Andrea Arnau of Shark Tank: “Orange economy is not just a buzzword

Shark Tank’s investor also said that entrepreneurs should be prepared and know more about the market when looking for investment for their ideas.

Colombia is one of the countries most interested in entrepreneurship, which has been driven, to some extent, by policies such as the orange economy, which has been criticized by analysts for having become a buzzword rather than a reality.

However, Andrea Arnau, an investor in Shark Tank, stated that this is not the case, because “companies are solving great problems of humanity through creativity and operated by great technological developments. I don’t think it’s a fashion, I think we should concentrate on encouraging people to be creative and generate new ideas.

Has the orange economy boosted business creation?

The orange economy and the creative industries have had a giant impulse in the creation of companies in Colombia and in the world, this government has aggressive goals in growing the participation of this type of companies in the Colombian entrepreneurship and that is wonderful.

It has been criticized because analysts say it has become just a buzzword, is that right?

There are words that become landscape and become fashion, but I don’t think that in this case we are dealing with a light topic, because companies are solving great problems of humanity through creativity and operated by great technological developments. I don’t think it’s a fashion, I think we should concentrate on encouraging people to be creative and generate new ideas.

How is Colombia in terms of business creation vis-à-vis the region?

Colombia is one of the most enterprising countries in the world, with female entrepreneurship standing out. It’s part of how we all grew up, of having to defend ourselves from many economic, social and security adversities where creativity is activated and becomes a more enterprising country.

How much do women participate in business creation and management in Colombia?

In Colombia, I think it is close to 50% of women entrepreneurs who participate in the creation of companies, a high figure compared to other countries.

We have to emphasize how rich we are in cultural issues, because there are countries where women still do not have participation not only in the business world, but in society in general.

What is the profile of the Colombian entrepreneur?

I can say that he is a recursive person, but there is no defined profile, although usually young people undertake more, it is also done by people of other ages as a result of this need to solve problems and see alternatives. In the case of women, they seek to have more flexibility with schedules or to have more control of their lives in order to dedicate themselves to other aspects of life.

What are the biggest obstacles for entrepreneurs?

Obtaining capital to continue growing companies is one of the factors that most hinders entrepreneurship, but Venture’s capture investment in Latin America is growing at very big steps, tripling or quadrupling in the last three years. But we must call on entrepreneurs to prepare by raising capital.

How should they prepare and where should they look for capital?

It depends on the stage where the idea is. At a very early stage it is not the time to look for investment in a very sophisticated fund because they are going to ask for things that the entrepreneur does not have, such as indicators that he has not yet validated.

Initially, it is advisable to look for it with close people, Friends and Family, who are the ones who trust the entrepreneur the most because they know him and support the idea. But raising money with just one idea becomes more and more difficult.

He must go out to the market to validate the idea, see that he does solve a problem and that the client is willing to pay for that solution; that is the most important thing.

In addition, they must be well prepared, know their market and the customer in detail, understand why they are different and why their solution is difficult to copy.

At Shark Tank, how do you make the decision to invest? Is there a maximum amount you have in mind?

We all carry an investment budget in our heads, but sometimes there are ideas so irresistible that you decide to go over the top and that’s fine, that’s what happens in real life.

Although they only show eight minutes in the program, it’s really a longer interaction and we ask the questions we’re all interested in.

Is it important that the ventures have a CSR plan?

It is fundamental, a company that is not thinking about using technology to grow and be more efficient, as well as understanding what it brings to society, is a company that is in the past and at least for me is not a candidate for investment.

Which are the sectors that have the most opportunity to make technological developments?

In all sectors there are possibilities, the world has 33 megacities and by 2030 there will be 39 and Bogotá is one of them, here there is an opportunity to solve several problems.


Andrea Arnau is one of the investors in Shark Tank, he is also an entrepreneur in residence in Rokk3r, a company with presence in the United States, Europe and Latin America, which works and guides entrepreneurs and companies.

She began as an investor with the design of ‘investable’ companies, raising capital to grow the companies she advises. Before joining Rokk3r, she was one of the first digital leaders in Latin America. She is also the co-founder and partner of Tribal and Chef Company. Under her leadership, the digital transformation agency expanded in the region and the United States.

Author: Laura Neira Marciales. La Republica