All posts tagged founder institute

  • Digital Transformation Up Close and Personal

    Openpay-officeA year ago, I joined the New Digital Business group within BBVA, a large global bank actively transforming its business. Several weeks ago, we publicly announced the acquisition of digital payments startup Openpay, the culmination of a project that myself and a great boss within said business unit worked on during the last year. I’m looking forward to the huge impact that Openpay (see filtered photo of HQ above) and its impressive founders, Roberto Bargagli, Eric Núñez and Heber Lazcano will have on BBVA’s digital business.

    I’m actually writing this post from Queretaro, where this company is headquartered and I have the good fortune to work with them as part of BBVA. Finding and acquiring a high-quality startup such as Openpay speaks to the opportunities (particularly, in terms of acquisitions – only one tool) available for digital transformation in Latin America. I’d like to use this post to share some general opinions about digital innovation and the ensuing business transformations that corporations are going through as well as some insights about the Latin American startup scene.

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  • A Thank You message to two awesome Paisas

    TropicalGringo Thank YouAn article was recently published by Philip Beere, a Business Development and Sustainability expert from the US, about his takeaways and critique of the innovation environment in Medellin (after his spending some time in that city).  Philip interviewed me  for the article, but because of the focus of his piece, something very important to me (thanking two instrumental people from Medellin, “Paisas”) was not within the scope of Philip’s topic so I’d like to take a moment and send Luis Florez and Juan Pablo Ortega a personal and public thank you message.

    In a prior life, I spent five years working on initiatives to support new founders by connecting them with local and international entrepreneurs and by offering my advice from my years working at Silicon Valley startups and as a Venture Capitalist.  I feel incredibly satisfied with what I, and especially a great network of mentors, were able to accomplish. Nonetheless, after going deeply into debt and arriving at a grouchy old age where I became sick of a lot of silliness (I’m being diplomatic with that word) that takes place within the public “ecosystem” in Colombia, I decided to go back to the corporate world (my family is thanking me for that) as well as focusing on those early stage startups that I truly believe in as an advisor and shareholder.

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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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  • Evento de Founder Institute anoche con Juan Martinez

    • TropicalGringo-Founder-Institute
    • Founder-Institute-Colombia
    • Ciudad-de-Mascotas-FI
    • Juan-Martinez-Founder-Institute
    • Ciudad-de-Mascotas-Founder-Institute
    • Founder-Institute-Bogota
    • Founder-Institute-Recruiting-Bogota
    • Founder-Institute-TropicalGringo
    • Founder-Institute-Pitch-Bogota
    • Juan Carlos Martinez Founder Institute Colombia

    Ante noche tuvimos una gran evento de Founder Institute con enseñanzas y experiencias de Juan Carlos Martinez, CEO de Ciudad de Mascotas.  Tuvimos una audiencia de mas de 25 emprendedores y emprendedoras interesados en aprender mas sobre startups y el programa del Founder Institute Colombia.  Gracias a Wayra Colombia por patrocinar el evento y al gran apoyo de Edgar Castañeda y Camilo Lucero, co-fundadores de Lorapp!

    Durante el evento, Juan Carlos compartió sus experiencias creando y creciendo su startup, Ciudad de Mascotas, y ofreció varios consejos sobre como escoger a un co-fundador, el proceso de conseguir inversion (Ciudad de Mascotas recientemente cerro una ronda de inversion notable).  Juan Carlos y los demás mentores de Founder Institute son la razón por la cual el programa ha sido tan exitoso no solo en Colombia sino por todo el mundo.

    Varias emprendedoras y emprendedores se lanzaron hacer su pitch y tengo que decir que he visto un gran progreso en ideas y presentación durante estos últimos cinco años.  Estuvieron muy abiertos a feedback y sugerencias para mejoras todo lo cual es de admirar.  Realmente puedo ver que el ecosistema a evolucionado y esto es muy alentador.  Les dimos, adicionalmente, unos ejemplos de las preguntas que encontraran en el examen de admisión que mide su ADN de founder y aptitude para crear un startup de alto impacto.

    Tuve oportunidad para hablar sobre estos éxitos y sobre la estructura del programa de 4 semanas con presencia una noche a la semana y trabajo fuera de las sesiones en construir y lanzar un startup.   Founder Institute no garantiza el éxito pero si evita cometer muchos errores básicos que pueden ser bastante costosos para un emprendedor o emprendedora.  Para los interesados, la aplicación para el Founder Institute no tiene costo y se puede aplicar haciendo click acá: