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View from PulsoConf: Making things happen in Latin America

By Maca Lara Dillon, co-founder and chief editor of PulsoSocial

Publico_Alex_TorrenegraHow do we make things happen? This question is at the center of entrepreneurial life and was the overriding theme of PulsoConf, the three-day event that took place in Bogotá, Colombia earlier this month.

More than 400 Latin American entrepreneurs and developers attended PulsoConf and BogotáConf, finding themselves in the right place at the right time. Never before has Latin America possessed such a favorable climate for technological innovation and market creation.

Ministro Molano_OrganizadoresJust a few years ago, such an event was unthinkable and would have been nothing more than a small, impromptu meeting of a few crazy dreamers. This month, however, it was an opportunity for the Colombian Minister of Information and Communications Technologies, Diego Molano Vega, to outline the country’s investment in tech entrepreneurs through the ambitious Apps.co initiative. Two young Colombian entrepreneurs -– Andrés Barreto (25) and Juan Pablo Buriticá (30) -– were responsible for Molano Vega’s attendance. That’s making things happen.

At PulsoConf, things happened when Steve Martocci, the man behind GroupMe, visited Latin America for the first time to tell entrepreneurs to think beyond their local markets and create global products. He pointed to a pressing problem that demands an immediate solution, as Latin Americans have become increasingly accustomed to implementing copycat models and focusing on local issues alone.

Brian Wong’s presentation was also a highlight, explaining to the audience the importance of making things happen by capitalizing on one’s luck. One of the youngest entrepreneurs to ever receive VC funding, Wong took advantage of the PulsoConf opportunity to announce the opening of kiip’s offices in Colombia.

And let’s not forget David Weekly, a pioneer in connecting Latin America to Silicon Valley, who advised entrepreneurs to stop worrying about constructing fancy products and instead focus their efforts on solving real problems that improve people’s lives. He told attendees to get their heads out of the cloud and hands into the dirt, a maxim he surely applied when selecting the next batch of startups for Mexican.VC, which was recently acquired by 500 Startups.

Making things happen is, definitively, creating an opportunity for entrepreneurs from Peru, Mexico and Argentina to meet with global technology investors like Adam D’Augelli of True Ventures. After all, who better to explain the best practices to implement when seeking and receiving investments? This is especially important considering that Latin America as a region is highly inexperienced with investors, with the exception of Kaszek, and entrepreneurs run a high risk of being confronted with unfavorable and even abusive term sheets.

(Photos provided by PulsoConf show PulsoConf and Colombian Minister of Information and Communications Technologies Diego Molano Vega)