My View from Beyond the Wall:
By: Rob Ryan
Putting the spotlight where it belongs; on the Founders!
At Growthhax we have a passionate interest in every young, old, female, male, experienced or first time founder in every corner of Latin America. We strongly believe that the entrepreneurship economies of Latin America are driven by their founders not products. Not technology. Not “startups”. Not Venture capital. Not the various myriad entrepreneurship programs, incubators, accelerators and so on. Founders are the VIP’s of this new economy. Without the human beings taking the risks of their own ideas and initiatives, there is no “startup industry” or “ecosystem” that the rest of us work in.
If you’ve followed me these last 3 years you know I despise the misappropriated, over-hyped, “startup ecosystem” phrase, for a number of reasons. Two primary reasons being:
1. Rarely do I see healthy, fully cooperative “ecosystems” in LatAm. I see programmatic or institutional self interest and promotional hyperbole. It’s an “industry” created by the industry itself, made up of mostly non entrepreneurs working in pretty comfortable jobs teaching entrepreneurs or curious students how to be entrepreneurs. The jury is still out on whether or not this produces great founders, time will tell.
2. Most importantly though it emphasizes the “startup” as a thing not as the initial launch phase of a business built by people as if “startup” is THE OUTCOME. That bothers me because building businesses is one of life’s incredibly challenging and rewarding human endeavors. Initiated by the founders, the creators, the idea-tors and doers, and then built by the loyal and ambitious people who join their teams. Products come later, capital (if raised) comes later, market disruption (if possible) occasionally comes later; but at the center of the journey is the FOUNDER, the human being, with all the burdens, responsibility, stress and dreams that the rest of we humans juggle every day on top of their company building.
At Growthhax we are founder Advocates and mentors! So we’re going to use some space to spotlight them here. Because If we all develop great founders, as human beings, they will in turn develop better businesses. This then creates ample new investment opportunities, abundant new employment and the sort of growing healthy economic ecosystem every government aspires to see so please, enjoy our first Founder Spotlight featured founders.
ATTENTION TIJUANA: Our second Mentor Mashup will be next Tuesday, May 14 at 5:30 pm in downtown at Emilia Building, 8119 Magón Flowers,Tijuana, BCN 22000.
Make sure to sign up fast there are only 20 slots available for startups/projects. Click the banner below to sign up.
Founder Spotlight: Erika Gil
What’s your company about? Winko makes high protein snacks made out of Mexican grasshoppers. We use these ingredients because they are very efficient in producing protein, so they need less resources and emit less carbon emissions than other animals we are used to eating.
- How did you get started as an entrepreneur? I think that the influence of my entrepreneurial family had something to do with it. Beside that, since I was little I imagined all the things I would invent when I grew up. I tried to follow the corporate path but realized that wasn’t for me, so I transitioned into starting a business.
- What has been the hardest thing starting your business? The hardest thing has been believing in myself. I’m a perfectionist and perfection is difficult to achieve with a startup. I’ve had to learn to trust in myself and know that I’ve got the right tools for pushing this business forward.
- What’s next for your company? We are working on finding the right product market fit in the US so that soon we can take our products there.
- What’s your biggest dream in life? One of my biggest dreams was to work in an organization such as Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, because of the great impact they promote by funding amazing ventures and projects. Nevertheless, now that I have a company I would love to create a huge positive impact in many ways in this world.
Founder Spotlight: Adrián Humberto López Gómez
- What’s your company about? Aliquam is a company focused on allowing doctors to have more time for themselves and just focus on being doctors. We specialize in eliminating the complicated process of recovering doctors fees from insurance companies, we do this with technology and ease of use.
- How did you get started as an entrepreneur? While doing my masters I took a class in entrepreneurship. From there I found the basic tools to go from an Idea to a business model, but the spirit has been there since a early childhood.
- What has been the hardest thing starting your business? Taking the first step, becoming your very own first salesmen, leaving the comfort zone of a steady paycheck and acquiring new responsibilities as an owner.
- What’s next for your company? Implement more technology like machine learning and AI, so we can understand more human language that will help us to standardize the medical coding.
- What’s your biggest dream in life? Working from home in San Diego, next to a golf course and not far away from the beach.
By Gustavo Miranda
THERE ARE ONLY TWO TYPES OF COMPANIES: THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN HACKED AND THOSE THAT WILL BE HACKED.- ROBERT S. MUELLER – FBI DIRECTOR
Privacy, data protection and digital economy What does it mean? An obligation? Human right? A business management model? Although these three concepts have been heard in different forums, exposed by various sectors, and criticized and applauded, why have these trends been a trend in recent years?