Founder Friday — Meet Mauricio from Emerge
#FounderFriday — Mauricio Teran is a co-founder of Emerge, a startup that is enabling the next form of communication by digitizing our sense of touch. Mauricio’s co-founders are Isaac Castro Garcia and Sly Lee; the three met at Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program in 2015, hosted at Ames NASA Research Park and fully sponsored by Google.
What did you think you wanted to be when you were in HS?
I had no idea. I was interested in everything from ancient history, philosophy, and religion, to psychology and economics. From physics and chemistry to biology and evolution. I was curious about understanding our place in the universe before I could decide anything about my life.
What did you study in college and what was your first job?
In my indecision about a major, I took the broadest possible curriculum filled with electives including cosmology, theology, archaeology, and human history. I graduated with a degree in Business & Entrepreneurship. After attending a talk with Muhammed Yunus, years before his Nobel peace prize, I was inspired to enter the world of micro-finance, where I spent the next 4 years of my life.
What did you do in your previous life, prior to co-founding Emerge?
After a zig-zagged career that took me from micro-finance to co-founding a business in healthcare technology, followed by a stretch in the insurance & reinsurance industry, I found a passion in managing innovation. After studying all I could about lean entrepreneurship, design thinking, and corporate growth strategy, I joined a startup focused on managing corporate innovation that grew to become one of the leading innovation firms in Ecuador. As a side project, I had also developed a business idea that won me Ecuador’s Global Impact Competition in 2015. This led me to become the first in my country to attend Singularity University’s Global Solutions Program.
What inspired you to start Emerge?
The team. During the intense, awe-inspiring, emotional and mental roller-coaster ride that was SingularityU, we gravitated towards each other as we saw our visions, passions, and values align. When the three of us work together, mojo rises and magic happens!
What has been your biggest challenge growing your company?
We are living it. The biggest challenges are still ahead as we want to play the long-game towards large-scale impact and pushing the boundary of what’s possible.
What has been your biggest win?
Attending Singularity University was a turning point in my life. The learning, the personal growth, the mindset, the friendships, and the amazing team that came from that experience are the foundation for amazing things to come.
When you’re not working on your company, how do you spend your time?
Mostly with my family. Carla is the love of my life, and Nico (almost 2yrs old) is amazing. Seeing him grow and learn like a sponge is a whole other adventure. Other than that, I love adventure and extreme sports. Whether it’s climbing mountains, skydiving, white water kayaking, snowboarding, or surfing, I love the outdoors mixed with adrenaline.
Best place you’ve ever traveled to?
The Galapagos Islands. Many places around the world have fascinated me, but none compare to the beauty and natural wonder that are the Galapagos, where Darwin’s Origin of Species originated. I was lucky enough to leverage my brother’s company (iguanacharters.com) for several trips.
How would your mother describe your personality?
An optimist contrarian heretic.
Your favorite get sh*t done quote —
“Speed is your main advantage. Always run, never walk” — Pascal Finette
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