Eduard Puig, CleanTech Camp mentor
Eduard Puig is one of the mentors of the current edition of CleanTechCamp. His extensive professional career has spanned jobs in tech and marketing; today, his work focuses on strategic consulting and attracting investment for new businesses. This journey led to the creation of Climate-Aligned Partners, a strategic consultancy that opened its doors a year and a half ago to provide solutions and services focused on reducing CO² emissions. The consultancy helps, mentors and raises funding for projects related to clean energies. Its entrepreneurial nature and its interest in staying in constant contact with the startup ecosystem has motivated the company to invest in several projects that are currently in different stages of development.
What is your role as a CleanTech Camp program mentor?
My role in the program is to guide and help the leaders of the different projects turn their initial proposals and ideas into businesses capable of adding value to the market. I encourage them to strategically think and focus on introducing their product in the value chain and I help teach them to detect their competitive advantages. Another aspect that I also work with is to prepare them to attract investors, as well as to make professional decisions, which are often strongly tied to personal aspects.
What about this year’s projects caught your attention?
In general, I’ve been working with very solid projects with immense potential. I’d like to stress that I often find proposals that may seem extremely interesting but lack business potential. These are projects, known as “lifestyle businesses”, which one or two people can handle but which are difficult to scale in the medium and long term, and are therefore ‘uninvestable’. Like I said, in terms of this year’s proposals, I’ve seen that many are starting out from a very good base and that their development can turn them into scalable (invertible) businesses that offer market value.
What are some of the skills that sets a good entrepreneur apart?
I think that s good entrepreneur must be very persistent, almost obsessive, and be totally committed to the project. They must be absolutely clear about what they want to do and the vision they have of their project. This goes well beyond aspiring to turn a business into reality in order to more or less quickly start earning a profit. The journey of every entrepreneur is brutally intense, full of stumbles and disappointments, which is why a lack of passion and obsession for what you’re doing and a clear idea of why you’re doing it means you won’t be able to dust yourself off and move forward when times are tough. That is why resilience is a crucial aspect.
Anything else that defines a good entrepreneur?
The ability to surround oneself with a good team with complementary skills. A project requires different types of professionals with different skills. Finding the right people is critical. The entrepreneur must also know how to listen and be open to criticism; interesting lessons can be drawn from active listening and applied to the project. And, finally, you must also have great communication skills!
What do you mean?
An entrepreneur must speak with investors, search for partners, attract talent to the project…for any entrepreneur to achieve their goals they must have great communication skills and a capacity to clearly articulate their business vision and mission. This ability has a direct impact on charisma and, consequently, on the entrepreneur’s powers of persuasion.
Finally, any tips for entrepreneurs?
A bit along the same lines as what I said before. A good entrepreneur should be very clear about the reason and purpose of the project. After that, an entrepreneur must have an almost obsessive dedication to move forward, something that isn’t without its difficulties and may lead to a few bumps along the way, but which is also thrilling. I would encourage entrepreneurs to enjoy the process, to keep an open mind to learning, evolving and adapting to whatever comes up.