All posts tagged magnolia

  • 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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  • TropicalGringo Portfolio Update 2015

    TropicalGringo Portfolio 2015

    Well it’s the end of the year and it probably makes sense to talk about the last year.  So as not to be so broad, I decided to focus on the companies that I advise.  I am an advisor to and shareholder in five startups.  I, presumptuously, call this group of companies, my “portfolio.”  Obviously, I’m bullish on each and every one of them.  Fortunately, all five have plenty of runway (funds) left for the foreseeable future and I expect them to continue increasing in value.

    One of the startups (Magnolia) is based out of Peru (although it is regional) and the others are headquartered in Colombia.  Some of these companies are much more well-known and several have already gone on to close a seed round.  When I began working with them, they either only consisted of the founders (Tappsi and Kiwi) or only had a few people working for them (1Doc3, Acsendo and Magnolia).  Identifying talent (especially in startup founders) early on is a very difficult thing to do and, in Latin America, it’s even tougher.

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  • On thinking bigger and executing “smaller”

    TropicalGringo Puntaje Nacional

    Yesterday was a fun-filled day of meeting with the startups that are starting the 14 month program at the accelerator where I’m Program Director.  This cohort of companies seems to be filled with founders who are passionate about what they are doing and interested in giving it their all.  This makes all the difference, in my mind, not only in terms of their chances for building great businesses, but in terms of the joy and interest in help guide them in any way I can.  I noticed, along the way, that I was offering my feedback on their long term vision while pushing for short term results (more on that later).

    Also, I was delighted to meet the founders of a very interesting educational startup from Chile called Puntaje Nacional (see photo).  These founders have a startup which seems to be killing it in Chile and is now looking to expand to Colombia. One of the metrics I remember is that of 450k users.  Also, any of the startups I usually speak with in Latin America would be happy to have their revenues (won’t divulge number ’cause I didn’t ask permission) and the growth opportunities they have in front of them.

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  • FAIL: I just fell flat on my face

    TropicalGringo Fail

    Well, I just got a gut-wrenching notification that the Colombian government decided against a proposal that I presented, along with some local partners, to help create Tayrona Ventures and I’m still reeling from the this.  My local partners in the proposal were creating an early-stage Colombia fund to address opportunities in several industries (e.g., construction services, etc.) while leaving us (Tayrona Ventures) as a sidecar fund with a lot of freedom to pursue early stage deals with digital startups.  I thought (wrongly, as it turns out) that this would satisfy the government’s needs to support a number of sectors while also creating an amazing early stage technology fund with likes of Silicon Valley insiders Paul Bragiel and William Hsu.

    Before going on, I want to congratulate the three groups that will be receiving funds from the government (these include my current partners at Socialatom Ventures – an accelerator we own jointly).  All three of these groups have sharp people and the good news is that Colombia and Latin America will have more sorely-needed investors.

    So, I’m always telling my son that it’s not a question of falling down, but whether and how you get up.  Am I going to be a hypocrite (and ball my eyes out) or suck it up and keep going? It’s so much easier to give advice than to be coherent with that advice when things happen to you.  :)

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