Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt López Bases Success on Finding the Right People
Leopoldo Alejandro Betancourt López is a Venezuelan businessman who got his start in the oil and gas industry. He is a successful entrepreneur and investor, primarily in the technology and finance sectors. Betancourt typically becomes closely involved in the projects that interest him by both investing and serving in top leadership positions. He also credits his success to finding the right people at the right time.
When Betancourt began his career as an investor, he examined many companies that were experiencing rapid growth and spent a good deal of time trying to understand the reasons behind their success. He also met with people who were building startups with the same concepts, but in different parts of the world. These businesses often experienced very different results, which Betancourt realized was due to the people behind them.
Betancourt feels that he has been very lucky to work with the right people at the right time. He also believes that surrounding yourself with people who have the right idea is more important to success in business than being the smartest person in the world. Once these people allow you to contribute your ideas, those ideas can go on to form a company. Such a company can then maintain the momentum needed to become a success.
Betancourt has had many mentors during his career that have guided him and provided useful. He tries to value everyone’s advice but hasn’t always taken it. In some cases, Betancourt failed to take good advice, which became a learning experience for him. He feels that everyone has the “ability to really filter and try to take the good and just live behind what is not constructive.” Betancourt adds that the combination of getting good advice and finding people with the right ideas is crucial for success in business.
A simple Google search can find many people with ideas for starting a business, although identifying the ones that will be successful is far more challenging. Some people think this process is all luck, but Betancourt says that it also requires the right effort and focus. It’s important to realize that no one is right every time. Instead, the goal should be to maintain a positive batting average by learning from past mistakes.
Betancourt’s experience with Hawkers Sunglasses provides a strong example of how the right people can help a struggling company succeed. Hawkers was founded in 2013 by brothers Alejandro and David Moreno, and their friends Iñaki Soriano and Pablo Sanchez. The backgrounds of these four men are highly varied, but they include expertise in programming and graphic design. They had previously launched an online second-hand webstore called Saldum, which closed in 2012 due to a lack of outside financing.
The founders of Hawkers started developing other online stores while they were still trying to salvage Saldum. They decided on sunglasses because they are both easy to sell and have a high profit margin. Their first product line was Knockaround Sunglasses, which they purchased with an initial investment of $300. These models sold well, as did a line of sunglasses for women. However, the company’s long-term growth was limited by a lack of operating capital.
Betancourt became heavily involved with Hawkers in October 2016, when he organized Series A funding rounds that raised over $50 million. He was able to secure investments from several people he had already worked with on previous projects. These included Felix Ruiz, the founder of Jobandtalent, where Betancourt is an investor. Betancourt is also a major shareholder in O’Hara Financial, which invested in Hawkers. Betancourt chose these investors because he knew from his past association with them that they would respect Hawkers’ freedom and identity, eliminating the need for the company to change its mission or business model.
The main purpose of this funding was to consolidate Hawkers brands at the international level. The company also used it to expand into markets outside Spain, to which Betancourt contributed $24.5 million of his own money. Additional uses of this capital include the development of fashion brands like Neon Coco and Polo Club. Based on the successful funding efforts, the founders of Hawkers offered Betancourt the role of company president. He accepted and still serves in that role.
Originally published at https://www.entrepreneurshiplife.com on May 20, 2022.