“the Mexican ecosystem transformed from a newly born to a toddler”
Pablo Lascurain (@P_LASCURAIN), entrepreneur and Latin America Regional Director of Startup Grind.
What do you do currently?
I am General Director Of Startup Grind Latam, founder and CEO of CREA Muebles (biggest RTA furniture e-commerce in Mexico) and Intrinno (first OI and Innovation Manager for everyone).
How and when did you get involved with the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem?
Since 2009 I started as part of some efforts to build communities of entrepreneurs in USA and Mexico. In 2014 I officially became part of the community that most aligned with my own values, thru helping others and making friends, Startup Grind.
Since then we have hosted some of the most important entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers in Mexico, with the intention of creating real opportunities for startup founders to raise capital, acquire talent and develop meaningful friendships. In that road we had helped 17 companies fundraise, and more than 15 to get corporate clients.
How would you describe the ecosystem in Mexico?
Since the last couple of years the Mexican ecosystem transformed from a newly born to a toddler. At this point the Mexican ecosystem had solve access to capital in early and medium stages; funding is no longer a problem. The community is still a work in progress; investors are not really close to their communities; entrepreneurs don´t have the best opinion of investors. We need to help each other in a much more significant way.
What do you expect in the next 12 months?
In the next 12 months, hopefully, we will start having more experienced angel investors, that can add value to early stage startups. We will see at least a couple of startups get rounds closed with VCs from Sandhill Road.
What are the main challenges?
The big challenge right now is in the venture capital industry. A good number of funds right now are receiving “cheap” money from the Government and other NGO´s, most of the people running them come from a banking or consulting background and they only add value at early stages. The other challenge are the organizations around entrepreneurs (government and universities), most of them want to become the center of the ecosystem; this is a common mistake, since these organizations think that their leadership will move things faster, when actually the faster way to develop an ecosystem is letting the entrepreneurs be the ones leading.
What change or result would bring the greatest benefits for the ecosystem?
VC firms that are ran, operated, or at least have 80% of their staff filled by founders that match the very same kind of people they are looking to invest in.
Big companies supporting the entrepreneurial communities, not trying to make their own.
Creating real investing opportunities for international investors.
Investors having exit strategies from Government and NGO´s funds.
Describe your typical day
Wake up at 7:30, have a good cup of coffee, start working, 11:00 break to exercise, usually at least have five Startup Grind related calls. I fully operate CREA Muebles development, marketing and general strategy. After 2:30 pm lunch break, I focus on the mid term strategies for Startup Grind and CREA and on developing Intrinno.
Who is your favorite entrepreneur?
A recent book do you recommend?
How will you measure your life?
Smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop?
iOS or Android?
Favorite social network?
Anything that involves a new culture, a different way of living.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Achieve one investment in Mexico by one of the large Silicon Valley funds (Sequoia, KPCB, Accel or Greylock). Duplicate the number of investment through the Startup Grind network.
Regarding my startups: increase CREA sales by 2-3x compared to 2015; create the industry of open innovation in Mexico with Intrinno.
One word that describes you?