When doing my Master in Marketing (ESPM/FIU), I had one Digital Marketing class with Pedro Waengertner, one of the most prominent players in the startup ecosystem and founder of Aceleratech, a startup accelerator.
The course was so good I thought, “whenever I have a chance, I got to work with this guy”.
After that, I spent a semester working at Colorado Innovation Network, in Denver (CO), and returned to Brazil to Hook Digital, the leading Brazilian inbound marketing agency, as a planner and account executive.
Then, I found Aceleratech was looking for a marketing professional. To earn less and work probably three times more. As I thought about applying, the question on my mind was:
Do you want to earn or to learn?
With learning winning by far, I chose to go to Aceleratech. My first assignment was to do a full rebranding – visual, textual, digital – the entire value proposition. After 90 sick days, we managed to transform the accelerator into ACE and launch both the education and the corporate business units.
One of our first challenges was to engage our network around the new business. And that was when I created the Growthaholics name, motto, and newsletter – it still exists to this day (and became an awesome podcast!) and transformed our way to communicate.
That was the first challenge, and they grew harder as I evolved into the head of marketing, and then CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) and Partner. My evolutionary process was based mostly on learning how to adapt, grow, dodge, and recover from some hard hits.
In three years, along with a small, agile, and awesome marketing team (full with teammates that make me proud as of this day), we have achieved growth in all levels: revenue (6x), startup applications (3x), accelerated startups (2x), and audience (4x).
ACE is now an innovation company with two business units: ACE Startups, one of the most recognized early-stage VCs in Latin America (117 investments, 18 exits – as of June 2020), and ACE Cortex (creating this name and brand was also a huge challenge!), an innovation consultancy that helps the largest Brazilian corporations to innovate.