Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

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 […]

Continue Reading



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 […]

Continue Reading



25TH December 2016

Angel investing - Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Family Office - Grand Central Tech - Leadership - Mobile - Timeless - Timely - Uncategorized - Venture Capital - Vision

Learn, or give it up to the robots

That pretty much sums up most of the 2017 resolutions I have been seeing from my friends and business relationships. Except for my Buddy Mark, who wants me to do 81 reps of different calisthenics before January 31. In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85 % of all photo paper worldwide.  Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt.  What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years and, most people won’t see it coming. Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on film again? If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: “in the future, do you think we will have that?” and if […]

Continue Reading



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 […]

Continue Reading



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 […]

Continue Reading



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 […]

Continue Reading



01TH April 2016

Entrepreneur - Grand Central Tech - Timely - Uncategorized

Grand Central Tech … ~3 years on

What A RUN. A little less than three years ago I met Charlie Bonello and Matt Harrigan while they were cooking up an incubator at Regis on the UES. Their demo night was awesome, in a high school gym-cum-demo space kinda way. Fast forward two years and they are reviewing hundreds and hundreds of apps for their third class at Grand Central Tech. Many of the first two classes have not only added capital and jobs, but also solved real problems. And made Grand Central a hot spot for facial hair, rolled up jeans, tragically hip tech-sters all doing great things when they go to work. They also hosted our Cuban Innovadores program, which continues this year, expanded for tech and fashion. And they host a bunch of Choate Alums […]

Continue Reading



30TH March 2016

Adventure - Cuba - culture - Entrepreneur - Geopolitical - Good Story - Grand Central Tech - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns

Innovadores Foundation, not of Langley LOL

Sometimes you hit it with a name. Often, you don’t. After much thought, we decided to rename our recently named CAA Foundation as the “Innovadores Foundation” . This was to not to confuse ourselves further with the CIA when dealing with an island nation whose last fifty years were spent not exactly loving that branch of our government. Seems prudent, no? We often would get looks in official meetings, and my partner John would spend too much time, in diplomatic Spanish, explaining the Choate T-Shirt of yesteryear to Cuban officials. My gaffes can be comical, in an idiotic kind of way. It kind of reminds me of when it took us eight years of paddling our kayaks south for KFAC that we got smart and paddled north into the greatest party […]

Continue Reading



18TH August 2015

Cuba - culture - Entrepreneur - Grand Central Tech - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Uncategorized

Innovadores de Cuba – Chapter One

We said goodbye to our three interns- Gabriel, Gabriella, and Raul a few hours ago after touring AAAS in Washington DC. If all goes well, they will touch down in Havana in 24 hours, totally transformed by their time here. At lunch today I was impressed with how humble and smart these kids are. They were literally plucked from Havana six weeks ago, became media sensations the second day at GCT, absorbed everything at the office, and outside the office, and in the moment they were called on to deliver at their Innovation Night, they killed it. There haven’t been this many tears at the Goldman auditorium since Greenspan retired. I was asked at one point today how long I had been thinking of Cuba. Truth is, in January it was […]

Continue Reading



20TH November 2014

Choate - Entrepreneur - Grand Central Tech - Leadership - Social - Timely - Venture Capital - Vision

Jesse Fink tonight at Start Up Choate

Tonight we host Jesse Fink, former COO of Priceline and Founder of Mission Point Capital, for the latest edition of our series of fireside chats. Jesse needs no introduction; his career arc was part of a plan, but by his own admission that “happened faster than expected”. This will be our first event in our “home away from Wallingford”, the super start-up nexus known as Grand Central Tech run by Chalie Bonello and Matt Harrigan. Matter of fact, because of the overflow, it has been moved from the 2nd floor incubator up to the 16th floor co-work space called “Grow Grand Central Tech”, where companies land after completing their times on 2. We’ve just sent one of our Vaux portfolio companies, Bell Family, upstairs. In the 18 months since inception, […]

Continue Reading



Featured Tags

miles spencer blog Miles Spencer entrepreneur angel investor Vaux les Ventures Vaux digital media globalism creative destruction leadership