All posts tagged bogota

  • Reflections on running an innovation workshop for bankers.

    TropicalGringo Hacking Finance NextBank
    This week, I was invited by some top-notch colleagues (Andres Fontao and Fermin Bueno with a great recommendation from Dan Gertsacov) to work with executives from the top banks in Colombia by running a digital innovation workshop we called “Hacking Finance @ Next Bank Bogotá”.  I must say that I enjoyed myself immensely and was pleasantly surprised by the engagement I saw from the bankers.  Andres and Fermin worked with me on designing the workshop with group activities and interaction with real-world unbanked consumers.

    It is evident even here in Colombia, where the banking industry makes some pretty nice profits, that global disruption is of deep concern to the banking industry.  In fact, this year, I’ve been working with a few corporate clients and have noticed a heightened interest in innovation and the whole startup phenomenon. Though this has made for some stimulating work, by far, the most satisfying experience of this year has been working with the companies that I advise and, in particular, working full-time with one of these (I need to write a post on this).

    Read more

  • Out to transform business in Colombia

    Lean Startup Enterprise Colombia

    I’ve found that it pays to have lofty goals.  When I first arrived to Colombia, I worked at a well-known technology multinational corporation and told my team that I wanted to build a world-class services organization.  One way to measure ourselves was by the satisfaction of our user base.  Four years later, we were named the top country by that metric in the whole world.  Now, I’m at it again, seeing how ridiculously ambitious I can get with a new Lean Startup Enterprise initiative.

    In a sense, I’m expanding the scope of what I do with the Founder Institute, which I’ve been running for four years in Colombia.  While that incubator (I’m careful not to say accelerator as one commenter is sensitive to the use of this term :)) is focused on startups, the Lean Startup Enterprise initiative expands this scope and invites corporate employees to join the party.

    Read more

  • Great Founder Institute Bogota Pitch Event

    Founder Institute BogotaWe had a great Founder Institute Bogota pitch event last night.  In attendance were Founder Institute mentors, Francisco Garcia, co-founder of Data Traffic, Juan Salcedo, co-founder of Tappsi and special guest Paige Brown, CEO and co-founder of DashBell.  Each one of these founders generously shared their experience growing their specific startup and talking about the genesis of each.

    Paige spoke about here time at TechStars in Boston and the road since then after multiple angel financings.  Francisco spoke about the thesis that was the original plan for Data Traffic and the creation and growth of the company since then.  Finally, Juan spoke about how Tappsi started from a problem that he and his cofounder (Andres Gutierrez) encountered in trying to hail a cab.  Later, Juan gave a more detailed presentation detailing the creation and growth of the company.

    Afterwards, a number of the founders present, gave their pitches and heard feedback from myself and the audience.  It was an incredibly interactive session with great interest and energy in the room. During the event, I announced the extension of the enrollment deadline for two more weeks in Bogota, Colombia. We already have a great group of founders with excellent aptitude enrolled in the program.

    For those still interested in enrolling, simply fill out the few fields in the following application link:


  • Bridge from Colombia to Silicon Valley open for 4 years

    Adeo Ressi BogotaIt’s been a couple of weeks since Adeo was in town (Bogotá, Colombia). For me, it was great to have him back in Colombia and for others who had not met him before, it was quite an experience.  Adeo has created a number of companies (most recently, The Funded and the Founder Institute) and brings with him quite a bit of Silicon Valley, which, I believe, is good for founders in Latin America to experience.

    As I have written previously, the Founder Institute has been an excellent vehicle to coalesce the amazingly talented entrepreneurs in Colombia who have already had successes (and failures) as mentors and complement these with international mentors as well as local entrepreneurs.  In a country where much government money is being expended to create new accelerators, I’m proud of the fact that, though it had previously received backing from the city of Medellin (e.g., Ruta N), it continues to run in Bogotá and graduate new founders and companies funded principally by a small course fee paid by each participant.

    Read more