S02 EP09: Romain Diaz, Founder and CEO of Satgana

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Show Notes

My guest today is Romain Diaz, founder and CEO of Satgana, a global venture builder focused on startups addressing the United Nation’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).

In our conversation we discussed:

  • Romain’s background as an adventurer, going off the beaten path and working in countries like Mexico, South Africa, Morocco, and China.
  • Discussed how he started as a traditional entrepreneur focused on fin-tech and co-founded a startup studio in Cape Town, South Africa. FinChatBot was founded through this which creates “Conversational AI Solutions” for the Financial Services Industry
  • After a period of burnout, Romain took a break, traveled, and started focusing on climate change. He discovered the SDGs and had his “climate awakening” where his belief of the role businesses should have in society changed.
  • “All businesses should have a triple bottom line: Financial, Social, Environmental” but right now the majority of corporations only focus on the financial one.
  • Andrew Beebe from Obvious Ventures said “People talk a lot about profit and purpose. For a long time it was profit vs purpose, then we started to realize it was possible to combine purpose and profit. Now we’re entering a world of profit because purpose where the goal is to create companies where the more they sell, the more good there is for society and the environment”
  • Business has the potential to create new solutions, bring innovation to market and so on but on the other hand businesses are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases and the largest creators of inequalities. Satgana therefore tries to combat this by funding and co-founding for-profit companies that are addressing the SDGs (environmental and social impact). The aim is to be a good company that builds other good companies.
  • The Satgana structure helps founders building companies from 0 to the first round of funding through providing operational, financing, marketing, and organizational expertise along with a living stipend for founders 
  • There is a strong focus on the way entrepreneurs are selected ensuring that there’s a clear focus on an SDG and not creating a negative impact on another SDG.
  • Satgana intends to become a B Corp as soon possible and help incubated companies apply and become B Corps as well
  • Many accelerator models focus on 6 months but then lose support while the Satgana differentiator is to bring the founder from 0 to funding 

Resources

Here are the direct links to resources mentioned in the episode:

Video Version

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