Alexa Clark, Magma Partners: From International Relations to investing in startups in Latin America, Ep.180

Alexa Clark Crossing Borders Cover

Alexa Clark is an Associate at Magma Partners, an early-stage venture capital fund based in Latin America. After working for four years at an accelerator in Guadalajara, Mexico, Alexa joined the Magma team as an Investment Analyst and worked her way up to Associate. Although she majored in International Relations, she pivoted to the startup world to create more impact in Latin America. 

In this episode, Alexa talks about her unconventional path toward venture capital, explains what are some red and green flags when she meets startups, and shares lessons learned from her time in venture capital.

Patience is key to being a successful venture investor

Learning to be patient is crucial because VC is a no business. 99 times out of 100, investors have to tell founders they won’t invest in their startup. Getting comfortable staying no is one of the first steps to being a successful investor.

According to Alexa, trusting your gut and being proactive is essential. FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, is a strong force in this industry, but good investors must overcome this fear and avoid investing in trends just because everyone else is doing it.

In this episode, Alexa shares her experience investing in early stage Latin American startups.

Investor’s advice to early stage founders

Alexa believes that simple storytelling is better than using complicated jargon. Investors want to understand why a team is trying to solve a particular problem, how they think about the problem, and why they will be successful in solving it.

She sometimes meets founders that get carried away trying to create FOMO or trying to fit a problem into a business model or technology instead of explaining the problem and solution clearly. 

Alexa doesn’t expect early-stage startups to have everything figured out. Be honest about your numbers and answer questions directly.

Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to get more tips on how to talk to VCs.

Which industries drive the most impact?

Alexa decided to pivot to the startup world because she thought she could make a bigger impact helping founders solve Latin America’s biggest problems than via international relations. Founders that solve big problems can impact millions or hundreds of millions of Latin Americans.

Listen to this episode to discover why startups make Alexa feel hopeful about Latin America’s future.

Outline of this episode:

  • [01:23] – The day-to-day as an Investment Analyst
  • [02:16] – Alexa’s background
  • [04:18] – Working at a startup accelerator
  • [05:28] – Starting at Magma Partners
  • [06:28] – Alexa’s evolution as an Investment Analyst
  • [09:28] – Do’s and Don’ts for founders 
  • [11:24] – Red flags when meeting startups
  • [14:51] – What’s interesting about tech in LatAm?
  • [16:46] – What does Magma look for in candidates for Investment Analyst positions?
  • [19:50] – Advice to younger self
  • [21:53] – Alexa’s favorite things about working at Magma
  • [23:37] – Book recommendations

Resources and people mentioned:

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