Tech insights & learnings from Rodrigo Barros, on the Brazil start-up scene

I understand you have been a host of a TV show “Entrevista&CIA” at TV Gazeta in Brazil, interviewing Entrepreneurs, CEOs and leaders from Brazil, how did you get started in the tech start-up scene?

Long story short, what took me to the television was the same reason that made me travel to live in Silicon Valley and its a quote “tell me who you walk with and I will tell you where you are going to be”. Because of this quote I went to do theater and became a TV Host to interview the most important entrepreneurs, executives and leaders from Brazil and around the Globe so than I would understand the reasons that made them successful people and I would become one. I really succeed on that and besides a TV Host I became a serial entrepreneur on the Communication Business with a magazine, an outdoor media company and a event company that I sold in 2010 and also on the Educational Business with a Business School in Sao Paulo Brazil. Because of all the movement at the startup ecosystem and all cases in Silicon Valley I decided to move there and also understand what people were doing there, how they do it and why they do it and that was a great decision that made me a Startup founder but more than that, turn me from a business entrepreneurs into a product entrepreneur, made me deeper that I was and change my mindset and culture.


From interviewing Entrepreneurs and CEO’s, what are the success rates of tech start-ups that you see growing into profitable businesses in Brazil?

We are still behind not only on building products but specially on the mindset and culture. Most of the successful startups in Brazil are copycat even thought we can see some good self-service platforms, some cool mobile apps and our most important one “Easy Taxi”.


What are the most common challenges that you see tech start-ups face, and do they differ from entrepreneur’s challenges?

Yes. I’ve built 5 companies before going to Silicon Valley to build HandsOn.TV and to be an entrepreneur requires a lot of business drive and at the same time to be a startup founder requires a lot of product drive. Also the process of building a company is different because at a startup you first build the prototype and after you have some traction you think about the company. My biggest challenge was the mindset to understand that I needed to build first the product and also to ship the first version of the platform to understand if I should move forward. It happens after a lot of mistakes and money.


What are your views on young entrepreneurship in Brazil?

Brazil is one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world, but because an emergent culture we really need to work on building companies and startups for the long term. We are use to make quick money what makes us weak on building strong companies.


Following from this, what inspired you to build your start-up HandsOn.TV? And tell us a little about HandsOn.TV…

As a TV Host I start HandsOn.TV as a webTV and after 8 months I decided to turn it into a video platform just because the platform that I used was not being a great partner for me and I saw that it was happening with other content creators. My passion for entrepreneurship made me decide to work on this vertical.
HandsOn.TV is the first video platform built for entrepreneurs and people that are willing to challenge the status quo. Here our community come together to discover, learn and share their passion and knowledge for entrepreneurship.
We bring together content creators from around the globe that are passionate for entrepreneurship and related content and associate coding and design to develop a unique and desire experience for consumers.
• Vertical Platform. From Entrepreneurs to Entrepreneurs.
• Curated Content. Specialized community curation.
• Community Focused. Customized relationship with your audience.
• Improved Social Integration. Share rich content.
• Amazing User Experience. Tailored to our audience.
• Better Analytics. Focused on the right metrics for our content creators.
• Continuous Improvement. Constant feedback from real users.


Thank you very much Rodrigo for your time and sharing your start-up stories.