Clear, concrete and punctual when explaining the entrepreneurial world, but at the same time warm as a mother who already understands everything, and with the understanding look of a patient woman who has learned to find a place in the business world, and that she has managed to discover the best version of herself.
“For me, empowered women are all those who have the possibility of identifying which version they want to be of themselves. There is no female model, each one has to look for her model and the one that suits her best. My great purpose in life is for young girls to understand that it is not divorced to have a venture and think about doing things that impact with building your family. You can do both”, says Marta Cruz.
The co-founder and director of NXTP Labs, the capital fund that has invested in 200 technology-based startups that generate impact in Latin America, went through Córdoba on August 28 to speak at the Entrepreneurial Capital Forum organized by the Córdoba Innovar y Emprender Agency . She was the first president of the Association of Private Entrepreneurial Capital and is an ambassador for the Innovation Park of the City of Buenos Aires. It was selected as Power Women in Fintech, by Innotribe. It promotes equal opportunities and is a strong promoter of women entrepreneurs, leading the initiative for the creation of Women Entrepreneurs Day in Latin America and the Caribbean.
A life story
At the age of 24 he already had three children, at 30 he decided to resume his university studies and at 33 he began an ascending career by marking strong marks. On his way there are some pending accounts, due to lack of time, but with a successful result not only in business. “When you get in this way you have to know that the balance does not exist, you will be in a permanent imbalance. You will always owe something to someone. Once your husband, because you do not have time, again your children, because you did not go to any school event, your friends, your parents because you did not call them, and you, because you did not go to the doctor, to the gym, etc. . The problem is when you always owe something to the same person. We must change, and owe a little to each one. Today I am married 38 years ago to the same man and I can say that I put the same passion in analyzing a company that in the kitchen making lemon puddings ”, confessed Cruz.
Impact and purpose work
“Sometimes it seems to me that I am not so conscious. I prefer to accompany them once it was chosen. And make business contacts and support smart capital. Clearly I am not a financial investor, but a long-term relational investor. What produces me is a great satisfaction. I like this to build, knowing that companies today are impacting on job creation. My companies have generated 5,000 jobs throughout the region and more than 500,000 indirectly. I like the impact and the purpose”.
According to your experience, what is the characteristic of the Argentine entrepreneur?
It is resilience par excellence. I always compare it to the Israeli entrepreneur, where they have what they call the hutzpa. It does not have a translation in a single word in Spanish, but it means many things: it is daring, damn, that always goes forward and does not think about the limits. Israel is a country with eight million inhabitants, permanently threatened by its surroundings, and from there come the most important companies in the world that are publicly traded. In Argentina there is no predictability. We never know what will happen. When we believe that everything will continue as we thought, we change again. I do not say that it is neither good nor bad. It is not a matter of ideology. It’s reality. We do not have the possibility to foresee that something will be maintained for a long time in terms of the conditions for the development of a business. So that makes the Argentine entrepreneur always think global, or at least regional. The Argentine entrepreneur is accustomed to working in changing contexts, adapts, has the ability to analyze and start over. And one thing that is extremely important to highlight, especially for investors, has to do with the ability to do a lot with little.
Is it still interesting to invest in enterprises in Argentina?
Yes. There is an investor from my fund, Mexican, who just told me that in complex contexts like these it is more business to invest than to stop investing. Because one can find opportunities and capture and add value. In addition to the Argentine entrepreneur thinking about global companies, Argentina simply ends up being the place where I test the model. I do the test of Argentina, I can have human resources and be living anywhere in the world. So the equation is good if the entrepreneur has the ability to see that opportunity.
Of all the startups that you have accompanied in their growth, which particularly caught your attention or surprised you by raising something different?
I have many. Now there is a nano-satellite company that is making such a big disruption that it is a very strong bet from both the entrepreneur and all investors. You can change the way you read what happens around the earth. It is generating a constellation of nano satellite that will be able to have a reading of the entire planet in terms of minutes. It is called Satellogic. Then I have the “Uber” of trucks in Brazil, which is an Argentine who developed the model there. We have a company that supports low-income children so that they can get their first job through a tool that is an application to videotape their CVs. Sometimes one reads a resume and does not have much content because it lacks trajectory, but if I see the person, his commitment and his pitch, it is more attractive to recruit employees, and today the application is being sold to McDonald’s, for example , to recruit your employees. I have blockchain related companies, which are doing wonderful things in smart contracts; and cybersecurity companies, which are allowing fraud to be reduced and protecting the most important capital of companies, which is their information.
Front similar proposals, what is the factor that makes you lean towards a project?
Before the same market opportunity, the balance always leans towards the value of the equipment. It is the people who make the companies. The most important thing ends up being the team. It has happened to us with a startup where they started with an idea, we invested, it didn’t work and now they are doing something else in which they are doing very well. If the team has diversity, in general it is proven that it has the capacity to be sustainable over time and obtain better yields.
Also published on Medium.