Wenyi Cai, founding partner of Polymath Ventures, answers all your burning questions about Polymath in this latest interview. Excerpts below and full text available in the link.
What is Polymath?
Polymath is a company builder for emerging economies. We design and build “real world” businesses for the middle class, focusing primarily in Latin America. We’re not an incubator or venture fund. We create and design businesses in-house using a careful methodology based on human centered design and lean startup theory.
Did you consider another LatAm location besides Bogotá and Colombia?
World-class talent is the binding constraint for Polymath since all our founding teams are made up of local talent. The countries in Latin America with the talent density needed for us to build companies consistently are Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina. Argentina was out because of macroeconomics and Brazil is expensive and difficult to do business in as a foreigner. Mexico is a very attractive market and we will eventually expand there, but 3 years ago it was having some problems while Colombia was at a real inflection point. My partner María José González had worked in Colombia previously and recommended it. We came to visit and quickly saw the opportunities present in the complexity of the economy and the open business environment. We especially liked the fact that many Colombians who had studied or worked abroad were coming back to the country to help rebuild it. Our hypothesis was that this influx of talent that would be a huge advantage for Polymath—it has turned out to be true.
Where do you see Polymath in 10 years?
In 10 years, our goal is to have built 50 companies in 5 countries around the world. Through the process of doing so, I want us to have build a distinct organization of people and a methodology of building companies that dramatically increase their success rate.
Do you have other questions for Wenyi? Let us know in the comments!