25 Mar TELANTO – CHRISTIAN ACOSTA-FLAMMA
Telanto is a technology platform that links the business world with the academic world. Through a market place, it connects challenges that companies face on a daily basis with teams of students, who provide ideas and possible ways to solve them. In 90 days, these students aided by the supervison of a professor and a representative of the company, work in a collaborative virtual space to propose feasible and high added value solutions. One of the main goals is that the students working in these challenges receive job offers from participating companies, easing ways into the job market.
Christian Acosta-Flamma, PhD, Founder and CEO, shares what means to be a Eurolatinas startup!
Is LATAM the next market for a European startup?
In our case, starting our business in LATAM has happened pretty organically. Last year we entered the Asian market, which is much more complicated, and this year our goal is to grow in LATAM. Mexican universities, for example, have an immense volume of students and a very sound economic situation, which allows us to put into place large-scale pilot programs.
Another interesting point is the demographics in Latin America. Latin America is home to one of the world’s most youthful demographics, with a large number of young people set to enter the labor market every year, which is especially favorable to Telanto’s value proposition. In our recent trip to Mexico, we have found ourselves with a very open ecosystem, eager to innovate and with great entrepreneurial spirit. It just needs the right tools so that they can make the most of it. This makes LATAM one of the most attractive regions for us at this time.
What are the main challenges startups are facing when expanding to LATAM from Europe?
One of the main challenges we face is the many different billing systems, due to the countries’ varied currencies in the LATAM region. In the majority of Europe, the use of the Euro as a common currency makes things much easier. However, in LATAM we find a multitude of banking systems, each with its own game rules. Generally speaking, the systems that are used are not very transparent, and as an entrepreneur, you do not always have visibility regarding the expenses that go together with the transactions.
Key learnings/recommendations for startups planning to enter the LATAM/European market.
1. One of the most positive aspects of entering such different markets is that you always find some aspect of our business that works especially well in that area, and it is just a matter of making the necessary adjustments that the specific country requires. You have to find the right channels and use them!
2. Another relevant issue is the cultural proximity that exists between Spain and LATAM. We are very similar in the way we think, behave and understand things, and this increases greatly the chances of success for Spanish companies in the region. And especially compared to other territories with which we have less in common, such as Asia.
3. LATAM is a very receptive market, and with great interest in listening, learning and adjusting, what companies like us are doing in Europe in general and in Spain in particular. In Mexico, we have met an incredible skillful local talent, with the drive and motivation to participate in new projects, and with an excellent knowledge of English, which has made us feel completely at home.