Today we sat down with Alejandro Villarán, entrepreneurship, internationalization, and business development mentor, to get to know him a little better.
Alejandro has a long career in which every experience has let him to grow personally and professionally. He explains how in his degree last year he received a talk from EY and at that moment he imagined himself working there. And, that was what happened, but, after 10 years at EY he felt that it was time to go back to Huelva and launch his first startup. That's how Seabery Augmented Technologies was born. He remembers his 8 years at Seabery as an enriching experience, but, at the same time, a very hard one. After taking a necessary break, he began to think about his next growth stage, where he is now, with the development of his new startup, GrowersGo
His path through entrepreneurship
Alejandro assures us that without leaving Huelva it is possible to build a value proposition that first class customers from all over the world will buy. That is what his first startup, Seabery, demonstrated to him, with which he began his relationship with entrepreneurship. Once he finished that enriching stage, he started the next one, in which, with part of the equity he obtained with Seabery, he invested in startups that were in their early stages in order to help with his experience. Something he continues to do with his mentoring work at La Lonja, where he is willing to help depending on the needs of each project.
Currently, in addition to mentoring, he has brought to life his second startup, GrowersGo, which has the mission of giving people easy and fun access to personal and socio-emotional development, playing through the common thread of horticulture.
Huelva and entrepreneurship
Is important to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Huelva, because it is possible to start a startup from the province and be successful, that is what Alejandro experience has demonstrated, who believes that we must “raise awareness of technological entrepreneurship to new generations, using the hub of La Lonja as a space for dissemination, inspiration and motivation for vocational training and university students. In addition, we must attract back the Huelva talent that had to leave due to the lack of possibilities, so that they can be the founders of the future”.
In La Lonja de la Innovación we agree with our mentor’s words and we believe in the talent of the province, so we aspire to Huelva to be in the most innovative path of technology and progress.
The ideal entrepreneur
Health, growth, contribution, passion, persistence, humility, honesty, empathy, generosity, industriousness and courage. This long list of virtues is the one that Alejandro tells us when we ask him about the values needed to be a good entrepreneur.
Alejandro's adventure as an entrepreneur has led him to live experiences from which he has learned and grown. Today, he offers this learning as advice for all those who wish to become entrepreneurs. For our mentor, it is essential that they spend time on self-knowledge and building a vision that they connect with from the heart. To this he adds a second, more technical, advice, but equally important for those thinking of starting a startup, this is the need to study the market, the competition and work on a value proposition that improves something in the way that a problem is being solved.
Inspiration for entrepreneurs from leisure
Learning in our free time is also possible, so we have asked Alejandro what are his recommendations to find inspiration from leisure time. To this question, he didn’t hesitate to highlight Steve Jobs' life, who has been a motivation for him, as he tells us. There are many films and books about Apple's creator, such as, for example, “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” by Alex Gibney.
On the other hand, Alejandro is aware of the importance of mental health, so he recommends Robin Sharma’s books to help us to take care of our mind and know ourselves better. Another author who has inspired him is Nir Eyal with “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products”, which he considers an essential work to help us to “manage to control our thoughts, maintain focus and be productive”.
Not everything is work
When Alejandro isn’t working or consuming books or movies that inspire him as an entrepreneur, he enjoys going to the sea or going out into nature where, on his trail bike, he rides and gets lost in our forests. In addition, in this interview he confesses one last detail about him: “paradoxically, despite having been in technology for almost 25 years, I am at a time when I value more real things, real people and the simplicity of little things. That is where I am finding meaning, peace and balance”. Undoubtedly, three essential aspects that we all must have in our lives.
It has been a pleasure to get to know Alejandro Villarán a little better and we are lucky to have him in our professional team of mentors, along with other experts such as Adela de Mora, entrepreneurial ecosystem mentor; Miguel Ángel Torres, technology mentor or Diego Martínez, logistics mentor.
If you would like to learn more about all that La Lonja has to offer, take a look at our programs and write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!