Vinay: Hello all and welcome to YourFirstInvestor.com interviews. Today I have Alvaro with me. He is the Co-Founder of klipbox. Alvaro is from Sao Paulo, Brazil and klipbox was part of the 3rd batch of Seed Brazil Program. Hi again Alvaro! Thank you for coming on our show to share your seed brazil experience. How are you doing?
Alvaro: Hi! I am doing great and it’s a pleasure to be here talking about my experience in Seed.
Vinay: So what is your company about? What does klipbox do?
Alvaro: So, klipbox is a platform that finds all the news articles on the web and we organize it in easy way for professionals that work with public relations, politicians and companies that need to understand what they are talking about them.
Vinay: Thats interesting! With all the fake news around, it's good to see someone manually curating news.
Vinay: So, tell me a little bit about yourself and how did you put your team together.
Alvaro: Actually, I am from Sao Paulo but I moved to Natal. It is in the northeast of Brazil and there I found Dante and Rayyany. They already had started this project but they were not focussing on this. After I broke my first startup, I joined them to make klipbox work. So, we had only technical project and I started with them to start selling and creating sales and marketing processes to grow.
Vinay: Interesting choice of words there! You broke your first startup. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Alvaro: Yeah! I was young and I am a kind of hustle person. The first one, I tried to do a lot of things and made a lot of mistakes in hiring, managing and spend money that I didn’t have. So, we broke the first one and with these lessons learnt, we went to the new project and it is doing great right now.
Vinay: Oh! Thats awesome to hear. How did you come to know about Seed Brazil Program?
Alvaro: Seed Brazil, it is the first equity free accelerator in Brazil. After the second batch, the government changed and they stopped it for a while. So, the entrepreneurs from Bella Horizonte made a lot of noise in the press, not only the national press but also the international too. The new government understood that how important was seed for the ecosystem, for the entrepreneurs and they restarted the program. So, We knew about it because it was a huge noise when they close it and we knew that they were restarting.
Vinay: Got it! So, it must be one of the fine examples of people taking the destiny of their city into their own hands.
Alvaro: Yeah! We call this as San Pedro Valley, the startup ecosystem of Bella Horizonte. They really helped a lot. Like One entrepreneur had another one and they are a real ecosystem. When it happened, they were together to fight to have seed again. So, it was really good.
Vinay: You mention that the accelerator is in Bella Horizonte?
Vinay: So, you are from Sao Paulo. So, Did you have to move?
Alvaro: Yeah! We did. We liked it because Bella Horizonte is in the southeast of Brazil. It is not so expensive as Sao Paulo but you are close to Sao Paulo, you are close to Rio De Janeiro and it is a great city to live. So, after the program, we understood that it is the best city to stay and we moved all the team to Bella Horizonte.
Vinay: Ohh! That’s a nice story. How was the application process for getting into the program if you can remember?
Alvaro: Yeah! Actually, it is kinda similar to other ones so you fill a questionnaire and if you go to the second part, you have an online interview and after that you have the results. Actually, we weren’t selected but some other startup gave up and we went through!
Vinay: Wow. Lucky You! Congrats.
Alvaro: Yeah! One week before we knew that we were selected. Without a plan, we just moved to the city and started our new life there but it was a great move.
Vinay: So, you come to know one week before the program starts that you have to move. You pack up your bags and move your team to Bella Horizonte.
Alvaro: Yeah! Actually my partners went. I received the call on a Wednesday and we should be there on Monday.
Vinay: So, how was the whole program and its impact on the company? As a team, how was the impact?
Alvaro: Actually, it helped us a lot. Because, at this time, we were almost without money and we were growing but not enough. The first thing was we needed this money. So, we went there because of this. After like two or three weeks, we understood that the program helped us because they have a lot of good content. People that have companies or startups or specialists in marketing and sales, they go to Seed and teach us or tell about their experience.
So, We learnt a lot because of the San Pedro Valley, the ecosystem. We have a lot of connections. So, me as an entrepreneur, I grew a lot, I learnt a lot and I made a lot of connections and the company as well because we made a lot of changes and after the program, like we had klipbox before Seed and klipbox after seed. It is totally different. And we also found a new cofounder in Tech that had changed for good a lot.
Vinay: Oh! Thats awesome to hear. So, if I have to ask you to give a rating on your overall experience on say 1 to 5 with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest, What would you rate?
Alvaro: For us, it is 5. The thing is that we liked the staff of Seed - they are open, they listen a lot, they asked for feedback all the time, listen to that and change things that need to be changed. So, it was a great experience for us, it was in the right timing, so for us it is 5.
Vinay: Yeah! Timing is everything and it is great to have people who listen to feedback. Let's say I am an entrepreneur wanting to apply for Seed Brazil in the next batch, what tips would you have for me?
Alvaro: We had a great experience because we are brazilians. This is a weak point of Seed because the majority were brazilians so official language was portuguese. It has some stuff in English like the Account Executives, the people who help you in the program, all of them speak English but the content that I said that was good was all in portuguese. Majority of the connections were in Portuguese.
So, I think it is one of the feedback that if you are planning to go into the Brazilian market, it is a great opportunity. It depends on what you are looking for like they have money, they have connections but it depends on how your startup is right now.
Vinay: Maybe, we should just brush up a little portuguese before we go there!
Alvaro: Yeah! Probably, it will help a lot.
Vinay: Did you have any feedback that you missed to give the Seed Brazil team, maybe you can give it now.
Alvaro: In the end of the program, we made like a report of feedback from all entrepreneurs and we gave it to them. One month after, they invite us to say we read it all, we will make these changes. They are good listeners and the thing I like is that they are looking to help the ecosystem because they are not private, they are a public accelerator so, the output is to help the ecosystem grow.
Vinay: Makes sense! Makes a lot of sense. That was great Alvaro! Thank you so much for spending time with us. Where can the listeners go to find out more about your company and connect with you?
Alvaro: Yeah! We have our website, klipbox.com.br. You can reach me at my email which is [email protected] If you have any questions about Seed, I would love to help.
Vinay: Thats awesome Alvaro! There you go folks, That was Alvaro, Co Founder of klipbox.
You can go to klipbox.com.br that is K L I P B O X . C O M . B R or follow him on twitter @ A L V I N H O B A R B O S A.
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