With the success of huge marketplace companies like Amazon, it might be easy to think that new online marketplaces are not going to work out very well, but my guest on this episode has demonstrated over and over that it’s simply not the case. Guimar Vaca Sittic is an Argentinian entrepreneur who has built successful online marketplaces himself and who now is a venture parter at FJ Labs, which focuses primarily on US and international marketplaces. You’ll find his story and perspective very inspiring and helpful.
A good startup accelerator / incubator needs to be lead by successful entrepreneurs.
As Guimar has become familiar with the world of startups and startup incubators he’s become very aware of how many so-called accelerators are making recommendations to new companies based on their best guesses. In his mind, that’s inconceivable.
In this conversation, he tells why a good startup incubator needs to have leaders with entrepreneurial experience and success under their belts and what it takes to build a good accelerator that truly serves its startups well.
A nomadic life for personal or business reasons can be more affordable than you think.
One of the unique things about Guimar Vaca Sittic’s story and the way he practices business is that he spends a good deal of his time on the road, intentionally putting his feet on the ground in places where new things are happening. His goal is to see what’s going on in different places so he can stay on the cutting edge in his support of international marketplaces and startups.
In this conversation, we talk about the myth that the life of a digital nomad is expensive and Guimar shares how he is able to pull it off for three years with a very modest amount of expense. If you’re interested in running your business from any place in the world, you’ll get some great insights from what he shares.
Maximize the pace at which you learn and put yourself in places where you can learn.
One of the most powerful things Guimar shared in our conversation was that his success has taught him that anyone can be successful if they are committed to doing what it takes to continue learning. He says that the more you can maximize the pace at which you learn, the more you’ll be able to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. He’s demonstrated it to be true, so take the time to listen to what he has to share.
Why you should never be shy about reaching out to the influencers in your niche.
One of the best ways Guimar Vaca Sittic has found to maximize his ability to learn and grow has been to put himself in the company of people who are at a higher level than he is. The concept is nothing new but Guimar emphasizes that being shy about it will never serve you well. He has no problem reaching out to someone he wants to meet and learn from, even through cold phone calls or emails. His experience has taught him that people who are successful want to help others if they believe they are serious about personal growth and taking the action needed.
Outline of This Episode
- [0:17] How Guimar got started in the startup world.
- [2:33] The path Guimar followed from Argentina to Chicago and beyond.
- [5:00] How Guimar was able to make his Argentinian startup happen.
- [7:45] Guimar’s advice about Latin American startups persevering toward bigger ideas.
- [12:09] The next steps after acquisition.
- [20:30] The choices Guimar made about traveling and the real costs of doing so.
- [27:34] Why FJ Labs has taken on so many international investments.
- [32:30] Success stories in building and funding businesses.
- [37:50] Why Brazil for the online used car marketplace?
- [39:54] The dynamics of working with a remote team.
- [44:55] Advice Guimar would give himself if he were starting over.
Resources & People Mentioned
- FJ Labs Venture Capital
- Quasar Ventures Argentina
- Boxed – online retailer similar to Costco
- Chrono24 – global online marketplace for used luxury watches
- Fabrice Grinda