Pivots and Persistence

This week I’m sharing an article I recently wrote for Crunchbase. Many startups have found innovative ways to adapt and thrive through the current crisis. There are great examples from across Latin America, including a few startups with presence in Peru: Fitco, Poliglota and Joinnus.

You can find the article here: Pivots And Persistence: How Startups In Latin America Are Finding Ways To Survive The Current Crisis.

I hope you enjoy it and are as impressed as I am by startup founders’ capacity to adapt and persist over the last seven months.

20+ Startups accelerating through 2020

By some measures, this has been a down year for Peru startups seeking to enter acceleration programs. For example, no Peru startups were selected for the latest batches of Y Combinator or 500 Startups Latam.

However, in many ways, founders in Peru or local acceleration programs are moving forward. Only in the last month, over 20 up-and-coming Peru startups were selected to particiate in acceleration programs. Many are relative newcomers to the startup community.

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PVCS Masterclass: Preparando mi primera ronda de capital con inversionistas profesionales

On Wednesday August 19th, Roberte Arbe and I had the opportunity to share with startup founders during the Peru Venture Capital Series. We discussed considerations for raising funds from professional investors.

The session is in Spanish and titled: Preparando mi primera ronda de capital con inversionistas profesionales.

You can watch it on Youtube here.

There are two more days of the Peru Venture Capital Series next week, Wednesday the 26th and Thursday the 27th.

The event is free and you can register here.

Revenue y Gross Margin: no tan sencillo como parece

El revenue y gross margin suelen ser de las primeras métricas financieras de analizar en una startup dado quedan un hint sobre la tracción y escalabilidad que puede llegar a tener un negocio. Parecen sencillas medir ya que son dentro de los conceptos contables más conocidos, sin embargo, debido a que las startups tienen modelos de negocios innovadores que son distintos entre sí, a veces no es muy claro que debe ir en cada uno de ellos.

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Startup strategy framework for Covid-19

Each startup in Latin America is affected by the repercussions of Covid-19 in a unique way. The impact often depends on how the startup entered the crisis and the sector in which they operate.

At the onsite of the crisis, forward-looking startup investors were quick to present action plans and decision matrices that stressed cost-cutting, hiring freezes and doing everything possible to extend runway.  The Sequoia Matrix and the Kaszek Survival Guide have been great resources founders in Latin America.

The precise measures to be taken are a bit more nuanced and there is no one-size fits all aproach.

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KPIs: Entendiendo el PxQ de tu startup

Entender y medir los Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) son claves cuando una startup está empezando a generar tracción. Es crucial para los fundadores y potenciales inversionistas observar y analizar estas métricas mensualmente debido a que ayudan a entender la lógica detrás del revenue y sus drivers. Los KPIs pueden variar de acuerdo al enfoque de la startup, B2B o B2C, y al modelo de negocio como Softwares-as-a-service (SaaS) o Marketplace

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash
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Scenario planning

Startup founders are used to thinking big and building projections of exponential growth based on highly scalable business models. Weekly, monthly, and annual projections are the typical guideposts for determining whether execution is on plan. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused projections to go out the window.

Today, some much remains uncertain that it is impossible to accurately project what will happen. Startups need a new set of guideposts to determine what is happening and make crucial decisions on what need to be done.

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¿Cómo en Talently hackeamos nuestro camino a 500 Startups Latam?

Hola, soy Doménica, co-fundadora y CEO de Talently, un programa que prepara al talento tech latinoamericano para conseguir trabajos top en cualquier parte del mundo, y fuimos la única startup peruana seleccionada para el batch 11 de 500 Startups Latam de un total de 1,700 aplicantes de toda la región. Hoy les quiero contar de qué manera creamos una aplicación que nos permitió hacerlo aún con poca tracción, pero demostrando superioridad en visión, equipo y modelo de negocio.

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AWS steps up support of startups in Peru

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has increased its presence in Peru and, with that its support of local startups. Alex Harasic, who previously founded startup Operatio, is now Business Development Manager, Startups & Venture Capital, for Chile and Peru.

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Startups providing in-home resources

Startups in Peru and across Latin America are quickly responding to people’s needs. As local governments ask, or require, citizens to stay home, demand for in-home services has increased.

Local startups are playing a role in keep all of us calm and focused. Their solutions can be an important resource or valuable distraction.

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Guía para trabajo remoto

Hoy tenemos que hacer todo lo que esté en nuestras manos para reducir el contagio, una de esas cosas es fomentar el trabajo remoto. Hace un poco más de un año y medio que vengo trabajando remoto y la última semana tuvimos que mover el programa educativo que manejo de totalmente presencial a completamente remoto. No me considero un experto pero acá les compartiré mis lecciones. Comenzaré con las sugerencias para que las empresas estén listas y luego hablaré de como individualmente lo puedes manejar mejor. 

Cómo preparar tu empresa para ir remoto:

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Remote Work 101

For the next few weeks many companies with implement remote work. Startups that have launched with remote DNA are prepared. This will be a competitive advantage compared to corporations with structured work days whose employees will take time to adjust. A flexible mindset allows startups to think about hiring talent and selling to customers who don’t live in the same city. 

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Nunca dejes de correr

Con esa frase me despedí de una conversación con un founder.  Habíamos empezado a conversar sobre sus últimos resultados y una nueva estrategia que estaba proponiendo para su negocio, dado que no se habían podido lograr los objetivos de crecimiento.  Analizamos otros casos, tocando varios ejemplos de situaciones similares, pero con resultados diferentes sacando conclusiones de cada uno.

Photo by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash
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7 ways to maximize your fundraising options

Raising money for startups is hard. Harder still if you start in Latin America where there are still only a limited number of funding options. This effects how founders should consider the fundraising process.

Founders can focus on optimizing resources of talent, support, advice, contacts and money, in order to maximize future options. You will eventually reach the milestone you seek, but probably not in the way you thought when you first set out.

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