Why we do what we do in DILA Capital

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

One of our close advisors sent us this TED talk from Simon Sinek:

While this TED Talk is from 2009 and has been viewed more than 50M times, I hadn’t yet seen it! And the very simple, yet very powerful message really got to me: Why do we do what we do? We’re pretty certain of the “what” and “how” here at DILA Capital: invest in the top entrepreneurs from Mexico, Latam and US Hispanic regions by raising funds from investors and investing that capital into startups in exchange for equity.

The good question is “why”? Why do I invest in the risky and bold? Why did I choose this career path? Its not a simple task to answer the “why”, asking myself why I do what I do and why I love what I do has been a great exercise for these past few weeks. So this post is my attempt to explain “why we do what we do in DILA Capital”.

DILA stands for “Development in Latin America” as we are true believers that venture capital is one of the roads to the development of the region. We believe that with our capital, investing in the best entrepreneurs, we will aid in the progress and advancements of our countries. We believe that with our capital we will detonate innovation, the use of technology, generate well-paid jobs and therefore improve quality of life and wealth distribution. When we started the firm we did so because there was no venture capital in the market in Mexico. DILA Capital was created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. We suffered, as founders, the lack of venture capital in the market, so we sold our businesses and created a venture capital firm to kickstart the venture capital ecosystem. We started DILA because we saw a huge problem and were compelled to fix it.

Venture capital is destined to invest in the people that are offering the best products and services to the market. We believe that there is no better option to boost development than to mobilize the financial, risk-taking and innovation capacities of the private sector. However, numbers aside, before all else, we invest in people. We invest in human capital, in entrepreneurs with the right mindset. Based on our experience, we`re certain that entrepreneurs have absolutely no chance of success without it. This mindset is based on attitude, we are firm believers that attitude is the name of the game. Our experience investing in entrepreneurs for the past 15 years has led us to firmly believe that the key to having this attitude is passion; look for founders that truly believe in why they are doing what they are doing. We invest in those that convince us they are starting a business for the right reasons, we invest in the founders that spread their passion with an almost contagious sensation.

Science shows that the secret to high performance is in the deep desire to direct their own lives, to extend and expand their abilities, and fill their life with purpose. DILA seeks to invest in diverse teams that are achieving these desires and passions through their companies. DILA looks for entrepreneurs who start a company because they see a problem they feel compelled to fix (just like we started the firm when we saw a problem we felt driven to repair). Through the years we have noticed that there is an extra something going for founders that start with a mission. It leads to more tenacity, more passion, more feel for the product and market, and ultimately a higher probability of success.

By investing in the entrepreneurs that know “why they do what they do” and investing in companies that are changing the world for better, our funds will have above-market returns.

We have a very ambitious goal, aimed to make an impact, and a real lasting change, and that goal is that no Latin American entrepreneur fails because there was no money to fund his world changing business.

So, the quick answer I would give is: We do what we do so entrepreneurs that know why they do what they do can have sufficient capital to make a difference in the world, offer the best products and services and therefore change people´s lives for the better. With this, we will foster innovation and contribute to the development of our countries and communities, while giving our LPs a great return on their capital investments.

Shout out to Daniel Zapata who helped me in this post. Looking forward to your comments.

Alejandro Diez Barroso. General Partner @ DILA Capital, a venture capital firm focused on Latin American and Hispanic startups.

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