Month: June 2017

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Diego Saez-Gil Bluesmart Podcast

Diego Saez Gil is an Argentine entrepreneur who is the cofounder of Bluesmart, the world’s first smart luggage. After doing a $2.2m presale on Indiegogo, Diego and his team have raised multiple rounds of venture capital from investors in Latin America, China and the US.

Outline of This Episode

  • [2:25] The life of a founder whose offices are all over the world and how he took his path.
  • [8:00] The culture shock of leaving his home and traveling to business centers around the world.
  • [11:54] Diego’s 2011 start of a new business – WeHostels.
  • [16:43] The advice Diego gives to startup founders about building a team.
  • [20:25] Growing a startup app company in a very competitive market – and the process of selling the company.
  • [23:34] Two years later: Crowdfunding a new product successfully – $2.2M raised.
  • [26:28] How the team made the crowdfunding attempt successful.
  • [30:44] Diego’s response to those who say there’s not much talent in Latin America.
  • [35:24] How to keep an international team of 39 working together smoothly.
  • [38:07] Why Diego went to Ycombinator even after a successful crowdfunding launch.
  • [47:04] The features and details of Bluesmart luggage.
  • [49:14] Tips for those interested in building a hardware company, including tips for doing business in China.
  • [51:29] Surprising things about Latin America and China.
  • [55:53] What Diego says to U.S. Investors about doing business with Latin American companies.
  • [1:00:32] Changes in the Argentinian government in relation to entrepreneurship.
  • [1:01:50] Diego’s advice to himself at the beginning of his startup journey.
  • [1:05:00] Learning to take expert advice but staying focused on innovation.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect With Nathan

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Nathan Klarer, Wearables that Prevent Mining Accidents

Nathan Klarer is a US entrepreneur who founded Bridgecrest Medical, a wearable startup that helps prevent mining accidents. Many of his clients were in Latin America and his company was later acquired. This is his story.

I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Nathan Klarer. If you do, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher, leave a rating and tell your friends!

If you have questions, think there’s something I should improve or have recommendations for guests you’d like me to interview, please let me know in the comments!

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Nora Leary: Starting Up in Argentina and Colombia

Nora Leary is a US born entrepreneur who is the cofounder of Launchway Media a PR firm with offices in Argentina and Colombia. This is her story.

I’ve had a great time talking with Nora and I hope you enjoy her story as much as I do. If you do, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher, leave a rating and tell your friends!

If you have questions, think there’s something I should improve or have recommendations for guests you’d like me to interview, please let me know in the comments!

Jose Caya Cayasso: Building Slidebean From Costa Rica and New York City

Caya Cayasso is a Costa Rican entrepreneur who leads Slidebean, a company that allows you to create presentations that design themselves. They’re a Magma portfolio company and Caya has a great story.

I had a great time talking with Caya and I hope you enjoy his stories as much as I do. If you do, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher, leave a rating and tell your friends! Check out past episodes with David Lloyd, Adrian Fisher, Devin Baptiste, Nicolas Shea, David Basulto and David Assael.

If you have questions, think there’s something I should improve or have recommendations for guests you’d like me to interview, please let me know in the comments!

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Pros and Cons of Doing Business in Argentina

This is an excerpt from a blog post called The Opportunities and Challenges of Doing Business in Argentina that I wrote on my personal blog. You can read the entire article there.

I’ve written extensively about doing business in Chile, and since Argentina, the country next door, has been making a lot of noise, I decided to write up an overview of opportunities in Argentina. Argentina has the third largest economy in Latin America (after Brazil and Mexico), and the 2nd highest GDP per capita in the region in PPP terms (after Chile).

You may have heard the saying, “As rich as an Argentine,” a phrase that was coined to describe Argentina’s wealth and prosperity in the 1800s-1929. Argentina had the 4th highest GDP per capita and was one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Between 1890 and 1930, the capital city of Buenos Aires transformed from a colonial town to the sprawling, mammoth of a city it still is today.

Unfortunately, the Great Depression followed all of that prosperity and then decades of political turmoil. Over the next few decades, Argentina borrowed from foreign banks and ran hefty budget deficits. In the 1970s, Argentina’s credit rating dropped so low that leaders resorted to printing more currency, leading to the Argentinian Peso’s steady decline.

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PropertySimple Raises US Venture Capital

I’m excited to finally be able to announce that our portfolio company PropertySimple closed a $3M round in the United States to help them continue to grow. I’ve been working closely with Adrian Fisher, PropertySimple’s founder and CEO, and team over the past year, helping them navigate their US market launch.

PropertySimple gives real estate agents the tools they need to compete in a social media powered world by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. Their software as a service product drives leads and follows up on them for real estate agents and starts at $2500/month.

Read more about PropertySimple on my personal blog.

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