All posts tagged startup

  • 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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  • TropicalGringo Portfolio continues to ROCK as 2017 rolls in

    TropicalGringo Portfolio 2016I can’t believe we’ve reached the end of the year already. It’s either that I’ve had too much fun this year or that I’m getting older; I’ll choose to kid myself and think that it’s the former.  My work within BBVA’s New Digital Business unit has been incredibly rewarding this year.  Besides working on an important deal with some incredible startup founders, I’ve met startups in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

    Fortunately, during some moments of downtime (e.g., at night, etc.), I reap tremendous satisfaction from being an Advisor and shareholder of four awesome startups that each have exciting news (e.g., one closed a Series A round of funding and all are growing internationally with one of these launching in UC Berkeley): 1Doc3, Vendty, Acsendo and Kiwi Campus (I maintain close contact with a fifth one, Tappsi, that already had an exit). As readers of this blog know, I presumptuously call this group of startups the TropicalGringo Portfolio.

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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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  • Mexico’s Conekta from Founder and Investor point of view

    Tropicalgringo conekta jaguarA few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to chat in Mexico City with both the co-founder and the investor of one of Mexico’s key startups, Conekta.  Conekta is a payments platform that has previously secured funding from local VCs as well as some international angel investors such as Dave McClure. I spoke with the company’s co-founder and CEO, Hector Cardenas, as well as one of it’s investors, Eric Perez-Grovas, General Partner of Jaguar Ventures.

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