Tech Startups: Pablo Larguía, serial entrepreneur, founder of Bumeran


On Wednesday, April 13th we had the opportunity to hear from Pablo Larguía, serial entrepreneur, founder of Bumeran.com.  Bumeran.com was a job web site, but focused on Latin America (sort of a Latin Monster.com) – which was a small market at the time.  Pablo was a fantastic and entertaining speaker, and he took the opportunity to talk about his previous ventures as well as his current one – La Red Innova.  La Red Innova is a conference focused “on innovation, internet and entrepreneurship where Spain, Portugal and Latin America meet the World”.

In contrast to many other speakers, Pablo advised us to get as much money as possible.  In contrast to the common “lean startup” concept, it was interesting to see someone recommend we get as much money as possible.  In my opinion, a lot of money is almost always better than not enough money, but there are some arguments for taking out less.  For example, you may want to maintain more control of your company.

Along the same lines, in contrast to the advice to “pick your VC carefully” Pablo recommended that we go to any VCs that you can get an audience with.  The reason is that at this stage we are unlikely to have much of a track record or choice in who funds us – but we know we need the money.  In my opinion if the choice is between going out of business and getting a bad VC, at this point I may go with the latter, but in general I do admit that the whole thought of giving up control of the business is a little scary.  Isn’t that why we became entrepreneurs?  Someone should have warned us about that 😉

Another piece of entrepreneurial advice was to learn to deal with uncertainty.  In Pablo’s career he’s been faced with no knowing where next year’s money was going to come from and looking at laying off all of his employees, yet somehow he kept the confidence to keep on going.  I can certainly relate to this feeling, not knowing where next month’s DealBoss funding might come from (along with my rent!).

Find a girlfriend before you do a startup because you won’t have time to find one.  This is an interesting contrast to the many speakers who talked about their relationships going south as a result of the long hours faced by an entrepreneur.  I guess the life of an entrepreneur is going to hurt your dating life either way, unfortunately.  I don’t think I like the sound of this 🙂

Be very confident, especially with VCs.  Even if your business is hanging by a thread, keep your confidence level up!

One other takeaway that I found interesting was the discussion of using an equity swap to move into a new market, in this case Venezuela. Pablo traded a small amount of equity in the larger company to take over the small one and move into a new market with Bumeran.

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