What do you do currently?
I lead a very professional, committed team in crowdfunder.mx. In crowdfunder.mx, we are passionate about finding and selecting the best startups in Mexico looking to raise the capital required for them to go to the next level, in exchange for equity.
How and when did you get involved with the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem?
I first got involved with the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem in 2009, as an entrepreneur, when I co-founded Siempre Verde, a multi-awarded sustainable reforestation company with an extremely seasonal business model.
How would you describe the ecosystem in Mexico?
The ecosystem in Mexico has definitively matured since 2009; the INADEM (National Entrepreneurship Institute) has helped in this regard. Nevertheless, it is extremely difficult for entrepreneurs to raise funds in the early stages. The ecosystem has a lack of angel investors willing to seize the investment opportunities, a risk adverse society and not many exits which result in an environment with many capital-starving Startups struggling to survive.
What do you expect in the next 12 months?
There’s been a lot of speculation on whether the Fintech bill [from the Mexican government] will be heard, let alone be approved by Congress, so the next 12 months promise to be packed –both- with great challenges and opportunities for the Fintech industry.
In addition, there is an ever-growing demand, from entrepreneurs and investors alike, for crowdfunder.mx to continue to scale within Mexico and expand its operations to South America.
We’re very committed to help develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem and to do so we are hosting seminars where we provide assistants with a toolbox to develop their skills as investors. With these courses the investors are better equipped to analyze investment opportunities and build a diversified portfolio.
What are the main challenges?
The crowdfunding industry in Mexico is still at an early stage, however as more and more sophisticated investors and entrepreneurs start to populate the ecosystem we are bound to see some exits and we will all (investors, entrepreneurs and platforms), benefit from the trust generated through the market validation.
Specific industry regulation will also help build trust and provide the frame work for a broader investor base and larger investment amounts. Current legislation puts a cap on the number of investors per investment round (at 99 investors), which makes it difficult to crowdfund over the amount of USD$200,000.
What change or result would bring the greatest benefits for the ecosystem?
- Educational programs for investors in which they develop skill to better analyze investment opportunities and build a diversified portfolio.
- Company exits or Series B and Series C investment rounds.
- Specific industry regulation.
Describe your typical day
I start with a 25 km morning cycling, in the office by 8:30 am. I have 10-minute meetings with my team in order to determine if I can assist them in any of their activities. After that, most of my energy is focused on developing and strengthening relationships with investors, entrepreneurs, established players and newcomers in the ecosystem. I also attend or participate in the organization crowdfunding events.
Who is your favorite entrepreneur?
Hamdi Ulukaya, who is the owner, founder, Chairman, and CEO of Chobani. He migrated from Turkey to the U.S.A. to learn English, and in 2002 started a cheese factory. In 2005, with no prior experience in the yogurt business, he has created a yogurt empire, Chobani and became a billionaire. On April 26, 2016, Hamdi announced to his employees that he would be giving them 10% of the shares in Chobani.
A recent book do you recommend?
Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar.
Smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop?
iOS or Android?
Favorite social network?
Nature + Sports + Great food.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Take advantage of our position as the best equity crowdfunding platform in Mexico and increase the gap from our competitors by finding the best startups in Mexico seeking to raise capital, so our investors can select from the best options for them.
One word that describes you?