Empowering Entrepreneurs: How Partnering with Venture Capital Can Transform Your BrandJump to content
As you begin your entrepreneurial journey, it can be difficult to access financial resources, strategic guidance, industry connections and more. However, partnering with a venture capital firm could be the solution your brand needs.
The Target Accelerators team sat down with Miguel Leal, CEO of SOMOS Foods and Target Takeoff Food and Beverage 2022 alumni, to learn about his experience working with venture capital firm and scored details on how this decision has helped propel his business to new heights.
Target Team: When did you decide that it was time to work with a venture capital firm?
Miguel:The idea to start SOMOS was a joint idea between myself and my two co-founders, KIND founder Daniel Lubetzky and Rodrigo Zuloaga. We all worked together at KIND and would talk about how the options for Mexican food at retail were limited, outdated and not representative of the foods we all grew up eating in Mexico. When the time was right, we knew we had a huge opportunity to innovate on convenient, better-for-you Mexican food and that we’d need resources to get it off the ground. Together with our decades of industry experience as co-founders, we each bring different areas of expertise to the table and teamed up with the team at venture capital firm Camino Partners right out the gates to invest in our growth and create a beautiful brand.
Target Team: How did you find the venture capital firm that you work with now?
Miguel: The timing of starting to build SOMOS serendipitously aligned with the formation of Camino Partners, which is a business-building and investment platform founded by Daniel, with a team made up of other former KIND team members. When the three of us came together as founders, working with Camino made a ton of sense – from my time working at KIND, I knew how capable the team was and how relevant their experience would be for SOMOS.
Camino Partners is not a venture capital firm with obligations to investors, which gives them the flexibility to work alongside its partners to build long-term value for its businesses, which I was looking for in a partner. Camino works with entrepreneurs to co-found, launch and build new ventures and takes meaningful positions in entrepreneur-led ventures. In the case of SOMOS, Camino is partnering with us on a deep level by incubating the brand from its inception.
Target Team: What are some things you looked for when deciding which VC to partner with?
Miguel: Relevant and translatable experience was a very important factor, as were financial resources, but above all, I was looking for a trustworthy partner who was going to help us build. One of the things you know will be true when building a business is that there will be a lot of ups and downs and along that journey and I wanted partners who I could trust, who would always be fair and who would support our full team.
Target Team: How did your experience participating in Target Takeoff help inform how you think about pursuing industry relationships and working with a venture capital firm?
Miguel: The Target Takeoff program helped us solidify our confidence that there is a market opportunity to deliver Mexican meals at retail that are both real Mexican and convenient. The program also helped us tighten up how we present SOMOS’ value proposition to our consumers across marketing channels, particularly on the shelf.
We were already working with Camino when we were accepted to the Target Takeoff program but as a firm that has partnered with Target before, they were happy to see us involved in this program.
Target Team: Do you have any tips or words of advice for other founders who are thinking about partnering with a venture capital firm?
Miguel: My first piece of advice would be to find a partner that is aligned with the time horizon you envision for your business. Camino Partners was aligned with our long-term view of the business versus building for an exit. Second, find a firm whose team you will enjoy working with. Starting a business is hard work and it helps a lot to have fun along the way.
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