A few weeks ago Carlos Matos from Sao Paolo won a startup competition, which included a trip to London (Check out our Startuptravels City Guide London here!). Being one of our ambassadors Carlos decided to reach out to a handful of people on the platform in order to arrange some meet-ups and get to know the local startup eco-system better. With a minimum effort Carlos arranged 4 meet-ups in London. Below you can read about his experience meeting with Laurie, Jaroslav and Rishi.
Hey Carlos. Welcome home from London! Tell me a bit about your trip?
Sure, I’d love to. First of all I would like to express how easy it was to make connections through Startuptravels. People were very welcoming and replied back so fast and so kindly. It’s good to see that a great purpose can gather so many awesome people.
I remember Anders asked me a few months back before the launch: “How do you see yourself using the platform in the future?”. Back then I replied that I saw myself as a host to travelers coming to Sao Paolo, but a couple of weeks later I was looking for connections and booking meeting for my trip to London.
Thanks for the kind words Carlos! Who did you meet up with first in London?
My first meet-up in London was with Laurie. Laurie and I share the same story: we both left a comfortable and stable career to start our own business from scratch. Laurie has a great sense of business and a desire to make things happen. Like myself, Laurie also chose to start his business in a market where he had no previous experience.
We discussed a lot about our difficulties dealing with markets we had no prior knowledge about and all the learning cycles we had to go through as fast as possible to fend off the competition without being left behind.
It was amazing to see how Laurie handles his customer service, his almost one by one sales strategy in order to learn how the consumer behaves. By doing that he will be able to automate and scale up his selling process later on.
I told Laurie about all of my challenges on gathering more and more users on my website, how to monetize the traffic and what our perspectives are in the near future. We also had a conversation about how me and my co-founder prepared the company to get the first round of funding, and how we are preparing for this new round we are dealing with at the moment.
The talk was very insightful. Laurie and I are coming from two different companies, from completely different markets and way opposite business models, but we found out that we are two very likeminded entrepreneurs that are willing to achieve big things and at the same time have lots of fun on our way to get there!
Sounds like a great meeting! Who did you meet next?
My second talk was with Jaroslav Trojan, from Credo Partners. Since Jaroslav was not in town I had a Skype meeting with him instead. Very kind of him to find a spot for me in his busy calendar so he could provide me some feedback and tell me his experience about the market and the investment environment in London and Central Europe. We will keep in touch and when MultiFarmas decides to go overseas, we will get in touch again.
Finally you met up with Rishi, right?
Yes, my third meet-up was with Rishi – a creative guy that placed an incubator into a traditional London red bus (see picture above)! He explained his way of working, the process for selecting projects in to his incubator, the values they add to the projects and his partnership with the rest of the investment chain, like accelerators.
They are in the very beginning of a long journey of the business, and all the partnerships he already have and all those he is looking for, will for sure make the entrepreneur journey less painful.
Great purpose but it seems extremely challenging at the same time.
Rishi also gave me a good overview of the startup scene in London and pointed me to a worldwide meet-up in London called Silicon Drinkabout. I went there to check it out and it was an amazing meet-up with entrepreneurs from all around the world. Lots of pretty interesting people with the same eager of doing things differently. Amazing place for an entrepreneur to be.
Thanks for your time Carlos. We wish you all the best!
Written by Anders Hasselstrøm