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Diego Noriega,  Managing Partner of Newtopia VC, was present at the ninth edition of Nerdearla, participating in the panel Building for the world from Latam, made up of renowned speakers who are part of and promote the Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem.  

This new edition of Nerdearla took place between October 19 and 22 at Ciudad Cultural KONEX and was broadcasted via streaming, reaching an audience of more than 30,000 registered people. During these 4 days, more than 150 activities were carried out between talks, workshops and sessions, and more than 200 exhibitors took part in various debate forums. 

The panel Building for the world from Latam, was moderated by Diego Sternberg, Nexton Founder and CEO, and had the participation of Sullyen Almeida, Venture Capital at Monashees and Madhu Yalamarthi, Modak Co-Founder and CEO

In this context, the speakers debated for just over an hour about the opportunities, trends and growth of Latin America for the future, and the evolution of the region in recent years in terms of startup development.  

In turn, Diego placed special emphasis on the importance of the team and the culture of the startup as fundamental elements to build solutions from Latin America to the world.

In addition, he highlighted the importance of resilience when starting a business, the opportunities at a global level beyond crises and the mistakes that can lead to the failure of ventures. 

– How can regional companies prepare to compete with global companies for talent? 

When we talk about competition for talent, I see it as a great opportunity that allows us to develop something important from Latin American countries. 

In terms of talent, you need to be inspired, have a strong culture and be connected to leaders. On the other hand, local companies have very important elements that allow them to compete for talent, motivating the team and providing opportunities for growth. So I think having a strong team with a strong culture is the way to compete in the world.

In addition, I want to highlight the importance of one-on-one meetings to find out what is the expectation and what is the reality. The issue of leadership today is to understand what others need and how to support them. 

– What are the traits and characteristics that an entrepreneur needs to have to build something that can go from Latin America to the world?

It is impossible not to mention resilience. In terms of mindset, you have to stay positive and I think we have to face and take advantage of those opportunities that arise from crises, and today there is a global crisis. We have to think that there are opportunities worldwide, not only in Argentina or Latin America.

It is important to have a strong and resilient mindset, not only as a leader, but also to instill that leadership in the teams. I am clear that the market side is also very important, because if you don’t have a solid distribution strategy to penetrate the market, to collaborate and partner-up with the competition or with other types of products, growth is going to be slow and it will not be competitive.

But now, looking at it from the other side, we are looking for entrepreneurs and teams that believe in that vision, that are convinced that they can make it happen, and that have a plan to achieve it

The way we communicate, to develop those soft skills and a strong and positive mindset, is not everything, but it is a very important part, because that is precisely what connects us and makes us trust each other.

– You mentioned soft skills and you all have teams in Latin America. Why Latin America? What skills and mindsets are sought? 

It’s not just about technical talent, but we also need other factors, like people who can see and believe in that vision. When you are starting something, it is not just about hiring, but about attracting and getting the best talent to believe in the vision, to participate in the strategy, promotion and sale of the product.

There is something very important called the pitch, which I think is a big difference between startups in the United States and those in Latin America, that sales driven mentality.

At Newtopia in the last 14 months we have invested in 55 startups and trained them so that they can make these promotional speeches in English, because that generates much more trust than the person who has the best product. It is not something that I say, it is the outcome that we got from our analyses.

– From your position as an investor, is there any typical characteristic of why startups often do not succeed? 

This is a marathon, maybe it takes ten years to develop something. You have to have patience and perseverance. There will be failures, 95% of companies are going to fail, especially startups, but 56% of those companies fail precisely because of a lack of connection with the market. 

It’s not about the product, it’s not about the financial aspects, and it’s not even about the partners, which in my opinion is one of the most important aspects, but it’s about the lack of connection or relationship with market needs. And as a consequence a wrong strategy.

Diego Sternberg, Sullyen Almeida, and Madhu Yalamarthi made interesting contributions as entrepreneurs and investors about how barriers in Latin America were being taken down after the pandemic and everything that is still missing. 

They placed special emphasis on technologies, the globalization of talent, the expansion of knowledge and new opportunities to develop and offer solutions to the world. In addition, they placed the different crises facing the region in a role of catalysts for the development of new technologies and ventures.

If you want to enjoy this complete panel, you can do it on the official Nerdearla channel

Today, Latin America is ready to globalize and build for the world, despite the crises. And it is not just a belief, since there are several key factors that drive that growth, such as the enormous amount of technological talent that is trained to create scalable global products, remote work and distributed talent, and those platform changes occur in Web3, fintech and development tools.

At Newtopia we are excited to continue spreading entrepreneurial energy to be able to transform Latin America, which today more than ever, has enormous opportunities and is ready to reach the rest of the world. 

So.. are you an entrepreneur and you want to get in touch with us to analyze what you are building? That’s great! We really appreciate that interest. If after reading our Manifest, you consider that you check all of the boxes, do not hesitate applying to Newtopia!