High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Highlight from Brazil Trek: Insights from a top venture capitalist in Brazil

Over the course of three days, Endeavor held its inaugural Investor Network event, Brazil Trek, gathering Endeavor’s high-impact entrepreneurs, U.S. venture investors, and other key members of the entrepreneurship ecosystem that make Brazil such a thriving emerging market. The Endeavor Brazil Trek event was geared toward making meaningful introductions and initiating communication between entrepreneurs and investors.

During a unique session, Eric Acher, founder of Monashees Capital and venture capitalist in Brazil, offered some especially interesting insights on the state of entrepreneurship and investing in Brazil.

As a VC, Eric says he considers himself an optimistic person and looks for other ambitious and optimistic entrepreneurs. He also explained that what he may be looking for in terms of technology or innovation does not necessary need to be “disruptive”; businesses can be a copy of existing models, or, as he joked, a “geographic innovation.” Stressing the importance of due diligence and selecting the right companies, he added further that “spray and pray,” or spreading investment everywhere and hoping for the best, is not the best way to approach Brazil.

Eric explained his interest in being an early-stage VC, saying that his job was quite different than that of a private equity investor. Being a VC takes more risk and more time, but he believes it is ultimately more exciting since early-stage companies also present the biggest opportunities. Eric joked that he primarily looks for “large companies…at an early stage” — in other words, high-impact entrepreneurs. He likes to invest in early-stage companies because it affords him more freedom to work directly with the team to design the company’s strategic direction. To companies, a VC firm should not be seen merely as a source of funding, but a strategic partner.

Eric believes that as Internet usage increases in Brazil and other emerging markets, there will be more opportunities for creating high-growth tech businesses that can become successful stories. He says that while the landscape could use more angel investors and VCs to make this happen, this is already happening. In addition to Internet Technology, Eric also sees Education as a promising growth sector.

Brazil has a brilliant future ahead, Eric stressed. More and more talented Brazilian entrepreneurs are returning to Brazil after receiving MBAs, and more foreign investors are looking to build their next business in Brazil. Both classes are importing valuable knowledge and experience from abroad, which is professionalizing the business and investment landscape. Meanwhile, Eric still sees an opportunity to create better mechanisms to exchange best practices among emerging market countries, especially on topics related to liquidity and alternatives to exiting.

Eric closed his session with a quote by Alan Kay, adapted by Berkeley Rice to link the shared vision of entrepreneurs and investors: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it. The second best is to finance it.”

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