Female Tech Entrepreneur Sparks Innovation in Mexico
Everything she does is with entrepreneurial spark. And this cutting-edge, female tech entrepreneur is only getting started.
Born out of her two passions – film and technology – Celeste North founded NuFlick in 2011, a site for on-demand alternative and indie films focused on the Latin American market. For the past three years she has produced a podcast on entrepreneurship and innovation at Emprende.la, a site she created with two friends to be a resource for tech startups (this endeavor proved to be one of the inspirations for her own startup). The past year she has been a regular contributor at Opinno, a global network of innovation centers. She writes on topics such as startups in Latin American, women entrepreneurs, challenges and trends in entrepreneurship, and more. Celeste is also the lead organizer for Women 2.0’s Founder Friday in Mexico City and is currently helping them expand to other cities to empower more women entrepreneurs.
“Some days it’s very difficult to balance all of it but I’m passionate about my startup and about inspiring others to create their own companies,” Celeste said. “I also believe it’s important to give visibility to new businesses happening in my country.”
While she is shy to call herself successful (but we definitely do!), she attributes where she is and how far she’s come to the tremendous help of peers and the growing tech and startup community in Mexico.
“Events like Startup Weekend, Super Happy Dev House, Women 2.0’s Founder Friday, and more, have helped me know more people and find new ways to collaborate. MexicanVC (a program that includes seed investment, mentorship, advice and a thriving startup community) in particular was an experience of great importance for my (NuFlick) team and me. They’ve been helping us closely in developing the connections necessary to keep going.”
And that motivation, support and encouragement to keep going is a crucial need for even the most passionate entrepreneurs.
“NuFlick in general has been a huge challenge and it has taken all my courage to start it and stay with it,” Celeste said. “Like all startups, some days you’re up and some others you’re down. The challenge is to never lose focus and find that balance between work and having time for yourself, remember why you are the right person to solve the problem, and focus on your passion around your company. It’s a challenge everyday.”
Bouncing back from fear is even harder than overcoming circumstances.
Even though Celeste has been in very difficult situations such as running out of money and losing a founder (which for her happened at the exact same time), she counts fear as her biggest obstacle to-date. She said in the end, even though it is hard, there is always a solution for the other kinds of problems: “But if you let the uncertainty and fear beat you, you are done.” Bouncing back from fear is even harder than overcoming circumstances.
So her advice to other women entrepreneurs, or those who want to start their own business?
“Let go of the fear,” Celeste said. “Be prepared, of course, to face difficult situations. But just as importantly, be ready for small and big successes too. It’s important that you enjoy the ride otherwise it will be very painful and you’ll be exhausted in a matter of months. For other practical advice I’d say delay raising money as long as you can and find the right co-founders to work with. They’ll be with you through thick and thin. It’s almost like marrying them.”
“Let go of the fear. Be prepared to face difficult situations. But just as importantly, be ready for small and big successes too. It’s important that you enjoy the ride.”
Celeste’s honesty, courage and leadership in her life as an entrepreneur and in the tech field are sparks that won’t burn out. We are excited to follow her journey.
Be sure to follow her too on Twitter @celestenorth and keep up with what she’s doing at @NuFlick and @emprendela.
Additional thoughts from Celeste on cultivating more women entrepreneurs:
Celeste sees several ways to foster more women entrepreneurs in Mexico and beyond. The first is through creating academic resources for women to gain necessary skills to feel more confident in themselves and their abilities. She also believes access to more funds, accelerators, economic resources, and communities of colleagues and mentors is needed.
But Celeste believes the most important step forward for women entrepreneurs to find success is through gaining visibility in their venture and looking to other women’s examples of success and how they got there.
“In general, women entrepreneurs mention that they need more resources to start their projects,” Celeste said. “But I believe that what we need is more examples of success to inspire other women into technology and business.”
We couldn’t agree more, which is why we started The Way Women Work. If you want to learn from more women – like Celeste – who have found their own paths to success, check out these inspiring, successful women in business, tech and entrepreneurship, all over the world.