It's important to have female representation in all industries, but now more than ever, it's also crucial that the Latinx community is given a voice. Digital Marketing expert Andrea Arnau is one woman who's ticking off both and serving as an inspiration for Latina women who want to venture into the world of business. With over 20 years of experience, Andrea has worked with global companies, including McDonalds, Hyundai, State Farm, Bud Light. Recently, the Harvard Business School graduate has transitioned to become the Chief Marketing Officer at OTC: ROKK, a Miami-based company that enables aspiring entrepreneurs and established companies to successfully launch exponential, tech-driven businesses. In her role, she's helped create over 50 startups that are based around the world, including Latin America. Now, Andrea is taking her talents to Shark Tank Colombia where she'll help Latinx entrepreneurs make their dreams come true.
Andrea Arnau will be on the upcoming season of Shark Tank Colombia
"Companies in Colombia today are rich in talent and creativity, but I think a shift in their entrepreneurial mindsets still needs to occur so these aspiring business leaders can truly understand that it’s possible to thrive not just in Colombia, but across the world with a multinational customer base, thanks to technology,” she says. “My goal at Shark Tank Colombia is to make that potential very clear to the entrepreneurs we met."
HOLA! USA sat down with Andrea to talk all things business, how she got tapped to being one of the eight investors for the show's third season and what she hopes the Latinx community takes away from the show...
HOLA! USA: How did you get involved with Shark Tank Colombia?
Andrea Arnau: "Earlier this year, when I was in Argentina visiting family, I got a call. It’s my best friend from college’s husband, who knows me and what I do for work very well. I pick up, and he’s like, 'Andrea, I got a call that Shark Tank Colombia is looking for women for the next season of the show. I think you’d be perfect for it.' When I hung up, I immediately texted the group chat that me and all my girlfriends are in, and said, 'Girls, do you watch Shark Tank Colombia?' All of them were like, 'YES, of course. It’s one of my favorite TV shows.' After three meetings with their casting director, producer and the director, I was asked to join Season 3. Of course I said yes!"
Did you learn anything from the other sharks throughout the show?
"The group of judges for season 3 is really diverse – people from all backgrounds, industries and age groups. We all learned so much from each other every time an entrepreneur would come in with a pitch because everyone would have a totally different question about the idea or the product. It’s like looking at a piece of art – it’s the same painting standing there in front of the whole group, but each person looks at it from a different perspective. But I have to say that I learned a lot specifically from Mauricio Hoyos. I tend to look at things in a really big picture way because in my job at Rokk3r, I put everything into a global context; Mauricio, on the other hand, looks at things in a really granular way, like 'What are the local taxes you’d have to pay for your business in that Colombian town?' So it’s taught me to incorporate that into my thought process more."
Three tips for up-and-coming entrepreneurs?
"First, build your company fast and put it on the market even if it’s not super polished or 100% robust yet. You’re so much better off releasing something sooner and reworking the details of it in real-time, than working on it over and over again until you think it’s “ready.”
Second, build it, release it, reiterate it, and gain traction. Investors like that. Know exactly what resources you need to grow your company. Some entrepreneurs make the mistake of going out to raise money from investors without knowing exactly what they need that investment for. And if that’s the case, they end up spending that money incorrectly and wasting it.
And third, once you’ve raised money investors, know what milestones your company needs to achieve so you can get that next round of fundraising, whether it’s a specific number of users or a certain amount of revenue you need to hit by a particular date."
Craziest pitch you've ever received?
"Rokk3r doesn’t see too many “crazy” pitches because we tend to work with entrepreneurs and executives with successful track records. But something that’s crazy to me—and this has nothing to do with pitches I’ve seen—is that entrepreneurs sometimes fall into the trap of putting their all into the business plan or the business idea, without putting as much thought and work behind the people. Without a good team that’s motivated by a single cause, your idea won’t go anywhere."
"As women, we are capable of so much – we’re caregivers, we’re mentors, we’re friends, we are thought leaders, we inspire people," Andrea told HOLA! USA
What do you hope is the main takeaway for Latin Americans who watch the show?
"I hope they watch the show and realize that entrepreneurship is a viable option for them, and gives them the confidence and inspiration to go out and create a business that solves real problems. I think Latinos are, by nature, problem solvers. And we solve real problems. Here in the United States, people have the luxury to build a million different organic dog food delivery companies, but in Latin America we have big issues that still need solutions, like getting more people access to bank accounts! So I really hope people watch this and are inspired to get out there and try starting a company themselves."
And do you have any specific advice for Latina women?
"My advice would be to silence that voice in your head that makes you doubt your ideas and trust in your capabilities. As women, we are capable of so much – we’re caregivers, we’re mentors, we’re friends, we are thought leaders, we inspire people. We are capable of handling multiple roles at once without failing at any– we’ve done it for centuries."
Shark Tank Colombia will air on Friday, September 6 on Canal Sony.