'Make Your Customers Love You': Brixton Ventures Lab Investor Shares Tips for Startup Founders
Rafael Hernández has generated more than 50 collaborations between startups and private institutions. Today he shares four tips for founders.
Passion, that was the engine that led Rafael Hernández Zarate to create Brixton Ventures Lab , a company that aims to make Mexico the main innovation hub in Latin America .
"When I decided to create Brixton, I did it for two reasons, the first because I wanted to do something that I was passionate about with people that I liked, and the second because I am passionate about entrepreneurship," says the cybernetic engineer.
With a path traveled in which he has worked with more than 70 companies in Latin America in the main accelerators of the region, in which he has seen more than 1,000 applications and entrepreneurial pitches and generated more than 50 collaborations between startups and private institutions , Rafael shares four tips for startup founders.
1. Start with things that don't scale
You don't need $ 100 or $ 150,000 to get started, start doing it manually. Go for your first customers, look for them, do not wait for them to reach you. You do not need to hire a maximum web design, nor do you need 25 Facebook pages or 25 Instagram profiles. For example, your venture may be to sell cell phone cases, for this you do not need to have the machine that creates the covers, what you do have to see is that what you are planning to do has a demand in the market, that there are people who they are going to pay for that , and then you take care of going to the supplier to make the product for you.
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2. Don't validate your market with family and friends
Many entrepreneurs waste time and money because they validate their market with family and friends. There is a book that I highly recommend called " The Mom Test ", basically what is stated in the book is that you should not ask your mother if your idea is good because she will always say yes. Who you do have to ask difficult questions is your potential market , since with them you can validate that what you are doing has value.
3. Get 10 people to love what you do
A startup that is starting must focus on generating traction , that is, selling its product. That traction is achieved in two parts: one is to go for the clients and the other is to get 10 people to love what you do . You don't need 100 clients who like what you do, you only need 10 who love you. Finding those 10 customers means that you are building a product. Those people will be the ones who start recommending you and, through this feedback , your startup will grow and you will find that product market fit .
4. That the incentives are aligned
A startup that already generates annual profits must have incentives well aligned. For this, it is important that founders and investors consider what they want to achieve in the next three or four years . You have to understand that not everyone has to be a unicorn, they do not have to take a company to the stock market, not all businesses are born for that and that is fine. What they do have to do is position themselves as a leader in the industry they are in and think specifically about how they are going to make an incredible product or service.
Mexico, the country chosen by startup founders
According to the study “The Phenomenon of Entrepreneurship Migration to Mexico” , carried out by the Endeavor accelerator, of a total of 328 startup founders in Mexico, 31% were identified as foreigners and this group has created at least 9,800 jobs and raised 1,720 million dollars in capital from Mexico City.
“Mexico has enormous potential in terms of talent, market, technology and development, that makes the country the main destination for the expansion of Latin American companies. With the opportunities that already exist, and those that will continue to emerge, we have a great deal of arbitration in favor of taking advantages in the region ”, affirms the managing Partner of Brixton Ventures Lab.
Brixton Ventures Lab is a company that helps organizations enter and expand in the Mexican market, as well as work with and support individual entrepreneurs. The company provides tailored solutions for startups , corporations and international cooperation programs.