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A Latin American Angel Investor's Advice On How To Succeed In Tech

A Latin American Angel Investor's Advice On How To Succeed In Tech

Benzinga recently examined Merlina jobs platform that matches mostly blue-collar hourly talent with employers looking to hire.

One of the co-founders, Güimar Vaca Sittic, a New York-based tech entrepreneur and prolific angel investor who's backed more than 100 companies, shared the successful tech venture's story.

Merlin counts on over 50 employees working from Bogotá, Colombia, New York City and Salt Lake City and big name clients including Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE: QSR)’s Burger King, Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) and Sherwin-Williams Co (NYSE: SHW).

Interested in how a 28-year-old raised and educated in Argentina before attending the Unviersity of Chicago makes navigates the New York tech scene, Benzinga followed up with some additional questions.

Overcoming Challenges

What's the biggest challenge Vaca Sittic had to face in starting a tech company in New York?

“Starting any business, regardless of location, is always incredibly challenging,” he told Benzinga. “The best metaphor is probably jumping off a plane and trying to put together the parachute while you skydive. You have limited time and resources to get your product out to market, establish a solid vision, recruit an amazing team and many more challenges."

Merlin's biggest challenge — and competitive advantage — is managing three offices at once, he said.

"This meant a lot of travel for founders and big internal efforts to promote transparency and communications at all times.”

The Importance Of Mentors

Almost half of the companies in the Fortune 500 were founded by foreigners, Vacca Sittic said.

“Despite the many challenges we have as a society on a daily basis, the U.S. is a great place to start a company,” he said.

Vacca Sittic's advice for other minorities who want to start a tech company is to find mentors and make the most of them.

"At Merlin, we have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by amazing advisors since day one, which has been an integral part of our success. As a company launched from FJ Labs, we’ve had the support and guidance of the team as well as the community of founders and CEOs around it.”

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