Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

28TH June 2018

Angel Investor - Geopolitical - Mobile - Parenting - Race to the Bottom - Timely

Ding. Look at me.

Digital addiction has gripped society in less than a decade. The smartphone era dates from Apple’s introduction of the iPhone in 2007… before that, the closest thing to a digital pavlovian response was hearing AOL’s goofy “You’ve got Mail”. Either way, it is a nanosecond in human evolution. No matter what we think we know now, we simply don’t know what the long-term effects of digital devices/smartphones are or will be, any more than generations past could glean the effects of all of those earlier technologies on moods, relationships, and cognitive development. Americans check their devices 80 times per day, which is more often than men think about sex (34.2 times according to Psych Today… I promise). Why? The secret is in the glowing notifications, likes and shares. Psychologists at […]

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13TH October 2017

Cuba - culture - Geopolitical - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Timely - Uncategorized

Thank you, Donald 

POTUS, you made Havana mysterious again. (Havana, Cuba) Back in the day, Pan Am brought The Rat pack and friends to Havana for some of the best fun in the sun of the 20th century. Nothing since has come close, until Obama ended 55 years of Castro Curfew in 2015. Havana lit up, out of almost nowhere. Thanks to AirBnB, 497,000 Americans visited Cuba in the following year. Restaurants, music clubs, galleries, and tech began to flourish under the “small entrepreneur” permits. Flights were quick, regular, and cheap. Visas were easy to obtain. The path to progress looked pretty direct. Then, the US embassy staff in Havana was cut by half, Cubans were expelled from Washington, and warnings were made based on a mysterious sonic device. Everyone was totally confused at the […]

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13TH October 2017

culture - Geopolitical - Good Story - Leadership - Timeless - Timely

Hold my Beer- Jacques DeMolay

  On the way to dinner, with Cuban entrepreneurs no less, we got into a discussion of the hex of Friday the 13th, and no one knew the origin. It’s actually an 800-year-old entry in the “Hold my Beer” Series: the name is Jacques De Moulay, last of the Knights Templar. [French King] Philip wanted the Templars arrested and their possessions confiscated to incorporate their wealth into the Royal Treasury and to be free of the enormous debt he owed the Templar Order. Molay was in Paris on 12 October, where he was a pallbearer at the funeral of Catherine of Courtenay, wife of Count Charles of Valois, and sister-in-law of King Philip. In a dawn raid on Friday, 13 October 1307, Molay and sixty of his Templar brother knights were arrested. Philip then had the […]

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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 August 2016

Cuba - culture - Geopolitical - Grand Central Tech - Incubator - Innovadores - Interns - Uncategorized

Ask not what your country can do for you…

I am often asked about Cuban people and how they feel about Americans. This recent, impromptu photo from Choate explains it well. Ruben and two other Innovadores interns were visiting Choate recently, where this picture of a notable alum hangs in admissions. He didn’t know it was going to be there, but he recognized it. Being a selfie machine, Ruben sprung to action. But later, when I asked him, he said yes he knew about Bay of Pigs, The Blockade, and the Embargo. And while it hurt his country terribly, he didn’t harbor any grudges. That was just politics among people way above his pay grade. He knew JFK was a famous and iconic figure. And he made for a good selfie backdrop. Cuban people pretty much adore Americans. And […]

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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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06TH June 2016

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

We did this: Innovadores Year One

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  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 Cuba, it seemed right to […]

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30TH April 2016

Creative problem Solving - Cuba - culture - Geopolitical - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Timeless

What Cuban Iconic Cars actually say about the culture

One image that seems to always make it into most reports about Cuba are the restored ’50’s cars. To anyone that hasn’t been, everyone rides around in these things, always. It’s a 24/7 joyride, in every sense of the word. Truth is, reality is the experience after five minutes is quite more gritty, and that often rhymes with sh*tty. But that’s not so bad: here’s why. The first thing you have to understand about Cuba and their iconic cars is how incredibly resourceful these people are. Yes, paint covers a lot of evils, and classic chassis cover the rest. When I asked Vincente about how long it takes for spare parts for a 50’s Jag he just laughed and said “spare parts? there are no spare parts”.  This was his […]

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21TH April 2016

Cuba - Geopolitical - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns

Havana inspires a Pittsburgher to Appeciate Art…

I have a tenuous relationship with art, but Cuba is changing all of that. My dark period – art wise- was 13~ years in Beaver, PA. It wasn’t for lack of options- Pittsburgh is home to both Warhol and Frick, but we did more Pirates and Steelers). My grandfather carved reliefs of trophy deer on copper, mainly becuase he couldn’t shoot them anymore. Now, I have a few friends that make more than a living at it, mon grand ami Eric Mourlot being one. I have probably absorbed more from him in one cocktail hour than any other time in my life, combined. Until I landed in Havana almost a year ago, where I’ve been inundated. As I see it, artists are a permitted (tolerated?) special class enabled to practice some form of enterprise, a good […]

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