By Riley Kaminer
South Florida has always been a top destination for hardworking immigrants looking to stake their claim to a piece of the American Dream. Charly Esnal is helping make those dreams come true.
As Co-Founder of Base Miami, Esnal can be considered a first port of call for Latin American tech founders looking to expand to the US. Since the company’s launch two years ago, he has helped successful Latin American entrepreneurs better understand the US market – and their company’s position in it.
Globalizing a business always comes with risks: from cultural conundrums to financial frustrations. Esnal argues that working with Base Miami can flatten the learning curve. He claims that businesses that work with him can “achieve in 3 months what would take 18 months to do on their own.”
The Base Miami team is developing a one-month bootcamp in conjunction with Moishe Mana’s Miami tech organization Mana Tech and ASELA USA, an association for Latin American entrepreneurs. 12 founders will be selected to come to Miami and take a crash course in how to succeed in the US market. Topics will cover everything from how to adapt their value proposition to the US market to learning how to engage with American customers.
“In one month, founders will have a clear roadmap of what time and capital investments are required for the initial 6-18 months of their market entry to generate a repeatable, scalable revenue engine,” said Esnal.
“We are excited to support other Latin founders who want to make it in the US,” Esnal said, noting that this course distills Base Miami’s years of experience supporting over 100 companies’ entrance into the US market. He explained that Base Miami’s partners will add significant value to the offering: “Moishe is a visionary in transforming ecosystems with a focus on innovation, and we really believe in his vision.” He continued, saying that ASELA USA’s support of the program is crucial because of its central role in the Latin American tech ecosystem, with around 200,000 members across 12 countries.
According to Esnal, the ideal company for the bootcamp will already have around USD$1 million in ARR in their home country or region. “Some might have VC funding, while others may not,” he said – although having a solid customer base at home is crucial for applicants to the bootcamp. They are sector agnostic, but companies must be technical and forward-thinking, with a clear digital footprint.
Through the bootcamp, Esnal hopes to help these companies avoid many of the main challenges Latin American founders face when trying to enter the US market. Among these pitfalls is what Esnal describes as “startup founder syndrome,” or an entrepreneur’s naive assumption that “what you are doing is so innovative and amazing that all you have to do is to meet people, tell them your story, and you’ll make it.” On the contrary, Esnal advises founders that in the US networking is just one part of a successful startup’s sales strategy.
Another major shock for Latin American entrepreneurs pounding the pavement in the US is how to position their company for US consumers. “We see companies with too many verticals, or too many types of clients,” Esnal said. “That may work in their home country, but in the US market we tell them that they have to pick just one and go for it.”
On June 4th, Base Miami will be hosting a free webinar on some of these very pitfalls, which they call the “7 Deadly Sins of US Market Entry.”
To learn more about and apply for the bootcamp, check out Base Miami’s website.