"We work side by side with the projects we invest in", Carolina Franco from Toushka Capital
13 de November de 2018
13 de November de 2018
The conference focused on giving recommendations and sharing experiences in an interesting session that brought together entrepreneurs from EAE Lab and the strategy expert from the Mexican venture capital firm.
To begin, Carolina Osorio gave a presentation of Toushka Capital, the projects they work on, its international presence (with offices in Madrid, New York, Los Angeles and Mexico) and the company's field of expertise. The company is a venture capital firm that focuses its investment on boosting and scaling up high-impact entrepreneurial ventures. To achieve this, they search for strategic alliances with startups and companies with high growth and innovation potential. Moreover, they provide support to artistic, social and cultural projects. In fact, they were involved in the music in the animated film 'Coco' (a logical choice bearing in mind that the firm's owners are a philosopher and a musician).
Carolina Osorio manages the strategic side of Toushka Capital and deals with a great number of entrepreneurial projects on a daily basis. When considering them, they primarily evaluate aspects such as the plurality of the sector, the social impact and the scope for internationalization. Although when the company began operating 12 years ago, it was closely tied to real estate, Toushka moved into venture capital just a couple of years ago. As such, the organization is itself in a kind of entrepreneurial phase that "enables us to generate value in the companies that we participate in", she explained.
Carolina highlighted the potential that diversity gives the team of investors at Toushka Capital. "There are multiple points of view and that is extremely beneficial for the companies that we work in". Moreover, they are far more than just a passive investor in the projects they participate in. "We give advice and guidance. We meet up to look at the business cases together and we work side by side on many things".
When it comes to investing at Toushka Capital, particularly at the seed phase, they take into account aspects such as the activity on which the project focuses, if it has an innovative component and the social impact. "The business model is what most grabs our attention, as well as the degree of innovation too". In this initial stage, in is important to join an incubator like EAE Lab and "use the mentoring to strengthen the aspects that need it".
In the second stage of a project, the Mexican venture capital firm believes it is important to have all legal, financial and contractual aspects well finalized in relation to the company because "otherwise it is not a done deal and it is extremely risky". In the final stage, they focus more on the people's talent and not so much on their experience. "A project's potential comes from the talent behind it and the team that surrounds you, not the model".
Carolina shared her personal experience with the EAE entrepreneurs. "I have been in the position that you are now in". She emphasized the importance of data, stating that "metrics are extremely important, but they have to be effective metrics that generate investor confidence". She also explained that they base their decisions of the project information and know-how because that is how "we see where the money is going and what for. You have to offer the investor security".
When giving recommendations to the entrepreneurs of the EAE Lab incubator, Carolina emphasized the importance of integrated teams "with the best people", focusing on how similar structures function and using honesty and analysis when looking for a suitable investor. "Think beforehand about what you expect from them", advised the strategic expert.
Carolina explained the varied range of projects that Toushka Capital invests in and how they select the most interesting ventures. "We receive loads of projects and we approach them with impact investing initiatives. We also search out ecosystems in which entrepreneurs can be found, such as universities and business schools, and we build links with because that is where we can find really interesting initiatives".
She went on give the participants an overview of a few figures about the Mexican private investment firm for 2018. "Since February, we have received 400 projects and we have invested in 2 startups, a documentary, a film and a theatre play, although we measure matters related to creative industries with other parameters". The Mexican venture capital is currently working on two jazz projects that she describes as "really good".