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Join the AS/COA Young Professionals of the Americas for a panel with successful young entrepreneurs who will explore the challenges and opportunities presented by the entrepreneurial ecosystem connecting Silicon Alley and Latin America. At a cocktail reception to follow, participants will meet the panelists and network with YPA members in venture capital, technology and related sectors.
- Aldo Alvarez, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Aporta
- Lisa Besserman, Founder, Startup Buenos Aires
- Andres Blank, Co-Founder, Caliber
- Laura Pastrana, Co-Founder and COO, QVit
- Diego Saez Gil, Founder, WeHostels
- Patrick McGinnis, Managing Partner, Dirigo Advisors
- Margaret Rohrmann, Associate, Kekst and Company
Registration Fee: Complimentary registration for AS, COA, and YPA members; $15 for non-members.
Learn how to become a YPA member.
Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Aporta
Aldo Alvarez is co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Aporta, a website that promotes online donations for non-profit organizations in Mexico. As CEO, he is responsible of the company’s vision, leadership, operations, and strategic development. From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Alvarez was part of the private equity firms Palladium Equity Partners and Wyndham Global Partners where he evaluated investment opportunities in Mexico and Latin America.
Founder, Startup Buenos Aires
Lisa Besserman is the founder of Startup Buenos Aires, a community organization aimed to inspire, support, and connect startups and entrepreneurship in Buenos Aires and around the globe. Previously, she was the director of operations for AirKast, a mobile application development company where managed the engineering teams and Fortune 500 clients, while leading the launch of over 4,000 mobile applications. Under Ms. Besserman's leadership, the user experience was transformed by incorporating social media capabilities into new and existing apps.
Andres Blank is the founder & CEO of Caliber, a platform that helps you connect with professionals you'd want to work with. Before Caliber, he founded Pixable in 2009. Pixable became one of the biggest photo apps in the mobile space with almost 10 million downloads before selling to SingTel for $26.5M in 2012. At Pixable, Mr. Blank was in charge of product and growth. Previously, he founded three companies in Venezuela including a website for college students when he was only 18 years old. Mr. Blank has an MBA from MIT and a degree in industrial engineering.
Managing Partner, Dirigo Advisors
Patrick McGinnis is the managing partner of Dirigo Advisors. He is an active angel investor in Latin America and the United States, with investments including NXTP Labs, ipsy, WeHostels, Bunny Inc., and Bluesmart. Prior to founding Dirigo, he was a vice president of PineBridge Investments, where he invested in fast-growing companies in China, Colombia, Ecuador, Pakistan, and Turkey. He started his career on the Latin America team at J.P. Morgan Partners (formerly Chase Capital Partners) where he invested in businesses such as Americanas.com and MercadoLibre.
Co-Founder and COO, QVit
Laura Pastrana is co-Founder and COO of Qvit.com, the first online boutique with a virtual fitting room. As an online shopper herself, she truly appreciates accuracy convenience and novelty. Having this in mind Laura and her partners built Qvit, a unique and outstanding online experience that allows their clients to virtually try on different garments and sizes on a free avatar, exact body replica of a client’s body, in a matter of seconds, cloning the garments look and feel.
Diego Saez-Gil is a technology entrepreneur originally from Argentina. He co-founded WeHostels, a mobile technology travel company for the youth market that was acquired by StudentUniverse where he is currently a vice president. Mr. Saez-Gil is also an advisor and consultant to several technology companies, startups, and non-profit organizations. His company was awarded "100 Brilliant Companies of the Year" by Entrepreneur Magazine and "Most Innovative Travel Startup of the Year" by PhocusWright. Mr.