“we will begin to see some interesting exits, not just to strategics but also to larger funds”
Camilo Kejner (@ckejner), Managing Partner at Angel Ventures
What do you do currently?
I’m Managing Partner at Angel Ventures. We manage an early stage fund focused on Latin America (strong emphasis on Mexico), and have made 20 investments thus far. Within the company, I run day-to-day operations and the follow-up process on our portfolio companies. Of course, I am also deeply involved in all our fund raising efforts.
How and when did you get involved with the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem?
About three years ago, when we moved from Miami to Mexico City and I partnered with Hernan (Fernandez, my co-Managing Partner) to raise AV’s first fund.
How would you describe the ecosystem in Mexico?
Active, vibrant, informed, well-prepared, exciting, are some adjectives that come to mind. I would add that we still need to get much better at democratizing access to funding by better communicating how to go about accessing those funds and would love to see more disruptive projects in the pipeline.
What do you expect in the next 12 months?
There has been a lot of co-investment from international players in the past 18 months and I would imagine that we will begin to see some interesting exits, not just to strategics but also to larger funds. I think (but hope I’m mistaken) we’ll also see some of the first significant write-offs from local early stage and growth funds, and they will receive more PR than the exits, just because of the fact that we’ve yet to learn to acknowledge failure as a learning experience.
What are the main challenges?
Proving with facts (namely successful projects and meaningful exits) that we are well on our way to becoming an established ecosystem. Also, think globally but continue to be mindful of our local investors and not become sidetracked thinking solely outside of Mexico.
What change or result would bring the greatest benefits for the ecosystem?
Certain, much needed changes in regulation would be “great to have’s” but nothing would do more good, in my opinion, than a bunch of meaningful exits.
Describe your typical day
A typical day when not traveling includes getting to the office early am, working out and then having coffee and read the papers online as people begin to arrive for work. Then, it will usually be a mix of meetings with my team and our portfolio companies about business review, budget or other operational matters. Over lunch or in the afternoon, meetings with current or potential investors and entrepreneurs pitching new projects. I try to get to see my kids before they go to bed as often as I can, so I avoid events and dinners whenever possible.
Who is your favorite entrepreneur?
A recent book do you recommend [fiction or non-fiction]?
Endgame by Frank Brady. It is a Bobby Fischer bio. Special mention The Secret Race, by Tyler Hamilton. It’s about the Tour de France and all the things about professional cycling that we don’t get to see.
Room. Runner-up honors for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had low expectations but think it is up there with the best of the series.
Smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop?
Smartphone, tablet and laptop. I always toy with the idea of building a 32GB RAM desktop for gaming, maybe one day soon I’ll get to it.
iOS or Android?
iOS, for the simplicity.
Favorite social network?
Does WhatsApp qualify as a social network?
Anywhere my kids are and I get to spend uninterrupted time with them for several days at a time.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
On a personal level, complete Ironman Mont Tremblant in August 2016, which I am doing to raise awareness (and money!) for autism research (you can donate here, anything helps: http://events.autismspeaks.org/2016monttremblant/camilo). Professionally, to successfully raise our second fund and implement it. We took a long time designing its thesis and believe it represents a novel set of ideas.
One word that describes you?