In this episode of Entrepreneurship in Latam 101, we invited three STEM entrepreneurs to talk about how to form a company. When identifying a problem and finding a way to solve it through a profitable business, many doubts arise about how to proceed.
A good business idea is fundamental to entrepreneurship, but it is not enough on its own. Taking the first steps to bring your idea to the real world is not easy. How do we know if the solution is really going to respond to a great need in the population? How can I know if there is a market opportunity? How can I change my product if I see that I have not achieved the product market fit? How can I put together a team for my startup? All these questions and many more are answered by our guests in today’s episode.
Our guests are:
- Maricel Saenz: founder and CEO of Compound Foods, a food science company that is reinventing coffee production. The startup recreates coffee without coffee beans to reduce its environmental impact and large water footprint. This is Maricel’s second startup, having previously founded Nextbiotics, a biotech startup developing alternatives to antibiotics.
- Mariana Castillo: co-founder and co-CEO of Ben & Frank, a direct-to-consumer eyewear brand that seeks to transform the way Latin Americans buy eyewear by offering fashionable and affordable options. The company reinvents the sale of a product that is usually more of a pharmaceutical or medical experience. The idea is to appeal to the style and personality of the customer who wears the eyewear.
- Paulina Aguilar: co-founder and CEO of Mundi in Mexico, the first financial services platform for exporters and freight forwarders. This startup helps companies participate in global trade faster, more securely, and with better access to working capital.
Outline of this episode:
- [00:40] – Introduction to the episode.
- [01:05] – Introduction to the three guests
- [07:46] – What questions to ask yourself when you want to start a business?
- [12:29] – How to develop a solution?
- [15:15] – Choosing co-founders and solving administrative/legal issues
- [19:35] – Creating a working team
- [26:08] – Building a company culture
- [30:23] – When is the right time to raise capital?
- [36:53] – Final recommendations