YCombinator is one of the leading early-stage US investors in Latin America, and has served as a signal for other US investors to start making their first investments in the region. Since accepting its first Latin American founder in 2013, the region’s presence in the accelerator program has significantly increased. The most recent batch had over 15 companies from Latin America.
In this episode, we’ve gathered advice from 8 founders, some we’ve interviewed previously, and some new ones, that have participated in YCombinator. They talk about their experience going through the program and give tips to founders in the interview process, which can also be useful for other accelerators.
How did a curious young web developer from Guatemala become one of the first Latin American entrepreneurs to enter YCombinator? Christian Van der Henst fell in love with the internet in the 90s when he realized he could use it as a tool to communicate with the whole world. He knew he wanted to share his knowledge with people and collaborate with a global tech community long before Latin America’s tech revolution even started.
Christian is a lifelong entrepreneur, but he didn’t realize it until he was studying his Masters in Barcelona while running a massive online platform, Maestros del Web, a proto-Stack Exchange for Latin America, at night. He eventually put his passion for education into Platzi, alongside Colombian co-founder Freddy Vega, and helped grow the company to US$3M in yearly revenue in just four years. In this episode, Christian talks about how he transitioned from Maestros del Web to Mejorando.la (before they rebranded to Platzi), how Platzi became the first startup serving Latinos to enter YCombinator, and why entrepreneurship is so important in Latin America right now.