Originally from Salvador, Brazil Pedro Góes went to university in São Carlos, outside of São Paulo where he met his future co-founders Vinicius Neris and Mauricio Giordano. There, Pedro was inspired by other Brazilian entrepreneurs that were providing solutions to problems that were hindering the region’s development.
Together, they founded InEvent, a SaaS startup that offers a platform to help enterprise event organizers boost revenue and provide attendees with a personalized experience. The platform’s events can range from 20 people to larger corporate events involving 44K people.
I sat down with Pedro to talk about what it was like growing up in Salvador and then starting a business during his college years in São Carlos. We also discuss his experience bootstrapping his company the first four years, his experience at YCombinator, and ultimately his decision to focus on the global market instead of just Latin America. Also, in light of COVID-19, we talk about how InEvent has adjusted to the new circumstances, launching a new virtual events platform.
Early lessons as a serial entrepreneur
Before starting InEvent, Pedro tried out several business ideas including creating an app for drinking water and a service for celebrities to send personalized messages to their fanbases. Although these ideas didn’t find as much success as InEvent did, they were still valuable learning opportunities for Pedro. He explains that as much as having a good product is vital for a business to succeed, so is having contacts in the right channels.
Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to find out what else Pedro learned during his early years as an entrepreneur.
Starting a business in São Carlos
Pedro and his partners started developing InEvent while in university in São Carlos where the startup ecosystem was only just kicking off. Looking back, considering the availability of resources such as workspaces, free Internet access, and a network of the brightest minds with incredible energy and enthusiasm, Pedro explains that universities are great places to start a business.
Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more about Pedro’s experience running a company while studying at university.
During the first few years running InEvent, Pedro and his partners bootstrapped the business while seeking investment opportunities in Brazil. Aware of their company’s growth potential, they were cautious about choosing an investor until they found the right valuation with the right people to support them. It was when they received a message from a client in Silicon Valley that they opened their eyes to the opportunity of going global.
Learn more about Pedro’s decision to move to the US to create a global company in this episode of Crossing Borders.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the events industry has had to re-engineer itself to survive. InEvent has been quick to respond to the changing scenery and is helping enterprises with the digital migration of their in-person events. Pedro Góes is transforming the realm of possibilities for event organizers and attendees with his SaaS startup at a global scale.
Outline of this episode:
- [1:47] – About InEvent
- [3:27] – Growing up in Salvador, Brazil
- [3:58] – Becoming an entrepreneur
- [5:28] – Lessons learned from previous businesses
- [7:11] – Why InEvent?
- [8:32] – Reaction of friends & family
- [9:26] – São Carlos’ ecosystem
- [11:33] – InEvent’s inflection point
- [13:50] – Setting up the business
- [15:05] – Deciding to bootstrap
- [16:46] – Fundraising in the US
- [19:36] – Advice to other Latam SaaS companies
- [22:17] – Pre and post-COVID-19
- [24:12] – Managing a team remotely
- [25:40] – Advice to younger self
- [26:58] – Books, blogs, & podcast recommendations
- [28:08] – What’s next for InEvent?