Well, I just got a gut-wrenching notification that the Colombian government decided against a proposal that I presented, along with some local partners, to help create Tayrona Ventures and I’m still reeling from the this. My local partners in the proposal were creating an early-stage Colombia fund to address opportunities in several industries (e.g., construction services, etc.) while leaving us (Tayrona Ventures) as a sidecar fund with a lot of freedom to pursue early stage deals with digital startups. I thought (wrongly, as it turns out) that this would satisfy the government’s needs to support a number of sectors while also creating an amazing early stage technology fund with likes of Silicon Valley insiders Paul Bragiel and William Hsu.
Before going on, I want to congratulate the three groups that will be receiving funds from the government (these include my current partners at Socialatom Ventures – an accelerator we own jointly). All three of these groups have sharp people and the good news is that Colombia and Latin America will have more sorely-needed investors.
So, I’m always telling my son that it’s not a question of falling down, but whether and how you get up. Am I going to be a hypocrite (and ball my eyes out) or suck it up and keep going? It’s so much easier to give advice than to be coherent with that advice when things happen to you.
Obviously, this is really tough for me, not only because I really thought we were offering something very unique to the country, but because of the trust that my Silicon Valley partners have shown me. As a result, I’m already taking a step back analyzing my next steps to review Plan B and Plan C of how Tayrona Ventures will come into being.
Something extremely helpful is that today we have another batch of ten startups that will go through the Socialatom acceleration program and I’m psyched about kicking things off this afternoon and starting to work with each of these entrepreneurs. This will help, also, in keeping my mind off of this decision by the government. Also, I continue to work as an advisor to the amazing entrepreneurs at Tappsi (by the way, if you’re reading this in Cartagena, download Tappsi), Mapache Studios and Magnolia and this energizes me tremendously.
It’s funny that I’m blogging about a situation which is still painful to me, but at the very least my kids can, someday, go back and read that Dad actually follows through (sometimes) with the advice he doled out. But man does it hurt!