Doing Business and Raising Money in Latin America: My SUP Academy Talk

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Last week I gave a talk at Startup Chile’s SUP Academy about doing business and raising money in Latin America. It was fun share what I’ve learned over the past five years in Chile with the next classes of startup chile entrepreneurs.

The audio quality is pretty bad, sorry about that. Hopefully it’s still listenable!

Here’s the show notes:

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Some Books, Blogs and Podcasts I’ve Enjoyed Lately

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Here’s some stuff I’ve been reading, watching and listening to lately.

Postcasts

This being so, so what? – Jerry Colonna

Jerry is an ex-VC and now coaches CEOs. In this episode, Jerry talks with a startup CEO who has 4 months of money left in the bank and how to make sure they keep the company around. This episode has been really useful to multiple portfolio companies already. Check out episodes 9, 20, 25 and 45 as well.

Tony Robbins on the Tim Ferriss Show

Tim interviews Tony again. They talk about health, investing and living a good life. If you’re looking for an intro to Tim Ferriss’ podcast, checkout Jamie Foxx, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Naval Ravikant, Sebastian Junger, Cal Fussman.

Kiernan Dougherty on Jocko Podcast

Jocko Willink and Echo Charles are ex special forces members who talk about war, discipline and other interesting things. Parts can be tough to listen to, especially in this episode, but this episode is extraordinary. Kiernan is a veteran war and natural disaster photographer in places like Iraq, Belfast and the indian ocean tsunami. He tells his story on this podcast.

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Investor & “Advisor” Behavior in Latin America Can Make Startups Uninvestable

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One of the recurring problems we see with Latin American startups at Magma Partners is founders with too little equity. In the past two weeks, I’ve seen three cases where the full time founding team has 7%, 10% and 25% ownership after only one round of fundraising. Two companies had raised less than $100k, one had raised ~$200k. When we see companies with this structure, we tell the founders directly that it makes their company uninvestable. It’s especially true if the founders think they’ll need to raise even more money in the future, or plan to move to the United States. Every company is different, but founders should have at least ~70% at this stage, or even more if they plan to compete on the world stage.

We see five common causes:

  1. No Vesting – Cofounders who have left own significant equity
  2. “Part time cofounders” – People who aren’t full time who own significant equity
  3. “Advisors” – Companies with large numbers of “advisors” or “advisors” with significant of equity
  4. Unsophisticated investors – Raising money from people who view startup investing like investing in private equity or small businesses
  5. Investor Malice

Let’s unpack each one.

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Understanding Donald Trump and his Supporters in Order to Stop Him

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Donald Trump has a very good chance of being our next President. We need to admit it if we want to do anything about it. If you’re thinking Trump can’t win, you’re either in a bubble or lying to yourself.

He’s not a sideshow. He’s not someone to laugh at. Many of his supporters have real grievances that the major political parties and their fellow citizens have ignored. Voting for Trump is not illogical for some people in the US. He is the first person to at least speak to them and offer a hand. Unfortunately, he’s done it in a terrible way, taking advantage of their plight for personal gain, increasing fear and scapegoating people who don’t deserve it. Continue reading…