Our Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Sacha Spitz, appeared on an episode of Brains Byte Back, a podcast by The Sociable, a renowned technology news channel, in a one-on-one interview with Sam Brake Guia, the podcast host.
This interview focused on three key topics:
– The origin and mission of Newtopia VC
– The current landscape in the Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem
– The elements that a startup must have to be scalable and achieve Venture Capital Investments.
Sacha reminisced about Newtopia’s first steps in the midst of the pandemic, spoke about the differences that are evident when starting a business in the different countries of Latin America, and highlighted everything a startup must have to achieve success. Below the full interview.
– How did Newtopia come about and what is the origin of its name?
The pandemic was a very difficult time because many investors across Latin America stopped investing. For my part, I was in the last period of my previous fund and was one of the most active investors in Argentina and part of Latin America. In this context, and some time before the pandemic, Newtopia started to come together.
We had the ambition to create a fund to support early stage tech startups, and we were looking to offer a value proposition to help entrepreneurs execute better, get their startups off the ground, and build amazing companies for the future.
We believe in a more decentralized world and we were sure that there was a new global landscape that was shaping up and was going to be established after the pandemic. And that was what we took into account when thinking about how to name the fund.
We came up with Newtopia as a way to create this new era and the new world that we were picturing, with the purpose of being the engine that is transforming Latin America socially and economically.
– How do you see the Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem?
During the last five years in Latin America we have been getting the attention of the rest of the world. Also, 2021 was an epic year breaking all investment records. So there were many combinations of factors that led us to where we are today.
The success of many entrepreneurs who started working very hard several years ago, some of them unicorns, has shown that the region has great potential and has paved the way for new entrepreneurs who are arriving. We are really excited about what is happening in Latin America.
However, the ecosystem is still in its early stages and that is why we created Newtopia, because we want to fill the gap. Supporting this new generation of founders who seek to build a better reality for the region and the world.
– What differences do you find between the culture, purpose and operations of startups from different countries in the region?
Each of the countries in the region has had their own experience in terms of the maturity of their startups. The new generations of unicorns from Argentina were all those companies that were thinking globally from the start, probably because of the conditions of our market, which is not so big and not stable either.
In Mexico or Brazil, it’s a little different, since they have a really big market where you don’t have to leave the country. But entrepreneurs from other countries need to think regionally and find a way to scale to Mexico or Brazil.
In the case of Chile five or eight years ago, most entrepreneurs were not thinking globally, but rather, how to build an incredible company for the Chilean market, which was perhaps small, but really stable and with great conditions. Now we are also seeing entrepreneurs who are thinking globally from the ground up.
– What does a young startup that seeks to attract the attention of VCs and become a scalable model need to have?
At Newtopia, when we analyze a startup we focus and analyze some items in particular that we consider the most important and essential:
- The right team has to be composed of interdisciplinary founders, and with the ability to attract the best talent. In addition, the founders need to be humble, intelligent and open to listening to other people, in order to decide what is best for the company.
- The entrepreneurs’ ability to execute. That’s why we analyze if they have experience with other startups in the past, or if they have been part of the teams of other scalable startups in a country or region.
- The opportunity of the real problem that the startup is solving. It has to be big enough to be attractive to VCs. It is necessary to have the ambition to create a great company by reinventing industries in the future with a long-term vision.
- The competitive landscape. We try to invest in companies that may be the best in the future, so if the competitive landscape is already flooded with companies, we might not invest because the solution is not innovative enough for us.
Currently, and after the momentum set forth by the pandemic, the Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem is full of opportunities and ready to continue growing and innovating with tech solutions for the problems of today’s 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 VC Latam!