All posts tagged digital innovation

  • My favorite Colombian startups!

    1DOC3 Facebook F8

    I’ve titled this post “my favorite Colombian startups” though, I must say, this is not an objective moniker since I am also an advisor to these companies and their CEO’s.  That said, they are my favorite Colombian startups and it’s an honor to be a small part of their future success.  As  you’ll read below, I’m incredibly excited about their current successes (see photo of Mark Zuckerberg talking about 1Doc3 during F8 2016) and those to come.

    There is something that I find so impressive about founders in general and, particularly, those that I advise.  It’s the fact that they’ve been able to build growing businesses (something I haven’t been able to do myself), but are also open to listening to advice.  This opens them up to new points of view and, in my opinion, increases their chances of building an even bigger company.  My advisory sessions can be racked up to an occasional evening phone call, which takes very little time each month, this activity is incredibly rewarding for me.

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  • 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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