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March 13, 2024 50 mins

In this episode of The Business Gay Podcast, host Calan Breckon speaks with entrepreneur, CEO and Co-Founder of Hangtight, Armando Vera Carvajal.

Hangtight is an AI-powered social planning app that is transforming how people come together in life. This is Armando’s second startup and he’s been in the Austin founder ecosystem for 10 years. Originally from Mexico City before immigrant to America at age 4, Armando grew up in McAllen, a city in South Texas on the border with Mexico. He later moved to Austin to study at the University of Texas.

He has also studied in France and Singapore, and enjoys world travel along with adventure sports, such as mountaineering and white-water rafting. As a proud member of the LGBTQ community, Armando also serves as a mentor and advisor to many entrepreneurs from diverse, minority, and disadvantaged backgrounds across industries and geographies. His ultimate goal in life is to help humanity heal.

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Key Takeaways for quick navigation:

  • [00:45] Arando led a startup to $2.5M MRR through a radical pivot.
  • [02:16] Highlights early risks, mistakes, and learning from failures.
  • [08:29] Bootstrapping mindset: focus on resource maximization, financial discipline, and immediate needs.
  • [10:43] Arando advocates cutting expenses and growing organically.
  • [20:01] Align team, use equity, and balance incentives for commitment.
  • [29:51] Due diligence on investors is essential; founders must assess alignment.
  • [39:18] Embrace failure for learning; the market guides product evolution.
  • [39:58] Timing is crucial; addressing pervasive problems can make a startup a winner.
  • [42:13] Existing social platforms lost purpose, creating an opportunity for innovative solutions.
  • [44:07] Relationships are essential; technology fosters connections and aligns lives.
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