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#NuevaYork to Latin America: Building Bridges for Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Companies

Americas Society / Council of the Americas

May 21, 2014


(Image: Heisenberg Media)

In collaboration with:

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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.

Aldo Alvarez

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.

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Lisa Besserman

Founder and CEO, Startup Buenos Aires

Lisa Besserman, founder and CEO of Startup Buenos Aires, has been named as Business Insider’s Top 100 Most Influential Women in Tech, and the Business Innovator of Latin America by the Council of the Americas. Besserman moved to Buenos Aires from New York City to create Startup Buenos Aires, and accelerator program that represents the startup, tech and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Andres Blank

Co-Founder, Caliber

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.

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Patrick McGinnis

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 and MercadoLibre.

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Laura Pastrana

Co-Founder and COO, QVit

Laura Pastrana is co-Founder and COO of, 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.

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Diego Saez-Gil

Founder, WeHostels

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.

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