Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

05TH April 2020

Havana Culture - Timeless - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 5- Back to Havana

Chapter 5- The Riviera Pool Illustration- Finn, Nat, William card playing with Riviera dive in background- Ermitas Blanco Despite the late night, Finn was up early. The four-bedroom suite atop the Habana Riviera was worthy of anything he had seen in Europe or the States. And the coffee was better. Much better.  With his coffee came steaming hot croissants from the Riviera bakery- yes they had their own- and a decent plate of fresh fruit. He almost didn’t want to open the paper tucked under the tray. He looked out over the Malecon to the strait and Key West over the horizon, just 90 miles away. Just a few deep-sea fishing boats on the water, but that wasn’t a giveway for either era.  The cars on the Malecon were definitely […]

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02TH April 2020

Adventure - Havana Culture - Uncategorized

Shelter(ed) Day 2- Back to Havana

Chapter 2 – Go to what you Know Illustration- Nacionale entry- Ermitas Blanco Shot number three of Bacardi is even better than shots one and two, and the trio begins to feel loose enough to consider the fact that somehow, along the Malecon, that freak, giant wave has transported them back to [1957].  Pablo and Finn look around the veranda, feeling like they’re in some crazy dream.  Because there’s Edith Piaf in the corner, drinking coffee. Over there, Bogart and Bacall are quietly canoodling. A small string orchestra pauses, as the MC announces that a special guest has agreed to sing “The Sea and the Sand” for one of the celebrities in the audience celebrating a birthday. At that moment, Nat King Cole steps up to the microphone. It’s a […]

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01TH April 2020

Adventure - culture - Havana Culture - Uncategorized

Shelter(ed) Day 1- Back to Havana

The last flight for Havana is 12:55 this afternoon, says the US Embassy alert. And so, for a time, the only way for Americans to visit Havana now is by fantasy, and time travel. One might argue, that was the best way all along. Here is the first of sixteen Chapters, written to cover the average Corona quarantine. Hopefully, it makes for a fun escape. It’s time travel historical fiction (think Midnight in Paris, for Havana) written shortly after being ushered out of the country for suspicion of assisting entrepreneurs. I hope you enjoy “Back to Havana”. I did help the entrepreneurs. Chapter 1- First Time in Havana? Illustration from Ermitas Blanco- ‘57 Chevy hit by Malecon Wave Finn and Nina (friends with benefits) decide on a weekend adventure and […]

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19TH February 2018

Cuba - Entrepreneurs - Family and Friends - Food - Havana Culture - Leadership - Timeless - Uncategorized

On Celebrations and Cigars

The most appreciated gift I bring home from Havana is cigars. Wrapped by the best hands in the business, they seem to imply… “party coming soon”. I’m told this by aficionados because I certainly am not one. Usually, the reason to celebrate this way is having a baby, closing a financing, manifesting an exit. Sometimes it’s a personal best that takes a lot of work and has a defined moment worth savoring. They also combine very well with Cuban rum, which isn’t a coincidence either. So here’s my offer: tell me about your recent financing, exit, acquisition, or similar entrepreneur or life triumph in 100 words or less, I’ll send you a box of the best Cohiba’s I have. I’ll do it just for the happy story.  

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06TH January 2018

Angel Investor - Cuba - Family and Friends - Family Office - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Leadership - Parenting

Fire and Fury? Well, Havana’s safe as ever, guys. (IMHO)

I don’t know much about the current book dominating the headlines, except for how it applies to my personal experience in Cuba. Last year, much was made about travel to Cuba being suddenly suspect or dangerous. With nearly a year to look back now, I see a few main themes that may explain 2017: Roll back on any Obama initiative one can find. Lob an unprovable grenade as justification. Even though “Sonic Attacks” sounds more like “Remember the Maine” each day, it got the job – confusion- done well. Exert pressure on Havana citizens by closing the US Embassy and closing off visa applications. This isn’t much fun. Poke the Cuban Military by blacklisting hotels and travel business they control. Since the State Department published it’s “no-go” list in November, […]

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08TH December 2017

Cuba - Grand Central Tech - Havana Culture - Innovadores

How’s it going in Havana? See for yourself.

I’m asked a lot about Havana. I suppose my opinion has gone from rookie observations to a seasoned sophomore at this point- there are so many others here that have lived and learned so much more than me. But FWIW here’s what I see. Sonic attacks are at a bare minimum (haha). Whatever happened, whoever knew, wherever they got that thing… if it existed at all…it is safe to say that no-one here gives it any more credence than the sinking of the battleship Maine. While I can’t make any guarantees, I think it is safe to say the risk of danger from rum overload is probably greater than the danger from sonic attacks. The hotspots are still pretty hot. I once wrote about a list written on a napkin at 304 O’Reilly in […]

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09TH May 2017

Cuba - Geopolitical - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Uncategorized - Venture Capital - Vision

Innovadores and Family Office Association White Paper on Investing in Cuba

I’m proud to say that, two short years after Family Office Association put us together, John, Jono and I produced this sweeping historical overview and going-forward plan for investing in Cuba, which we called “Ready Set Go: Cuba!” . Anyone headed to Havana to discover business opportunities should read it. Those are Innovadores Interns Raynel Gonzalez (GCT Intern Class 2016) and Gabriel Garcia (GCT Intern Class 2015) on the cover. Enjoy the read, and hope to see you in Havana soon! Download the report here.      

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09TH May 2017

Cuba - culture - Fashion Snoops - Geopolitical - Grand Central Tech - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Timely - Uncategorized

Three Big Indicators Cuba will Ignite soon… (and that’s a good thing)

I’ve just returned from hosting another delegation of entrepreneurs and investors in Havana, and this trip was particularly enlightening. On previous trips, I’ve lamented the fact that things seemed to move slowly, while one of my co-founders John often reminds me “this is fassssst”. In any event, we’ve held a view that Cuba is 2-5 years from kicking in to growth mode, and one of those years has passed. We also hold the view that once it begins, it will be too late to catch some of the big opportunities as it will move very fast. (The Innovadores/ Family Office Association White Paper has more on the actual opportunities themselves.) So, what indicators does one look for? At an embassy briefing, I heard the first time about Control and Change. Cuba […]

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23TH March 2017

Baseball - Cuba - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Leadership - Timely - Uncategorized

Back from Havana 

I got a memory reminder from Facebook- I generally hate them- but this at least helped me place a watershed moment in Cuban-American relations… the day I met John Caulfield. In the two years since, the Innovadores has blossomed under John and Jono’s efforts, and I have played a small part in assisting them. I’m back from Havana this time feeling so alive with optimism. Ok its measured, long term optimism, but optimism because of how many things progressed in two years. First, the mere fact that I did get a notification on Facebook means there was wifi, with increasing coverage. The fact that we had a dozen investors and entrepreneurs with us discovering ways to work in Cuba seemed unfathomable two years ago. Sitting in on a fabulous diplomatic […]

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15TH July 2016

Adventure - Creative problem Solving - Cuba - Entrepreneur - Geopolitical - Grand Central Tech - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Uncategorized

Crushing it in Cuba

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead The Innovadores Foundation just completed the most amazing year of progress, thanks in no small part to that small team, and the support of donors like you who believed it could be done. ReBirth of our Foundation A year ago, our 501c3 was still named KFAC, a charitable hold-over from our many years crossing Long Island Sound to benefit our community and environment. Part of that journey led us to support young entrepreneurs who won internships at Grand Central Tech; we have placed more than two dozen kids in that enviable spot in the past two years. But when we began to make our inroads in […]

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