Top pitch deck slides from UV’s G6 Demo Day

The UTEC Ventures Demo Day last week showcased polished pitches from five startups. Founders of Check, Manzana Verde, MonkeyFit, Smart Menu, and Qimi presented for three to five minutes and stayed around afterwards to discuss their businesses. Continue reading “Top pitch deck slides from UV’s G6 Demo Day”

Show your colors

The first time I saw Hugo Piñarreta pitch his AgTech startup Agros was at the PAD DemoDay. He was wearing work boots and a collared shirt with the company logo. He didn’t dress like other startup founders, but he did look like he just came from a client meeting in the field, which transmitted a powerful message.

When you pitch, be true to yourself and don’t hold back. Use the time to show off your emotions, product and even your startup logo. It is an effective way to connect with potential investors and pitch competition judges.

Martín Beas Núñez (getlavado) and José Arellano (MonkeyFit) showing off their startup logos

At the UTEC Demo Day, I saw Jose Arellano with a MonkeyFit logo on his shirt and Martin Beas Núñez with the getlavado logo on his hat.

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The Wabu logo on a light post in Lima

Most of the time I see Fernando D’Alessio, he is wearing a Juntoz.com jacket. Walking around Lima I often see the logos of Wabu. One of the founders, Daniel Portugal, has even covered his car with a big Wabu logo.

I’m not suggesting you go that far, but there is no reason not to wear your logo proudly. You may inspire investors or talented team members to join you in your mission. At the very least, it is marketing that will help lower your all-important Customer Acquisition Cost!

5 reporting tools for startup founders

More founders in Peru are using web-based reporting tools to share information with their teams and stakeholders.

Here are a few I have seen:

Why reporting tools are important:

  1. Force founders to focus on only the most important metrics
  2. Improve efficiency by inputting and accessing data on mobile-devices 
  3. Keep teams aligned real-time

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”

Startup founders are older than you think

I attended an investor matchmaking event last week led by Endeavor Peru. Of the 8 startup teams I spoke to, half were led by founders over 35 in age. At a similar event in Santiago, Chile in October, three quarters of the of the founding teams I met with were over 35 in age.  The fact is, startup founders are old, or at least older than you might think.

Recently, Harvard Business Review published a report on the average age of successful startup founders. The report found that the average age is 45.

I am not aware of any similar studies on the Peru ecosystem, but if we take a sampling of the of startups in Peru using the recent PECAP report, many of the founding teams in Peru that have raised seed rounds have had relevant operating or startup experience prior to launching their current startups. These include Endeavor Entrepreneurs like Pedro Neira, Fernando D’Alessio, Gonzalo Begazo, Nicolas Droguett, as well as Courtney McColgan, who participated recently in Y Combinator. For example, Fernando led Linio Peru prior to leaving to start Juntoz.

On the newer end of the startup spectrum, there are up-and-coming founders that bring deep experience to their ventures. Valia, a recently launched startup in Peru, is led by Carlos del Carpio. Quantum Talent, were I am a board member, is led by Carlos Ganoza and Alvaro Collas. These are founders bring great analytic experience to companies that use technology and data to solve problems in traditional sectors.

Why is this important for startup investors:
  1. Founders that bring sector expertise to the table, help to “de-risk” investments (startup investing in Peru is risky enough as it is!) by coming in with commercial contacts and a credible path for go-to-market
  2. Many founders in Peru are experienced at building and leading teams, essential characteristics of high growth startup founders.
  3. Startup founders are your peers.
Why is this important for startup founders:
  1. The opportunity costs of leaving the comforts of a corporate job and building a startup in Peru is falling.  Older founders have been able to raise significant seed capital locally.
  2. Founders considering building a diverse team, should consider age as a proxy for the real issues of management skills and sector expertise that they may lack.
  3. Investors are your peers. You can treat them that way.

The anecdotal examples above do tell a story that older, experienced startup founders exist in Peru. I imagine this will be backed up by data. In the future, we will have better surveys of Peru’s startup ecosystem. I hope the data will encourage more (older) founders to join the startup community.

3 reasons to start talking to international legal advisors

Peru has an up-and-coming startup ecosystem. Not being first-movers in Latin America means we have the chance to accelerate our learning curve by looking outside Peru.  Talking to lawyers that have advised transactions (fundraising and exits) of startups all over the region can be a valuable use of your time even at an early stage. Continue reading “3 reasons to start talking to international legal advisors”

Takeaways from “The Cheat Code” by Brian Wong (PVCC – one month later)

Key thoughts from the book “The Cheat Code” by Brian Wong relevant to the Peruvian entrepreneurship ecosystem.

It’s exactly one month since the Peru Venture Capital Conference where I got to meet and interview Brian Wong, the keynote speaker and author of “The Cheat Code: Going Off Script to Get More, Go Faster, and Shortcut Your Way to Success.” I had a chance to read the book digitally before meeting Brian and just got my hard copy from Amazon delivered to my parents house. I thought it would be good to share some key thoughts from the book relevant to the Peruvian entrepreneurship ecosystem. Continue reading “Takeaways from “The Cheat Code” by Brian Wong (PVCC – one month later)”