The Columbus VC:

Discovering Latam Startup Ecosystem

Enzo Cavalie
Aug 4 · 3 min read
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

The Inspiration

In 2016 while I was in Amsterdam as an exchange student, I took an Entrepreneurship & Innovation class where a book called Bold by Peter Diamandis came across me. “Bold” opened my mind to the opportunities exponential technologies were bringing to business and society. As a student from a top business school in Perú, I was frustrated because none of these emerging techs and trends were discussed in class.

I already knew I wanted to intern in finance, but this book posed a new possibility on my mind:

¿Why don’t I intern somewhere where finance and technology came together?

Back at home (Perú), I found there were only a couple of venture capital funds, both of which rejected my application. I was disappointed and had to apply to a different financial position.

The Opportunity

A year later, I received an email from Jose García-Herz inviting me to apply to a position at Winnipeg Capital (WC). I couldn’t be more surprised when I found out he was a startup investor both individually and at Angel Ventures. If that weren’t enough, Jose told me during the interview that they planned to raise a startup fund.

Woo hoo! It felt like destiny, what I was looking for just knocked on my door.

Fast forward to 2019, I’ve worked for a year at WC and I couldn’t feel luckier. Since the Winnipeg Startup Fund started investing in seed-stage companies, I’ve been increasingly exposed to the Peruvian ecosystem and learned a lot by scouting startups, meeting founders and assessing investment opportunities. What I’ve valued and enjoyed the most is helping founders by discussing fundraising, their market strategy, and other key decisions.

Meanwhile, three things happened in parallel:

  1. A few friends became entrepreneurs and started asking me about topics like a founder’s salary, startup metrics, founder’s equity split, etc.
  2. I made my first investment in Rebus, a Colombian startup, and started my first advisory role at Talently, a Peruvian startup.
  3. I got an offer to join the Investment Team of Dalus Capital (Mexican VC Firm) and started connecting with foreign people asking me about Latam’s ecosystem.

These experiences were boosting my learning curve as a startup investor. So I asked myself:

“How can I share these learnings more widely? “ — Tell stories. Someone told me.

The Answer

This blog is aimed at entrepreneurs, investors, and any people who are helping build startups in Latin America. Its purpose is to become:

  1. Your friendly go-to-person, like the one you text on WhatsApp to make a short question.
  2. The logbook of my VC journey in Latin America’s startup ecosystem. It’s a WIN-WIN.

The posts will source from both my experience and that of relevant investors or entrepreneurs whose ideas I’ve heard in person or online. I’ll cite them and provide a link if available.

I invite you to join me on this journey and to apply what you learn!

This is my contribution to the Latam startup ecosystem, my contribution to founders leveraging tech in order to solve people’s real life problems. Fundamental problems in Latam await disruption.

Grateful,

Enzo

The Columbus VC

Stories about my journey to discover Latam’s startup ecosystem. Fundamental problems in Latin America await disruption.

Enzo Cavalie

Written by

I help connect startups and investors in Latin America. An insider's view, stories, and advice are my tools. VC at @Dalus Capital.

The Columbus VC

Stories about my journey to discover Latam’s startup ecosystem. Fundamental problems in Latin America await disruption.

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