Alejandro leads the vision and execution for Onevest as its CoFounder and CEO. Prior to Onevest, Alejandro was an attorney at King & Spalding where he was involved in one of the biggest investment arbitration cases in history, Chevron v. Ecuador ($113 billion at stake). Alejandro guest lectures at NYU Stern School of Business and The Wharton Business School.
What experience led you to co-found Onevest?
I cofounded Onevest because at least 33% of startups fail due to cofounder/founding team problems. Moreover, only 3% of venture capital money goes into Seed stage startups, and there is a massive lack of structure at that financing level. By launching Onevest, we knew that we could support companies from the formation stage, by matching cofounders, all the way to getting their first round of financing. The idea was to master the bridge from founding to funding.
How does CoFoundersLab streamline the process of getting a business-ready entrepreneur the team they need to get started?
CoFoundersLab has been working on this problem for about four years. The company has brought on advisers from Match.com, and people working to understand co-founder dynamics with the help of research backed by the Kauffman Foundation.
Through CoFoundersLab, members can search a self-selected pool of cofounder candidates, and get a good sense as to if a candidate possesses complementary skills, and has a compatible personality, and shares similar goals and values. All of these things are critical to forming a strong, long-lasting founding team.
How does the merger to create Onevest further assist entrepreneurs by providing valuable services needed to begin and grow a business?
On July 2014 we announced the merger between RockThePost and CoFoundersLab to form Onevest. Before the merger to form Onevest, both entities were resolving two big problems within the startup ecosystem. With RockThePost, there was a big lack of structure in early stage financing. Knowing that startups fail 33% of the time due to issues related with the founding team, CoFoundersLab launched in 2012 with the idea to match people based on different interests, following a more scientific approach that has been proven to be very successful.
What is the biggest hurdle companies face when starting from the ground up, and how can they be overcome?
In early stage investing, the most important ingredient is the team. From our point of view, capturing deal flow at the formation stage will reduce investment risks arising from founder issues, as founders are scientifically matched on the site to create startup teams that will later raise a round of funding. With this in mind, we are helping to resolve the two biggest hurdles that startups face which are finding talent and funding.
Your founding team can make or break a business. What are the attributes you look for in a co-founder?
Alignment, passion, complementary skills, and friendship.
Aside from your company/job, what is your greatest success?
Who do you most admire?
My father. He is a great source of inspiration for me. He came from nothing and started his own business. He inspired me enough to pack my bags at the age of 22 to come to the U.S. to go after my own dreams.
What is one book you would recommend to everyone?
‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins. Without a doubt an absolute must for any entrepreneur looking to build a successful business.
Who is someone we should be following on Twitter right now?
There are a ton of people on Twitter that I very much enjoy following. However, if I had to pick just one I would probably go with venture capitalist Mark Suster. He is a VC that has been on both sides of the table (just like the name of his blog) and really understands the mechanics of the startup game.
What is one app that all FoundersCard Members should be using?
For me the Google Drive app is a must. This way I can access from my phone all the documents that I have saved very easily when I am on the go.
Give us your best plug/brag a little about as to what you’re working on now/next.
We are about to launch a complex financial structure that we have been incubating as an idea for the past 2 years. I am thrilled as it is going to revolutionize the way in which founders can access financing from large institutional investors.
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