Our very own Cristina interviewed Celeste North of Emprende.la, a Mexican Blog/Podcast focusing on technology Entrepreneurship and seeking to bring entrepreneurs to the attention of investment funds and other organizations that can help the growth of their ideas. Celeste, who is the producer of the podcast, was sweet enough to respond to Cristina’s questions. Let’s see what she had to say.
The following interview is in Spanish. Below you can find a transcript in English.
How did Emprende.la start, and how did you get involved with podcasting?
Many years ago Arturo Garrido and Omar Mendoza, my co-hosts in the podcast, were producing another show called “Monólogos de la cantina”. They got started because they both liked to talk about technology and they were interviewing a number of people here in Mexico involved in the startup ecosystem. So they decided to turn this into a professional effort, started recording all these interviews and launched Monólogos de la cantina. However this remained quite an informal show.
One year later, at a barcamp in Mexico City, I met Arturo; at that time I already had some experience in producing podcasts and, when he told me this incredible story and asked me to help them polish their show format a little bit I immediately accepted. So we started co-producing the show.
At some point we started realizing that our audience was growing steadily; we were mainly dealing with entrepreneurship, startups and technology innovation and we understood that we were addressing a new need which was not fulfilled here in Mexico. So we made the decision to end the “Monólogos de la cantina” and started Emprende.la.
So, business education and technology innovation are the main focuses of your show. What is the benefit of adopting a podcast format when dealing with Innovation and Technology?
The advantage of podcasting is being able to share lots of information in a very agile format. The vast majority of people who are listening to us download the show on their mobile players and listen to it anywhere: in the car, on the go, and so on. This is particularly important when it comes to interviews – which are the format we use the most: podcasts allow the audience to hear information from the real voice of the interviewed person – thus delivering a much better user experience compared to text – but at the same time are so flexible and easy to manage.
When is podcasting more effective compared to blogging?
In our specific case, podcasts work great because we do a lot of interviews. We have noticed that it is really hard to capture the audience attention with very long texts while podcasts do a much better job at keeping people interested. Text content might be slightly easier to share – you basically send around hyperlinks – but podcasts can deliver such a unique user experience that is impossible to replicate in writing.
Ok, now let’s go more into the details of the subjects you are dealing with: entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Startups and innovation. What is the benefit of dealing with a variety of media like video, text and audio, in particular for what concerns the entrepreneurship environment?
There is a huge amount of resources available on the Internet which deal with entrepreneurship: blogs, podcasts, videos and so on. It’s really crowded. But I believe that we can differentiate ourselves in two ways: first by interviewing local entrepreneurs and sharing their experience and, second, by curating content. So what we are doing is basically selecting the best content out there and make it available to our audience in a variety of formats.
We believe that if we make content available in many different formats, you choose the medium that suits you best: audio, video or text. This helps us reach a larger audience.
People have less and less time available, especially our audience which is made of young startup entrepreneurs who need to access a lot of resources in a very short time. The key is to be good at summarizing all this content: people don’t always have the time to watch a 20 minute video, and so being able to make the same quality content available in different formats is very valuable.
So, content quality is key. What does it mean producing “quality content” when dealing about Startup entrepreneurship?
Here in Mexico the concept of Technology Startups is still quite new. The first Venture Capital fund specifically investing in Mexican startups was incorporated only this year: Mexican VC. They invest in very young companies, usually at the prototype stage: so no business results or revenues yet but vision and high growth potential. This is radically different from what has been going on here in the traditional business environment and people need to learn how it works. A lot of entrepreneurs do not have the background that is needed to understand how the VC industry works. The concept is so new and there are many doubts, and entrepreneurs don’t really know their way around yet.
So there is a clear need for what we are doing: help people who want to create a technology-based business and put them in touch with organizations which can help them or invest in their ideas. Interviews and podcast help us creating these relationships in a virtual environment before they are established for real.
So, talking about startups and young companies… Spreaker is one of those! One of our objectives is making audio more and more social.What do you think is the relationship between audio and social networks today? What are the benefits of integrating the audio experience with social media?
Audio is a very flexible and lightweight medium; it can also be consumed while you’re doing something else on your computer, while video on the contrary requires a lot of attention. I think what you are doing is making it really easy to share audio in a direct way, through social networks.
There is a lot of good audio content that gets lost because people don’t know how to share it. The advantage of using Spreaker lies in the fact that sharing files is simplified, viral style, and so is active and fast. And from a production to distribution standpoint, it’s really interesting.
But at some point it might be good to be able to monetize your productions. Speaking of monetization, what advice can you give our listeners?
A great way to monetize is by offering certain content as Premium. Have people pay for accessing exclusive interviews but leave most of the content free. This is the same thing happening with TV of course. At the same time even adding commercials can always be an alternative in a way that is not intrusive or that could turn people off.
Thanks for your kindness, Celeste, and for sharing your experience with the podcasting world. Til next time!