Startups and Creative Destruction

Change is a healthy sign for a growing economy. The number of companies that rise and fall in the global economy over time is striking.  Key benchmarks like the Fortune 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average have a healthy turnover of members. For example, only 60, or 12%, of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955 where still on the list in 2017. Continue reading “Startups and Creative Destruction”

9 disruptive startups in Peru

As the Peru startup community grows, so does the number of startups with truly disruptive solutions.

These startups have some combination of the following characteristics:  (i) tech savvy co-founders, (ii) regional or global market from day one, (iii) data-driven decision-making, and (iv) new or tweaked business models.

Here are is a list of 9 startups in alphabetical order:

  • AmigoCloud – Collaborative mapping platform with a cloud-based dashboard
  • Anda – Watch with a has messaging system and symbol language to allow parents to connect with their children
  • Apurata – Loans to the un-banked in under 30 minutes
  • Arrivedo – User-centric guide that helps travelers to find and enjoy experiences around their hotels
  • Ecovol – Device that lowers gasoline consumption by up to 20%
  • Quantum Talent – Software with AI to automate recruiting and selection
  • Simcase – In-class simulations that allow students to have engaging learning experiences on-campus
  • Space AG – Imaging and software solutions that help optimize crop production
  • Valia – Data-driven real estate platform to provide information to owners, buyers and renters.

This list is not complete, and does not include many edtech and fintech startups which are all providing solutions that will bring transformational impact to those industries. I expect this list will grow over time as more founders in Peru push the envelope and seek to disrupt the status quo.

The best of the best – Seedstars comes to Peru

This week marked the Seedstars LATAM Summit (#SSWLATAM) in Lima, Peru. It was a punctuation mark to a year full of startup community events in Lima that included Foro Xcala, 2 fintech conferences, PVCC and WeXchange. By my count, that is 6 regional events  for the calendar year. Add to this the multiple other local events, and we have had a great year in the Peru startup community. Continue reading “The best of the best – Seedstars comes to Peru”

Why play catch-up when we can integrate?

We often talk about Peru startup ecosystem in terms of how far behind we are to neighboring startup ecosystems and what we need to do to catch-up.  In the meantime, founders are pushing the envelope by expanding to new cities across the region. They are demonstrating that the way to accelerate our growth as an ecosystem is not to catch-up, but to integrate.

Here are some examples of how this is happening in practice:

A siloed approach (i.e.  focused only internally) to startup community development will be limiting in a small market like Peru with challenges of talent and capital. We can help founders by working to get foreign investment (capital) into startups in Peru and make Lima a destination for founders (talent) in the region.

Let’s stop playing catch-up. Let’s connect and integrate into an increasingly dynamic and interconnected startup community in Latin America.

Founders helping founders

This week during CADE Ejecutivo, a conference for business leaders in Peru, Endeavor Peru is playing an important role by showcasing some great startup founders. Endeavor is hosting various activities, including startup pitches, in one of the conference areas.

This year marks the 5th anniversary of Endeavor Peru. From the beginning, Endeavor recognized that founders are key “nodes” of a healthy startup community. As the startup community in Peru matures we are seeing more and more founders working with other founders as advisors and mentors. This is a natural evolution of the startup ecosystem and a great sign. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have been at the center. Here are a few examples:

These are four entrepreneurs who, while fully immersed in their current companies, still find time to circle back and get involved with other founders. It is part of their founder DNA.

It is no surprise that all four founders are Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Endeavor Peru, a pioneer of the startup ecosystem in Peru, continues to leave a mark by reinforcing the benefits of having founders give back. This creates a mutually beneficial virtuous cycle that will sustain and push our startup community.

4 pilares del emprendimiento social

Todos los emprendimientos tienen impacto social. Todos de alguna manera u otra tienen un efecto en las personas, sea positivo o negativo. Sin embargo, hay un grupo que se enfoca intencionalmente en poblaciones vulnerables o excluidas con el único propósito de aliviar y, por qué no, solucionar la situación en la que se encuentran. A estos los llamamos emprendimientos sociales. Vayamos al detalle.

Continue reading “4 pilares del emprendimiento social”

Blended approach is enriching our startup community

One of my favorite things to do is to sit down with a startup founder or investor to chat. Face-to-face meetings strengthen the connections that are the cornerstone of our ecosystem. There is no substitute. Recently, however, I was struck by how much we can accelerate our connections to the local and regional startup community by integrating technology into our day-to-day communication by creating a blended approach. Blended learning, but for startup communities.

Here are examples of a blended approach:

  1. At the Endeavor Peru Matchmaking event, the team from Carao Ventures participated by videoconference from Costa Rica to talk with 8 founders in Lima.
  2. For the WeXchange pitch competition, over 400 founders connected with 50 judges by video before choosing the 6 finalists who came to Lima for the final, in-person pitch.
  3. At a recent Angel Ventures monthly committee in Lima 5 investors and 1 founder participated in-person, while 1 investor (located on the other side of Lima) and 1 founding team (located in Colombia) connected over video.

If Endeavor, WeXchange and Angel Ventures had relied solely on in-person interaction, none of these connections would have happened.  Instead they opted to create a blended, semi-presencial, experience.

The lesson for me is: don’t prioritize in-person meetings so much that it holds you back from making a connection. 

Here are some ideas for founders and investors:

  1. Don’t delay Board meetings because people can’t make it in-person, instead set up a video dial-in so everyone can connect
  2. Don’t travel across Lima to meet with a mentor to review a few new slides from your pitch, instead connect by video for 15 minutes to share slides.
  3. Don’t wait for you next trip to Mexico to set up a meeting with an investor (or startup) there, instead ask them for a short call now

Use technology to have the most engaging connection possible: Set up a group call on Zoom, Share slides through Hangouts, Send screenshots or audio notes through WhatsApp.

You may even find that these ideas and tools enrich the personal connections you are looking for. I often find it’s much easier to connect with people in-person if I already have a rhythm of connecting with them by phone or video.