Interesting Stuff I’ve Read, Listened to and Watched Recently

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Here’s some stuff that I think is interesting. Last post in this series from August.

Documentary

Dishonesty: The Truth About Lies – Why do people lie and cheat? What makes people susceptible to lying? Netflix.

The Queen of Code – Short documentary about Grace Hopper, one of the pioneers in computer technology.

Books

Hillbilly Elegy: A memoir of a family and a culture in crisis – JD Vance. Interview with Vance. This book was eye opening. It chronicles Vance’s journey from a chaotic childhood to graduation from Yale.  One of the best books I’ve read in the past year.

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline – Novel about a near future with virtual reality technology at its core.

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr – Set in WWII era Europe, this book chronicles the intersecting lives of multiple people, including a young blind girl. Not high literature, but fun reading. Continue reading…

Magma Colombia

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monica-avila-foto-headshotI’m excited to welcome Mónica Ávila Forero to Magma to lead our Colombia team. Mónica, based in Bogota, has worked in the entrepreneurial ecosystem from all sides for the past 15 years: she’s started her own startups, worked with Ventures, a private NGO to build the Colombia ecosystem, and has worked closely with and mentored Colombia entrepreneurs, helping them figure out their business models, connect with potential investors and scale their businesses. I’m really excited to work with Mónica to help entrepreneurs in the Colombian market!

Why Colombia? Continue reading…

Jooycar

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One of the biggest opportunities in Latin America is unlocking the potential in legacy industries that haven’t been disrupted yet. Insurance is one of the biggest. Many Latin American insurance products are extremely expensive compared to people’s income and compared to more developed markets. There haven’t been many new entrants into the market yet.

That’s why I’m excited to announce our investment in Jooycar, a usage based car insurance service (UBI) that charges customers for how much and how well they drive. Drivers using the Jooycar system are saving up to 30% per month on their premiums and improve their driving behavior, because they can see how well they’re driving: how often they’re speeding, turning sharply, slamming on the brakes or driving erratically.

Jooycar uses a device that plugs into your car and transmits information back to the insurance company. Customers can view their progress in real time on Jooycar’s mobile app.

Jooycar’s founders, Maria Paz Gillet Martin, Emilio Figueroa Torres and Mario Ugemach Marin are serial entrepreneurs who also have significant experience working with large companies. They’ve been amazing to work with so far and I’m extremely excited to work with them as they expand across Latin America in 2017.

Madison Based PerBlue’s Game Acquired for $35m

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The Madison startup scene got big news late week. Madison based game studio PerBlue’s game DragonSoul was acquired by GREE International Entertainment for $35m. Huge congrats to cofounders Justin Beck and Andrew Hanson, along with Forrest Woolworth and team.

In addition to being top notch entrepreneurs, Justin and Forrest have been huge supporters of Madison startups, Forward Fest and were founding members of Capital Entrepreneurs. Forrest continues to lead CE, along with being an integral part of PerBlue. It’s been amazing to see PerBlue grow from a few guys in Justin’s apartment to the amazing company they’ve built today. Thanks for all of your hard work, you guys deserve it!

Continue reading…