All posts tagged digital innovation

  • Digital Innovation in Latin America

    TropicalGringo Speaker

    Note: After a great comment from a reader (see below), I’ve re-written (or added some ideas) to this post.  Thanks to one and all who push me to improve the quality of what I communicate in this blog!

    As I’ve written previously, I define digital innovation as the ability to create innovative new business model enabled by new digital tools. When I think of the state of digital innovation in Latin America, the first thing that comes to mind is untapped opportunities.

    The big question is whether some of these untapped opportunities will be taken advantage of by startups, by big  companies or both (e.g., acquisitions, etc.).  The reality is that, with a plethora of new digital tools available, anywhere there are complex problems, there are usually new ways to solve these.  What’s required are talented entrepreneurs passionate about treading untrodden territory.

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  • 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).

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  • What can emerging market investors learn from unicorns?

    Unicorns emerging markets

    Since Aileen Lee’s TechCrunch post last year on so called “unicorns”, startups valued at $1 Billion and above, the term has gained widespread adoption.   From the perspective of a fund manager at any top VC firm, investing in a future unicorn can be key.  However, I’ve been wondering if any of the lessons from Aileen’s post hold any lessons for startups in emerging markets, such as Latin America.

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  • 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.

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