ADVICE: FOREIGN ENTREPRENEURS
Focus on language and culture
• Find a co-founder, key hire, investor or mentor that has experience operating in
• Only 5% of the population speaks English and the Brazilian way of doing business is
hard to understand.
“Gringo” is not a bad thing
• People will love to work for you, and investors will pay premium on your valuation if
you are a smart foreigner.
• Most of the major deals in the past two years had at least one foreigner in the
Stay clear of markets that can be disrupted by regulation
• Unions and industry groups have a lot of power and will outlast any startup in
litigation. Make sure to avoid these.
Meet the top notch MBAs
• The founders of some of the best startups and managers of larger companies like
MercadoLivre have MBAs from Stanford and Harvard. They're super well
connected, have a great track record and can introduce you to the right people.
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