Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

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23TH June 2017

Creative problem Solving - Entrepreneur - Fashion Snoops - Timely - Uncategorized

Founder Profiles- Lilly B.- Fashion Snoops

As an angel/operator (new nomenclature, old practice) I (happily) spend a LOT of my time mentoring CEO’s in the Vaux portfolio; it is truly one of the most rewarding parts of my work. I often say the talent is in there, somewhere, and it’s just my job to ask questions that bring it to the surface. With Lilly Berelovich, the talent doesn’t hide much. I sat down with her recently to talk about the mega-trend in our industry, a/k/a “the retail apocalypse”. Because even as creative destruction wreaks havoc, it builds new leaders. Fashion Snoops is emerging as one of them. Here’s a great video of Lilly to explain all that, and here are my five questions for Lilly: Question #1: Is the educated consumer is now the scary-educated consumer? Miles: […]

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16TH June 2017

Explorer - Good Story - Sport - Timely - Uncategorized

Hold my beer, #2. Free Solo of El Cap.

Here is my second crack at writing about someone that inspired me, and maybe some others. They are moments so utterly manly I call them “Hold my Beer”. Alex Honnold climbed the route known as Freerider on El Capitan free solo. That’s no ropes, no partner. It involves a complex system of cracks and a notoriously hard section about two-thirds of the way up with holds the width of a pencil.  Guides say to allow four days to do the climb. Mr. Honnold did it under four hours. (See photographs of his ascent.) One more time: Guides say to allow four days to do the climb. Mr. Honnold did it under four hours. You talk about a state of FLOW, this guy had it. If one could possibly set aside the fear, the […]

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16TH May 2017

Creative problem Solving - Fashion Snoops - Timely - Uncategorized

Opportunity and the Retail Apocalypse

Alexa- I need to reorder my shirts. Make it so. No more chilling words could be spoken to an outdated- one might say outmoded- industry. It might as well be a eulogy to Fashion Avenue. Vaya con Dios, Garmentos. You had flair. There have been nine retail bankruptcies in 2017—as many as all of 2016. J.C. Penney, RadioShack, Macy’s, and Sears have each announced more than 100 store closures. Sports Authority has liquidated, and Payless has filed for bankruptcy. Last week, several apparel companies’ stocks hit new multi-year lows, including Lululemon, Urban Outfitters, and American Eagle, and Ralph Lauren announced that it is closing its flagship Polo store on Fifth Avenue, one of the several brands to abandon that iconic thoroughfare. From what I see, it happened in five subtle steps. Here […]

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09TH May 2017

Cuba - Geopolitical - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Uncategorized - Venture Capital - Vision

Innovadores and Family Office Association White Paper on Investing in Cuba

I’m proud to say that, two short years after Family Office Association put us together, John, Jono and I produced this sweeping historical overview and going-forward plan for investing in Cuba, which we called “Ready Set Go: Cuba!” . Anyone headed to Havana to discover business opportunities should read it. Those are Innovadores Interns Raynel Gonzalez (GCT Intern Class 2016) and Gabriel Garcia (GCT Intern Class 2015) on the cover. Enjoy the read, and hope to see you in Havana soon! Download the report here.      

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09TH May 2017

Cuba - Culture - Fashion Snoops - Geopolitical - Grand Central Tech - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Interns - Timely - Uncategorized

Three Big Indicators Cuba will Ignite soon… (and that’s a good thing)

I’ve just returned from hosting another delegation of entrepreneurs and investors in Havana, and this trip was particularly enlightening. On previous trips, I’ve lamented the fact that things seemed to move slowly, while one of my co-founders John often reminds me “this is fassssst”. In any event, we’ve held a view that Cuba is 2-5 years from kicking in to growth mode, and one of those years has passed. We also hold the view that once it begins, it will be too late to catch some of the big opportunities as it will move very fast. (The Innovadores/ Family Office Association White Paper has more on the actual opportunities themselves.) So, what indicators does one look for? At an embassy briefing, I heard the first time about Control and Change. Cuba […]

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23TH March 2017

Baseball - Cuba - Havana Culture - Incubator - Innovadores - Innovadores Foundation - Leadership - Timely - Uncategorized

Back from Havana 

I got a memory reminder from Facebook- I generally hate them- but this at least helped me place a watershed moment in Cuban-American relations… the day I met John Caulfield. In the two years since, the Innovadores has blossomed under John and Jono’s efforts, and I have played a small part in assisting them. I’m back from Havana this time feeling so alive with optimism. Ok its measured, long term optimism, but optimism because of how many things progressed in two years. First, the mere fact that I did get a notification on Facebook means there was wifi, with increasing coverage. The fact that we had a dozen investors and entrepreneurs with us discovering ways to work in Cuba seemed unfathomable two years ago. Sitting in on a fabulous diplomatic […]

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07TH February 2017

Football - Good Story - Leadership - Legends and tales - Sport - Timely - Vision

Hold My Beer.

Ok, you are down 25 points in the third quarter. You need to score two touchdowns, two two point conversions, win a coin toss and engineer a touchdown drive to win the seminal event of your chosen profession. A profession from which you were suspended earlier in the year. Ok. Got it. So… Hold my beer. So said a man’s man in last night’s Super Bowl. And then he went out and completely ignored the probability chart. Tomas T. said it perfectly: The problem with predictive analysis like this is they never capture all the variables. They don’t account for great players like Tom Brady can increase their level of play, the emotional swing of a team building momentum, those moments when people enter what Csikszentmihalyi called Flow.  Brady and […]

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05TH January 2017

Entrepreneur - Leadership - Operative - Platforms - Portfolio - Timeless

Man plans. And God laughs.

[Public Excerpt] In the decade I have been dedicated to building Vaux as a platform, I’ve come to appreciate those words – man plans, god laughs- and more each day. I’ve seen over 5,000 opportunities in the past five years, and said no to 4,987 of them rather quickly. Those that stirred my heart and soul were ones I truly believed in, and I made great plans. The Deal Gods, of course, laughed at those plans, every time. It’s humbling. And that’s why I follow and preach the diversity program with angel investing; cherry picking the “best” only adds risk on top of risk. The way to get a good deal or two in this process is to start with ten… which are filtered from a few thousand. Ask me for a password to the five […]

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