I’ve been working for the summer in a very interesting project with Endeavor, a non-profit company that finds high-impact entrepreneurs (EEs) in developing countries and give them the tools (mentoring, contacts, eMBAs, etc.) necessary to grow and make significant impact in their countries and the world.It turns out that the venture capital (or growth capital) industry in these developing countries is either very small or non-existing. This presents a very serious problem for EEs that want to expand their businesses. On one hand, it is very difficult to find growth money. On the other, entrepreneurs aren’t normally prepared for the fundraising process (learning about term sheets, correctly pitching their businesses, etc.), unlike entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley or the Boston area. The Mentor Capital Program’s goal is to promote this industry in selected developing countries by training the EEs about the fundraising process and creating connections between US based VCs, local VCs, and EEs. This is where I come in.
Part of my project consists on creating investing environment “snapshots” of each selected country, evaluating both hard numbers and subjective comments from local experts and VCs. These snapshots will be targeted to US VCs and LPs (organizations that invest in VCs) to promote investments in these developing countries. As part of the snapshots, I’m creating a “where to invest” city ranking based on Village Ventures model. This special model takes into consideration variables that help predict where entrepreneurial activity may flourish, grow, and eventually consolidate.
It’s been very interesting getting to know local VC’s opinions and stories and compile them with research to help promote investing in developing countries such as Mexico, where I’m from!