14 Dec VISUALNACERT – LUCIA IBORRA
Lucia and Mercedes Iborra founded visualNACert in 2014. The Iborra sisters developed a visual 4.0 smart technology for agriculture that helps farmers operate sustainably, generate profitable growth and boost productivity. Lucia and Mercedes are part of the 2018 cohort of The EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women™ program.
1. What makes LATAM a great opportunity for startups? Why LATAM and no other regions?
In our case expansion was somewhat organic because some of our initial customers from LATAM found us while surfing the internet looking for agribusiness software in Spanish and that is when we thought there was potential for growth.
When reaching to new markets in LATAM in our case, we have to value the costs of customizing the software versus using the standard product already developed. It is a cost issue, time, etc. and if you can use something standard, it’s always easier and cheaper.
2. What are the main challenges startups are facing when expanding to LATAM?
• Do not make a mistake thinking one size fits all LATAM countries. Although common Spanish language is an asset, each country has its diversity, different needs and in our case, our software requires customization depending on the country.
• Find local partners: many markets are very difficult to enter if you are not doing so hand in hand with a local player. Having trusted partners, although not easy, is key most of the times to sell your product.
• Test the waters…. Know first-hand your market, prospective clients, future local partners
3. Key learnings/recommendations for startups planning to expand to the LATAM market.
• To plan your start up expansion, I would recommend be based and plugged in to the local scene and knowledge in the country you plan to expand to.
• It is funny how we evolve as entrepreneurs! If you had asked me these questions 4 years ago, my answers would have been very different for sure!