Funding Friday: Mexican Projects

I just backed these two projects from Mexico. They are both focused on kids and they both look awesome.



Comments (Archived):

  1. JimHirshfield

    I’m funding two kids and their many projects as well. Send contributions please. College on the horizon.

    1. Jess Bachman

      What are the backer rewards?

      1. Lawrence Brass

        Long term.. its grandchildren. ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. panterosa,

      I outsourced the college fund to my wasband. Delegate!!

      1. Twain Twain

        LOL! We learn something new every day here!”wasband”.I haven’t gotten a “—band” of any type yet and now I feel like I should, so then one day I can use a “—band” term.LOL.

        1. panterosa,

          I met a woman in the 80’s who used it, and years later voilรก I had a use! I used to see the “original waistband” at the beach in the summer, buying beer, but he is underground now…Since my wasband is a journo it irks him there is no pithy counter point.I don’t think Twain, that you need a …band, tho it’s the “was” which makes it funny, I would stay in the now. (I wonder if that makes my BF my isband?)

      2. JimHirshfield

        Great. Send me his contact info.

        1. panterosa,

          He’s going to love me for that….

          1. JimHirshfield

            Love is mysterious like that

    3. Vasudev Ram

      Will contributions in kind do? I can send (links to) lots of open source software.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Pass, but thanks for the sentiment

  2. jason wright

    Kidstarter. A seed investment.

    1. JimHirshfield

      A seminal comment!

  3. Humberto

    Great! Especially the magic houses. I have 12 siblings, and the make-believe setting was always a powerful play starter!Fred do you find a correlation between the number of projects you’re backing now (outside VC) and your success, or were you always active and contributed on a another scale?

    1. fredwilson

      I invested in Kickstarter in 2009 and joined the board. I’ve always been an active backer but never more than right now. I am an addict

  4. mikenolan99

    I was a delegate on our governor’s trade mission to Mexico in 2015 – and toured the innovation and start up space in Guadalajara. IBM has located a brand new development facility there, and is supporting the community space as well as initiatives. I was damn impressed!

  5. William Mougayar

    Interesting that Kickstarter just launched in Mexico (mid-November), and was previously Fondeadora (now part of Kickstarter). And this is super big from Kickstarter:”During the company’s first 100 days in Mexico, it will be donating its 5 percent fee from every project launched in the country to local charitable organizations.”

    1. fredwilson

      Yeah. I think all of Latin America is a big opportunity for them

      1. Sam

        Latin America is fascinating, particularly from a consumer internet perspective. Tremendous penetration of social media there (WhatsApp a great case study) but very low penetration of e-commerce. Kickstarter is not really a pure play for any of these but is a little bit of all of them: a little bit consumer, a little bit social media, a little bit e-commerce (some of the same payment/assurance/business ethics challenges). Will be a fascinating to see if growth comes as rapidly as their expectations.

        1. Vasudev Ram

          >but very low penetration of e-commercWhy? anything cultural, like maybe they prefer to buy IRL rather than over the web or mobile? Not that that’s a bad thing of course. Nothing beats browsing in stores in person, for the ambience, if its a good store. Just asking.

          1. Jane with a Mexican last name

            Trust & payments (most Mexicans don’t have debit or credit cards) are two big issues as to why there is low penetration of e-commerce in Mexico. Security is another. Shipping is either unreliable or expensive.

  6. Daniel Vogel

    This makes me incredibly happy. I hope this is the first step in seeing USV take a leap and make some initial investments in the very undeveloped Mexican entrepreneurship ecosystem. If I can ever help you navigate that and talk about that, please let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. awaldstein

      I don’t know.Not about the value of support through Kickstarter in Latin America certainly. Not about the value of entrepreneurship generally.But Mexico as place for outsiders to do business in the face of the government is truly a mess. And risky.I wouldn’t.

      1. Daniel Vogel

        I’d love to learn more about your thoughts regarding “the face of the government”. Are there any specific stories you’ve had/know of that particularly worry you?

        1. awaldstein

          sure–how should an american feel about buying a piece of property in the biosphere south of tulum for example when the government can and does simply appropriate property as it will?i have done substantial business with mexican companies–like telemundo–with good success. I have also sold products into Mexico and throughout south america. Just nervous investing in anything where there is a physical presence or infrastructure. maybe it has changed but seems like a poor risk reward ration in that one instance.

          1. Daniel Vogel

            Thanks for taking your time in sharing your thoughts, i find them very interesting.My family has owned property in Mexico for over a century now and we’ve never had any property rights issues as far as I know.I am not familiar with the issues around the biosphere south of Tulum, but will try to do some research.There are many things that are broken in Mexico, no doubt about that. But in my opinion, all these broken things are also a huge area of opportunity!

          2. awaldstein

            Super….was not at all negative.For investors of course, opportunity is quantified by risk. And entrepreneurship by definition is highly risky–what 80% failure–so if there is additional political risk–you get my drift.Interesting that you’ve had property for so long and a rich family tradition. 110 years ago my family was just getting off the boat on Ellis Island with a strong culture and literally nothing else.

          3. panterosa,

            I’m also interested in this question….fly on the wall

  7. vankula

    Re: Sharing Land. I think this does the opposite of fostering creativity. We get a lot of boxes from Amazon and every time my 7 year old son grabs the big empty boxes and turns them into something – a boat, an animal museum, a putt putt course, he even built a game that dispenses tickets when you win (manually) like the kiddie arcades. Let’s not give our kids another paint by numbers, let’s give them a blank canvas.I am all for backing great projects, but let’s make sure all founders get proper scrutiny.

  8. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I hate that I don’t understand the first video. I *really* need to make time to learn Spanish. (Especially if I’m going to expatriate to Barcelona ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

    1. Vasudev Ram

      Duolingo is good though may not be enough. Been using it for a while. Also basic Spanish is not too difficult to pick up.This HN thread might be interesting – lot of talk about pros and cons of learning a foreign language, in this case German (the overall thread was about Berlin as a startup hub), but points should apply some to Spanish too:

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        That’s the thing. I feel like there’s no excuse for not learning Spanish. I have people all around me here who are native Spanish speakers and would probably be willing to help out.They are sort of teaching my kids Spanish at school, but nearly enough in my opinion. I want my kids to speak Spanish.I speak some French and really love it. It would be really useful and also fun to speak Spanish, I think. I’ll have to take an incremental approach, like, starting with just 5 minutes a day on Duolingo. It all adds up, no? ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Vasudev Ram

          Yes, 5 to 10 minutes works. For me it takes 10 minutes to do a session, but that is because I take a bit of extra time to try to reinforce the learning of words by using the memory palace technique, as I said in that HN thread (user id vram22).It helps that the app is fun to use, and generally bug-free and stable.

        2. Salt Shaker

          Funny story. I speak enough Spanish to get by when traveling but don’t know a tad of Portuguese. We were in Lisbon a year or two ago and I had a sinus infection. The hotel sent me to a clinic down the street. I communicated to the receptionist that I had an “infection” and pointed to my nose. She nodded that she understood and set me up for a doctor’s appt later that day. When I got back to the hotel I googled the doctor and discovered he was a dental surgeon specializing in extractions. Of course, I immediately went back to the clinic and found someone who was fluent in English.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Ha ha ha! Great story ๐Ÿ™‚

          2. Vasudev Ram

            > I speak enough Spanish to get by when traveling but don’t know a tad of PortugueseSpanish and Portuguese are fairly similar, as I’m sure you know (neighboring countries, and both languages descended from Latin, at least primarily, I’ve read, though other influences exist). Then why “don’t know a tad of Portuguese”? Or am I missing something?

          3. Salt Shaker

            When I say “I speak enough Spanish to get by” that doesn’t encompass communicating medical symptoms to a third-party. Donde esta el bano or me gusto la cerveza, no prob:)

          4. Vasudev Ram

            Lo tengo ๐Ÿ™‚

        3. creative group

          Kirsten Lambertsen:Google translate works fine.Free language courses via library via hoopla.We make excuses to be heard. We hear you and provides solutions. Don’t leave we need your input and vision at a critical time in this country. We need smart women more than ever because the Stedford wives have spoken.

      2. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Living in Barcelona is probably the best solution, though ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. Vasudev Ram

          Yes, a lot of language learners say immersion in the country and culture (of the target language) is the best way – and it makes sense.

    2. creative group

      Kristen Lambertsen:”Especially if I’m going to expatriate to Barcelona ๐Ÿ™ (“Why? People risk life and limb to immigrate to America. Nothing like it. The opportunity is endless. A great country with flaws, warts and imperfect humans. Nothing comes close even with the imperfections.

    3. Jane with a Mexican last name

      Kirsten- The first video is a children’s book to help kids cope with the divorce of their parents and the alienation they can experience as a result.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Thank you so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Thor Snilsberg

    Creativity often comes from scarcity.

  10. panterosa,

    I love Sharing Land.I loved my cardboard house so much when I was little. I would spend hours in there playing. The recent tendency to overschedule kids, the youngest especially, makes me cherish the endless hours to play and imagine.Sort of like the one I had, but mine was much simpler. https://s-media-cache-ak0.p

  11. creative group

    CONTRIBUTORS:if you read our posts they are sharp at times, directly targeted and sincere.We support Fred’s efforts that are socially driven that helps untold disenfranchised groups.The question is too Fred and those with Philanthropic endeavors promoted on AVC.What about supporting efforts that effect the millions in need in America?The Oprah Winfrey effect. Doing for others in other countries while those are in need here in America.Allow us to administer five million to create underserved housing for those in America that will be subsidized and you will not lose any principal in a for profit venture. Money is just thrown at the wall with little expectation of a return. Companies closing monthly with former evaluations unrealized. This is nuts.Identical to this successful for profit project.http://affordablehousingonl

  12. Gustavo Sandoval

    Can you please share the link to the projects? I would to get the second one for my daughter!

  13. Alexander Somervell

    Awesome! A friend showed me this as we ran a KS project ourselves in children’s publishing. Ours was in language learning, creating the first ever stories to start in English and end in a different language. It’s closed now, but please do take a look at it :)…