company consisted only of the two co-founders.  Today, the company now boasts more than 80 employees.

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  • Snapshot of Colombia Startup Success Stories 2015

    Colombia-startup-snapshot-2015

    A couple months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Claus Rosenberg, a serial entrepreneur from Denmark, thanks to a friend named Juan Velez. During our meeting, he made a very persuasive case for why I should become Director of Startup Grind in Bogota.  Long story, short, I agreed because I see this as an opportunity to take a snapshot in 2015 of the top Startup CEOs from Colombia through a series of YouTube video interviews.

    As I’ve written before, it’s become harder and harder to sacrifice family time and take on extra initiatives such as these.  Also, although some may find it hard to believe, I just don’t really enjoy the spotlight in Colombia anymore.   The only thing that drives me to do these types of things is the fact that I really see a big impact resulting from this initiative.  Also,  I just really admire talented entrepreneurs and enjoy talking with them.

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  • Do you really want to boil the ocean?

    Boil the oceanThroughout my professional career, I’ve observed how those with tons of resources and outsized ambitions, try to execute Hail Mary initiatives with very limited results. On the other hand, focusing on high quality, low quantity results (e.g., get a few fanatical users of a product versus thousands of site visitors), is much more effective. Later, they are able to build upon these successes.  Startups should really resist the temptation and pressure to ignore this key principle in pursuit of the “boil the ocean” strategy.

    I’m still surprised by the strong voices that startup founders hear leading them down a road that will dilute their efforts and produce negligible or incredibly costly results.  These voices take the form of their own desires, of criticisms for not being ambitious enough or “thinking too small.”  My personal experience has been anecdotal, but there are actual studies that confirm this even more.

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