Last night, we had a great dinner with some of the startups from the TropicalGringo Portfolio (others were traveling). In the photo above, from left to right are Juan Salcedo (co-founder of Tappsi and TPaga), Arnulfo Ospina and Roxana Vergara (co-founders of Vendty), Javier Cardona and Nicolas Duran (co-founders of 1Doc3) and Andres Gutierrez (co-founder of Tappsi and TPaga). Missing were Felipe Chavez and Sergio Pachon (co-founders of Kiwi Campus) and Carlos Santana (founder of Acsendo). Needless to say, it was a night to remember!
All the companies that I advise have had excellent years and all are at different stages of development. Though, I’m no longer a formal advisor of Tappsi after selling my shares. I enjoy keeping in close contact with Juan and Andres and pestering them with my opinions. All in all, I felt it was a great time for a mini-celebration and for them to get to know each other much more closely.
Almost all of the startups that I advise are also part of government program promoting the best startups in the country, but I wanted a space where they could “let their hair down,” joke around and give heartfelt opinions within a close-knit group of colleagues. Fortunately, it turned out exactly like that and better.
The vibe in the room was tremendous. Though some of these founders have passed through stages of development that others are, just now, going through, the environment was such that everyone felt comfortable asking questions, sharing experiences and joking around. I’m extremely proud of the founders with which I work and admire them tremendously.
I’m extremely proud of the founders with which I work and admire them tremendously. The interactions with them are always fulfilling for me and I relish these moments. Each one of these founders (as well as those who couldn’t be present) has gone through a lot of sweat and tears and I know it helps to have a close-knit group of colleagues with which to share experiences and jokes.
This dinner went off so well that I may have to make it a “TropicalGringo tradition.” There’s something to be said for smaller, well-selected groups of colleagues getting together to swap war stories. The vibe is much more different and one of trustworthiness and great mutual respect. Obviously, this complements other groups with which they can share, but I have special pride in this particular one since I’m so thrilled about each of the companies that I advise.
On a side note, this week was also the last week that I’ll be working at BBVA, a company of which I’ve ground incredibly fond. The experience working within the Latin America Innovation and New Digital Business groups was enriching and rewarding. Leaving BBVA was an incredibly tough decision to make. Nonetheless, a new opportunity arose with another company and, in the end, it is an opportunity that excites me and filled with challenges I’ve decided to undertake. More on that in my next post.