Social Confoes 013 – No Code Caribbean, Piedata and Entrepreneur Stories w/ Sergio Pengel
Jean-luc an Diego have a talk with Sergio Pengel about studying and building a business in the US, tech developments in the Caribbean, the importance of basic start-up concepts such as MVPs, and development in the E-Commerce and No-Code space.
Founder of PIEDATA and Co-Founder DevTribe, Sergio discovered his passion for helping entrepreneurs optimize their digital adoption. He is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, unite and solve citizens centric problems. Born in Suriname, Sergio earned his undergraduate degree in Business Management from FVSU and pursued his MBA in International Business at Phoenix State University. He developed his grit and character working with the Government and Private sector adding value to corporations such as Georgia Lottery, Honda, CANTO, CARICOM and more.
Sergio’s impressive career highlights his vibrant leadership and Business network with a track record of overachievement in product development, professional services, and delivery management. Elected by community leaders, Sergio serves as an advisor to many international officials while continuing to promote the advancement of the Diasporic network to adopt STEAM (Science Technology Arts and Mathematics) to Caribbean Boys and girls to the international community.
You can also connect with Sergio:
Learn more about No Code Caribbean.
- 0:00 – Introduction to Sergio
- 4:20 – How Sergio ended up in the United States and studied business
- 16:34 – What thing you would to see integrated in the Surinamese educational system
- 20:08 – Stepping into the world of entrepreneurship
- 25:21 – Almost a millionaire on paper
- 31:39 – How do you manage risk and did it change over the years?
- 41:58 – What does Piedata stand for?
- 55:48 – How do you deal with investors and people that have a stake in your company?
- 1:03:46 – No Code solutions to actually start a business from home and build an MVP
- 1:10:02 – Closing off with No Code Caribbean
Video Version of the Episode
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Jean-luc: [00:00:00] Good evening and welcome back to a brand new edition of the Social Confoes podcast. It’s lucky number 13, and I’m joined again with our favorite host. Diego, Diego, are you doing tonight?
Diego: [00:00:33] I’m doing good. Well rested from the weekend. Well, rested kind of, but it was an enjoyable weekend.
Jean-luc: [00:00:40] Good to hear. I it’s like the quality of your setup keeps going up after you noticed the light.
Yes, it’s I I’m feeling like something. I have to do something with a green screen. I might have to redecorate the whole thing and put in lights and make it a little bit more that I can keep up with the, with my with my cohost. But we have a, another great episode tonight. I’ve, I’ve only heard of him. I’ve seen his name so many times. We’ve of course connected but you know, our hosts, our guests a lot better. So without further ado, go ahead. Introduce them. Sure.
Diego: [00:01:22] So our guest tonight is a born raised in Suriname until he moved to study abroad in the United States at the Phoenix state university.
And we’re talking about a serial entrepreneur innovation investor, product engineer. And he’s been really active, especially in the Caribbean. And he’s, you may have heard, heard of Piedata a lot in the tech space surrounding hackathons, but who’s the guy behind Piedata. It’s none other than Sergio Pengel and Sergio, I want to welcome you up here quickly while I continue.
I met Sergio I think a few years ago when the early days of the hackathons in Suriname I don’t quite remember the event, but it was one of the events in the Torarica Royal ballroom, and we had a. A lot of international guests and a lot of Surinamese descent. Well, so we had Sergio representing by day that the Caribbean Miguel Rodrigues just came back with Apura Networks this year.
We had Ryan Kopinsky talking about AR VR stuff. So. It is really an interesting event. And, you know, you just connect with these people and you see the cool stuff they’re doing abroad. And Sergio was one of those prominent figures. So other than that, I don’t remember much cause it’s just quite a few years ago.
So if I missed anything, if you remember anything more clearly than me, Sergio, feel free to share, but without further ado, welcome to Social Confoes. Hope you got your hot beverage and hope you’re in for a fun time with us.
Sergio: [00:03:01] Hey guys, thank you so much for welcoming me here. I don’t have a hot beverage, but I have a Gember beer is close enough to Surinamese roots. So I’m super excited to be here.
Jean-luc: [00:03:10] Good. Good. We love it. And we’re getting some shout outs in the comments already from Tevin. So some of the, some love coming from the, from the comment section already, and I have to ask the V because Diego mentioned the buzzword. How, how do you feel about the introduction using the phrase serial entrepreneur?
Sergio: [00:03:33] You know, I’ve learned to adopt that over the past, I guess, few years, mostly because I do find myself being in a few different ventures. I think most entrepreneurs naturally are serial entrepreneurs. They just don’t want to say it or accept that term. But I, I think it’s, I think it’s, I think it’s your entrepreneur.
If you’re a true entrepreneur, you will have multiple streams of income. Does that means she may have to consider the different avenues of ventures.
Jean-luc: [00:04:01] So it’s, it’s, it’s an okay term. Serial entrepreneur is just the term that kind of tells you you’re into many things.
Sergio: [00:04:10] Exactly, exactly. And you got to own it, right?
You can’t just be an entrepreneur and then doing something else on the side, you gotta be a serial entrepreneur. It means you got to do so you gotta own it,
Diego: [00:04:20] kick it off Sergio. So we know you’ve been born in Suriname and you have Suriname his roots, but clearly from your accent, it’s very American. So let’s get into that a bit. How did you even get into the States and studying international business at Phoenix state university?
Sergio: [00:04:42] Yeah, so I was born in Suriname. I know it was kind of funny hearing me speak Dutch. Right. Cause it’s, it’s come naturally to the year. But yeah, I was born in Suriname. And I was, I was born in that Dr. Sophie that morning, I know that the main secret house who’s going to hell gallium.
good hers. I but, but I was raised in Zorg en Hoop can hope. My parents, my mom died when I was six years old. Cynthia Eylea, God bless the blesser. So, and you know, and, and my mom, my mom passed my brother and I w one brother went to my mom’s side and my other brother went and I went to my dad’s side.
So I actually was raised by, by a beautiful Surinamese teacher called Wilma plays better. So for those who Surinamese no. And I, I just she gave me the fundamentals of, of, of life. And as I tell you, since I was born, cause I was with versus six years old until about 14. It wasn’t a day she didn’t prepare me for the real world of preparing for America or, or learning how to cook or washing clothes or, you know, just even shopping.
So it, all of the fundamentals, you know, are still embedded in some of my blood. Okay,
Jean-luc: [00:05:57] just quickly. You don’t have to worry about it. We have a lot of people joining in. We have enough rattle, welcome to the show. Joining in from Fort Lauderdale. We have a lot of Surinamese outside of Suriname, but this show is in English.
So you don’t have to apologize. You don’t have to talk broker, broker Dutch. So don’t worry about it at all, doing this full English, because we also have people joining in from, from Asia and from the Caribbean as well. So don’t, don’t even worry about it. So, but, okay. So at what age did you actually go to the U S did you go there for studies?
How did you end up studying there for, for those of you who don’t know you that well,
Sergio: [00:06:35] Yeah. So my initial one my dad lived in the United States. He left early was in the military years ago. And my desire was always, I know, sounds crazy, but people who know me back then would always say your, you know, you were going to go to the United States.
I said, it was, I was a kid. And that’s when I understood the power of, you know, we believe in speaking things into existence. Because at an early age, when I was 14 you know, after I studied here and my grandmother decided to move to Holland, I had a choice to go to Holland or go to United States.
And I wanted to pursue my education. I loved soccer at the time. And I, you know, I made a few phone. I used to watch all the U S movies, you know, like, you know, and watch all the basketball games. I was so love with the idea of what America represented. And when the opportunity came, my grandfather who is now passed Walter fennel, he essentially brought me to the United States and we visited and, and I actually.
I stayed overstate my visit. And then I became a American later on. So it was really one of those kind of natural, you know, shoot for the stars, take a risk. And I was, I was, and I remember the first time I flew in, I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you a funny story and I will be brief. I remember the night I flew into New York city and it was probably back in 98 and our team had a Walkman Walkman and my uncle when he got to gave me the first song was the lucky Doebe.
one of my favorite artists still today. And I’m landing for the first time, imagine you know, 14, 15 year old kid, first time in a new country, and I’m seeing nothing but lights, slag everywhere. Right. And this is at night, you know, I’m landing in LaGuardia airport. And I remember that time, I told myself, you know, I don’t know what this place holds.
I just saw it in the movies, but. I’m going to make sure that our comeback better than that I’m coming in here. And that was like my first journey coming in the United States. Only because of my, my parents, my grandpa was one of the provided me with a better opportunity.
Diego: [00:08:31] Yeah. I see that as a, I think recurring theme as well, like parents and the environment you grow up in that they make it possible for you to get access to it. And I guess lots of people don’t know about opportunities still. They’re kind of, you know, pushed into it. So I guess you yourself were kind of drawn into it, but how did you like grab the reins from yourself once you’ve been there? Can, can you talk about that experience and you know, what hits you like stepping out of that airplane?
Sergio: [00:09:09] I mean, I don’t know if you guys ready for this, but I’m going to keep it raw as possible. This is the, this is the Social Confoes channel. So I’m going to try to keep it as, as real as possible. Cause it’s just
Jean-luc: [00:09:19] casual, just the social conversation.
Go ahead. You got to get us all the details.
Sergio: [00:09:24] Yeah. Yeah. So you know, my, my, my dad at the time you know, it was dealing with some serious drug issues. So my, my, my, my, my traveling and coming to New York was for me to expect to see my dad for the first time at 1415. And I have never really met the man right.
Growing up. So when I landed, he wasn’t there, but my uncles was there. Right. So we kind of went to Pennsylvania and I live in Pennsylvania for a year or two. And I’m gonna tell you guys. It’s nothing like the movies, right? If you, have you ever lived in Eastern Pennsylvania in the United States? I mean, it’s, it’s below zero.
Most of the time there’s snow everywhere. And it’s, it is, it is, it was the point of the most boring town in the world. Right. It was my first experience of America. I’m dealing with diverse people, white people, people from different cultures. And they’re looking at me and the first thing they asked me to say, Hey man, where are you from?
I say that from pseudonym. Oh, you’re from Africa. I’m like, no, man, I’m from Suriname. But like, no. And then, because my ass was so strong, I couldn’t speak English really well. Right. And then familiarity was more for African, so I became the Africa of Pennsylvania early on. And then later on just kind of developing my sub on this test grade plate, play, play soccer.
I I had an uncle, well actually I actually, my father at the time kind of came through rehab. And then. I remember two years later, he invited me to come stay with him in New York. And I’m gonna tell you guys, you know, in New York, as you guys may think that the big Apple it’s a beautiful, beautiful place, but living in East Bronx, New York in the herd, right?
My experience in the Bronx was I live right by the Yankee stadium. Anyone who knows once it gets set in 42nd street, I, it was, it was one of the roughest parts of towns. I mean, you have bloods, Crips homeless drug. I mean, it was one of those places where you really had to find yourself in a realization that, Oh, this is the part of the movie.
They, they, they show a little bit of why you watch a TV. Right. But I actually lived it, right. I actually have to, you know, walk through needles and go upstairs to the apartment buildings, to the point where my dad relapsed again at the time. And, and the eighth grade in high school, I was homeless.
I became in America with no papers, no identity in eighth grade. And I was homeless and I, the only thing that kept me going was I stayed in a building. It was, it was a crack house. To be honest with you was a crack house. Wasn’t a serious place. Slept on the floor for years for a month, almost about two years.
And, but I went to school every day. I woke up every single day, walked through the snow through a few areas that weren’t so safe. But I went to PS six. I remember like it was yesterday, and I attended, I attended school there. And the thing that kept me busy guys, to be honest is that I was in the choir.
I was in the PA band. I was in a social club. I was in a business hour. Anybody you can find, find yourself into. I was there. And I remember my graduation eighth grade I, I literally received. Like the most awards for every special organization you can think of, because I was probably one of the only ones participated in those, but I just learned that those were the choices I had to make between being in a block and, and, and, and, and participate in, in, in selling, you know, jobs to survive and versus really living the white path of going to school, get an education and building skills.
Because I understood that this wasn’t the end road for me, but there was a pathway to kind of get through it at the time start maybe every time I go. But after that, I, I kinda, I’m gonna tell you what the story changed a little bit for me. I had an uncle who lives in Atlanta, Georgia and his wife at the time you know, called them.
They said, you come down here, you know, it’s beautiful, it’s Atlanta. And she said two things she said, and never told me. She said you got beautiful girls. I’m a young man. I’m 15. Right. We’re beautiful black girls in Atlanta, Georgia. Right. And you can drive. Right. And I was like, you can drive taking the train everywhere, you know, it’s cold, you know?
So I decided to take a train, I mean, to take a bus actually to Atlanta, Georgia and imitate the story behind that guys. And this is a true story. It was so bad in the area. Was that a week prior on the basketball court, got in a big fight with a gang member. Right. And I mean, it was tough, right.
Went to his environment. And I mean, they knew my name. They’re looking for me everything. So when my aunt called and said, come visit, enjoy spring break and visited Georgia. I said, I’ll come visit. No problem. Right. Extra motivation to, to, to, to go. Because I knew I had friends who lost their lives. Right. It wasn’t.
No, it wasn’t one of those kinds of like, I’m going to beat you in front of the street. These guys, they were ready. Right. They were really like the Latin Kings at the time, you know, with serious things in New York city. I don’t know if you put those live in New York. I mean, it’s real deal down there, back in the early, late eighties.
Right. It was real, real deal back then. And lo and behold, I came to Atlanta, Georgia, and I’m gonna tell you my first love in America, my first, like this is America, right? I my uncle picked me up from the, from the bus station and we go to a gas station to get gas. Yes. And I tell you, we, we get gas, we get out the car, he gets out the car, he pops his gas.
He gets in the car and drives to the front to go pay for the gas. Yes. I said, wait a minute, you get to pump your gas first and then go pay for it. He’s like, yeah, this is how we do it down here. I said, Oh, I ain’t going back. Forget that. I ain’t going back. So I, I, I, I started, you know, figuring out a way to stay here.
And again, that’s, if it’s full transparency, I have no green card. I have no papers. I have, I have nothing at the time. I only have my Suriname passport, which is expired. Right. I’m telling you a dollar and a dream will get you far. Right. But I, I went to school, find a way to feed, you know, everything. And with the first time I realized the school that I went to in high school wanted to get my information.
They asked me for my social security number. And I’m like, what is that? You know? And they were like, well, you need this paper. And that’s when the first time I started focusing on how can I sustain myself as a young man in the United States? Because I don’t have any parents, I’ve been homeless before.
I don’t want to come to a new state and fall again. So I started focusing on, okay, what worked for me was school was my pathway for sustainability. As of now, Relationships were the ways for me to leverage myself in case I fall. And then work was the way for me to get capital so that nobody can ever tell me to get up, get out your house.
Right. It was one of my biggest things growing up. Cause I lived in so many different homes. It was easy for someone to at my house, however, right. And it hurt me so bad. That’s why I always wanted to buy real estate violent because one of the things that I always wanted to say is I own this, right. Nobody could tell me to get away from this.
And those were my three patients to get going.
Jean-luc: [00:16:34] Let’s move on there because it’s almost a fresh Prince. A fresh Prince kind of story. We got into a fight on the basketball court and your auntie said, come here and live here. So it was great. We do have some questions of course, about the extracurricular activities that you were talking about.
Raoul is joining in from both channels from LinkedIn and YouTube and all, don’t worry about it. We’re getting into the topic.
It’s Social Confoes the first half hour is always story time. So then when you get into the topic at the second part of this conversation, and also we shout out from and from Facebook. So it was that so. So is that your we’re gonna, we’re gonna skip a little bit about the, the university part, but what we do want to know is, is you’ve you, you went to the U S at a, quite an early age.
So you had your high school experience in the U S as well. So, so about the extracurricular activities, like what is one thing you’ve been to acquire and all these extracurricular activities in high school? What’s one thing that you would say I would love, I would love if, if that part of the Institute, like outside of the studying at school that would be also be integrated in the, in the Surinamese educational system.
Sergio: [00:17:52] That’s a great question. You didn’t prepare me for this one. I believe the educational system, as we know it is, should change. In the United States, even as a foreign considered to be a African American men, the, the, the educational system is not conducive for, to accommodate different, vast of personalities and preparing them in real world a workforce or entrepreneurship.
If there is one thing that I would change and Suriname is that our, our extent, the internship early on that’s the most tangible, simplest tweak our do meaning every student that was started university in order to move to the next step, you have to acquire one year of internship in a particular focus that you’re doing the next year.
You do another internship in a different vertical, the third year to do another internship with different vertical. The reason why I say that. Is because I believe that education is learned two ways or three really, but the first real way is, is hands-on experience going out there and really doing it.
You really quick, you really realize quickly if you like it or not, right. Or what you like about it, what you don’t like about it. The second way is by engaging with individuals who are already in the field, who are doing it every single day and being able to, to ask those questions, get those hands on experience as well.
And I think the third one is the skill. I think, you know, the, the schools system was not designed to teach you a skill is designed for you to. Become a robot simply said right? You’re, you’re conforming into a system. This is to make a great employee. You can read documents that are depending on your educational level and you can then apply them in a structured way.
And then you can do it over and over and over again for a comfortable lifestyle that allows you to come back the following day. So to answer your question shortly, our extent, our implement an internship program within each graduate level of studies,
Diego: [00:20:08] I think that’s a fair point a to point out. And I definitely see that from your story.
Of course, all this extra curricular activities that you’ve done, you’ve basically learned the life skills that you. Would want in an internship through those through all those, you know, choir’s organization, networking, taking the initiative buying one thing to sell it, just to survive. And that was basically your internship period, but I guess let’s fast forward that even more.
Did you, after that period graduated from the university that you immediately step into, I guess, this entrepreneurial space doing your own business, or was it like you want to feel out how it is to actually intern at a real corporate setting first? How did that go? And then I’ll quickly follow up with another question on that.
Sergio: [00:21:07] Sure. Sure. I graduated from the Fort Valley state university, my undergrad degree in international business. Prior to that, I played football for three, four years four years three, three years chaps, and we lost, I want to make note of this new one. I championship my senior year to look at 20 years.
Just got to throw that out there. For my fellow Wildcats out there who may be chap chiming in but essentially while I was in college, I did two things really well. Every summer, every twice, a couple of times a year, I would go with a friend who would essentially go to all the big football games, rent out the entire strip and sell food.
So that’s my first like touching money, like thousands of dollars exchange. When I realized this man do two events twice a year, and he makes a quarter of a million dollars doing two events twice a year. The rest of the time it’s fishing when it’s like different things. The second thing I did was I actually worked as well.
So being playing football and, you know, doing the college thing, I would either do tutor other students or I threw parties. You know, I, I actually was a night guy who I had a place called dirty Iguana like it was, it was a nightclub and making right. And I would pack it out with students right after the game, because I saw the need for quick ways to my sort of my first post-graduate entrepreneurship before my actual graduation.
My university for Valley state university was really good at putting me in one internship that I liked. And I think that’s what really made me realize the difference between entrepreneurship and corporate world. I did my first internship at Georgia lottery, Georgia lottery was. It’s the biggest lottery system in Georgia, obviously.
And I work at the headquarters. I was in HR, so I work directly with the vice-president and I was the HR director for all of the incoming new hires. And was the first time I really learned, you know, suit and tie and, you know, working in a corporate setting. And I learned that hands on experience of how to conf how to, how to work a job, right.
How to understand how corporate structures work, how HR system works with protocols, look like you know, how to operate within a certain settings learning social behaviors, how to, you know, quality control, all that good stuff that she learned in corporate America. I had a hands on experience and kind of did that for, for quiet for a few months actually, until they offered me a position that I, you know, currently the client.
Cause I wanted to pursue my education further because I knew. That wasn’t for me, there was something about waking up every single morning, go into some job and doing extremely well. Like people love what I do because I value, but I dying inside because I am too busy counting my ROI and I’m too busy hurting my value.
You know, it was too much going on where I started looking at, how can I improve myself in different ways? So I started working for another company because again, coming out of there, I don’t want to, I don’t want to be homeless where I don’t want to. I want to have sustainability in myself. I started working as a general manager for a finance company, a CLA in the United States.
And prior to that, and maybe your follow up, follow up question as, as team here, but prior to that, I visited Suriname. For the first time after years of that, my green papers, everything I said, you know what, I’m going to go back home. And that was the first time I came back home because I could travel now and was the first realization of the promise that I’ve made years ago.
And I think that is where my entrepreneurship was born because when I came back, the first thing that I did was I started my first startup company. And that was called Derby Graham. I don’t know. I get a question, a follow up question.
Diego: [00:25:21] exactly. That’s actually where I was going. Cause I’m from, I listened to your prior interview not too long ago and the same thing you, you came here and that triggered it and I heard a particular thing. You had your first startup, your first venture, and I want you to. Talk to us about how you basically you’ve run the startup. Basically, almost correct me. If I’m wrong, we’re a millionaire on paper, but then things crumbled down and then you had to pivot. And that was the start of the conception of Piedata. Can you tell us about that?
Sergio: [00:26:05] So true story. This is probably 2014, 2015, 2015, 2016. And in that timeframe I came back from Suriname and the, the problem that I, that I wanted to solve that I saw is that I couldn’t have my card every week. I couldn’t pay for anything cause nobody accepts cards. Right.
Everybody wants cash so I’m like, man, you got it. This is when square had the cart reader in America like this, when square was first beginning, I was like, man, you crazy. I call my friend in China and I white labeled square readers. So I put her to gram on those and then I blow the application. It was really like a website that allows you to swipe the card, runs the reader, and then it’ll do the change.
So I started doing that in, in, in started building the company, tried to go out there and Suriname sort of build it. And I got a few phone calls that really weren’t attractive. They, you know, eh, you know, you’re not a, you’re not a credit of the company. You can’t make these kind of transactions, you know, you got to be able to put yourself in a stew.
So that’s when I learned about gateways, I learned about banking systems and I started realizing, okay, you know what? This is a problem. This is Suriname. You have it all across the region. So I thought I’m looking at avenues on how to really raise the capital to start becoming an instance, a financial institution to to enable remittances or transactions.
And I, I ran into you know, after a few people, I went to a former partner. Of mine. And the beauty about this strategic partnership is that she had a music streaming application called Derby wire, right? So this trip, the streaming application at a time was, it was before, like it was Tidal in 2012 class quality.
Top-notch a platform where we even engage with Sony. There, we can hear me, right. I’m coming to clear. Yeah, we, we engage with Sony. I had two investors at the time that I brought to the table. We are attracted to other investors that we brought to the table. So we had a cap table for about $2.5 million.
We had investors who were doing the diligence loving the dynamic. We had several meetings and I’m gonna tell you guys, you know, during that time, do you go to your point after months and months and months of building a startup. So the first time I would spend weekly meetings in an office space with two investors, two a co-founder found another investor.
And we would talk about our funding strategy, right? For $2.5 million, right. Collaboratively. And we had Sony on the table. We had soda meetings. I remember like it was yesterday and I was, I was coming home to my wife at night and I would tell her like, listen, you know, we’re going to, you’re going to get rich.
Right. We’re going to be rich. Right. Because you know, this is, there’s no way this can go wrong. There’s no way this can go wrong. Right. We’re w we’re having these meetings. Could these, these people who have the money committed to this, right. So we we’re, we’re good. On months and months of these meetings on a Friday, we finalized the agreements.
On a Monday morning, we’re signing and I’m a millionaire. That means my company. I have enough equity in a, a multi-million dollar company that I could consider myself. You know, I’m a, my money that I attract as a co-founder by Monday we had a call, a hiccup call stating that there were some, some technical due diligence that occurred that discovered that some of the IP that we own was licensed by a third party.
And because of that, they wanted to get a stake in this venture, which diluted all of us significantly because they had the most unique solution at the time, which the co-funded the clear publicly or set it anything early on. Otherwise we could have, you know, five figured out a way to kind of get past that.
So it became a battle of, are you telling the truth or you say, you know, can I trust you? Are investors like serious? You know, we believe what you’re doing, but we don’t know we can do it. You know, it became my toggle match. And at some 0.2 investors pulled out and on a, on a Monday I’m supposed to be a millionaire on a Friday.
I have invested thousands of dollars into a startup. Everything has gone. And I’m like, I had that feeling again in New York city, losing everything, being homeless with I’m going to do because I spent everything. I mean, I was I’m that crazy entrepreneur. I put every, I put my last rent. I fought my wife and told her, look, don’t worry about this.
You know, you know, you gotta take risks. I was those crazy. Put it in and I’ll tell you on Friday, I had to come back to her and say, honey, I’m sorry, but. it didn’t work out,
Diego: [00:31:19] speaking of risk before you transitioned to Piedata as to speaking of risk, I guess, did you ever like these experiences, how do you weigh in how much risk you take and you know, what, what’s your process
Jean-luc: [00:31:39] and also did it change throughout the years?
Sergio: [00:31:43] Great question. Yes, when you’re young entrepreneurial you’re radical and I was really, really radical. I’m still radical relatively, but I’m calculated radical. If that makes sense. It, Diego, if I was in the same situation at the same time, in the same environment, I would have done it again, not knowing the outcome, the outcome, obviously. But because at the time I was such a stickler for due diligence.
I caught myself saying, you know, I mean, you have investors who are senior guys who were like, yo, this is it. Right. So there’s no way you can tell me that you weren’t on the right track. The problem that I had is that I wasn’t to answer your question, it was more so an experience that I had to learn and understanding how technology works, right?
If it was a, if it was a real estate project, or if it was a healthcare, it would have been a little different because it’s tangible. I can, I can go to the property. I can see it. I can go to the D you know, all that stuff. Let me close. This is technology. If I give you an application right now, and I don’t, so I don’t show you the source code behind the source code.
We’ll leverage in an API that is owned by somebody else. It’s hard for you to really know that API infrastructure and who owns it and all that other stuff, unless you’re a technical investor and you can request those on a, on a, at the point of investment, meaning they won’t even have a conversation with you unless you are in a position to acquire them from the open the doors for you.
Right. So it was the education of understanding how contracts work, the education of understanding how business infrastructure works. And more importantly, what is intellectual property? What does it look like from a technology standpoint? And that was my first aha. Okay. Now I understand. What does it look like?
Jean-luc: [00:33:45] I want to know, is this something we should be worried about when we talk about Surinamese entrepreneurship and tech, entrepreneurship and intellectual property?
Sergio: [00:33:55] Yes. Yes. My last time in Suriname it was the event Oh my gosh. We’ve got the event’s name themed event. It was sponsored by IDB. And at that time they had a same conversation around intellectual property in Suriname. And the question that I have, and I tell people all the time, if I am a Surinamese entrepreneur and I have a brilliant idea and I build the idea, right. And I try to patent it with the patent office. And I forgot the name of the proper name of the Suriname version of it.
Jean-luc: [00:34:31] The bureau for intellectual property.
Sergio: [00:34:33] Yes. I in America can look at the ideas, say, Oh, okay. And I can, I don’t have to change anything. I can file it. By showing that I have some level of workability with the us patent office. So the UN the Suriname patent office doesn’t have any, is that considered accredited, tied to the United States patent of it.
There are some ways around it that I think they’re working with right now. But as strike number one, in terms of a problem, that means entrepreneurs are going to have to register the IP outside of Suriname, which dilutes the economic value of Suriname number itself. One big problem I’m trying to solve by the way.
So secondly I think if you don’t register your IP and you build something phenomenal, then other companies in the region and it’s known to be. You know, I’m going to be a little raw here. People in Suriname always say, I don’t want to stay at Perry. , I’m a hole right here because, you know, I don’t want to, you know, and I tell you that is the, is the, they die with those dreams, right?
We, we, we all have friends in Suriname who are like, Oh my gosh, boy, if I had some of your intellectual, but because they’re like this, technically because the culture made them be like this, right. Because so-and-so got the idea stolen by so-and-so because they’ve pitched it to them. And it was now they announced, you know, you know, you know the stories, right?
We don’t, we don’t have to go down that road. Right. But because of that, it, it depletes and crushes. The innovative ecosystem is Suriname and in the Caribbean. And if you will because we, as an ecosystem are not able to own rightfully own intellectual property that will be registered and developed in Suriname.
Diego: [00:36:32] Yeah, I think that’s a good point that you brought forward because that’s always a very touchy area. And especially for with music, with ideas, with inventions, if you don’t register it outside, cause you’re basically, it applies to the jurisdiction you operate in. And the way I see it at this scale, I think the Caribbean as a whole is very fragmented in that sense. So it makes it harder for each individual in each individual country to be able to compete in a world stage.
Sergio: [00:37:19] Exactly. Exactly. And that’s the problem, not only in Suriname. But most other Caribbean countries have the same issues. I see Jamaica is trying to be Jamaica and Bahamas and Barbados. In my opinion, are the ones who are trying to find their footing into developing the IP system.
I think one of my recommendations to the institutions to Suriname is that why do you not the sooner I should establish an organization in the United States or the Cayman islands, this institution is owned by the Suriname registry, whatever. And then when you file you file United States, which is globally recognized, but that tide was still be locally recognized as well.
While we’re catching up from infrastructure stats while with an emphasis effort, that way the innovation or the new technology that’ll be coming up or not left behind, right. That essentially are able to do recognize globally. Okay.
Jean-luc: [00:38:26] I have a bit of a different take on this though. Not necessarily different as in a completely different, but what the stage we’re moving at. And I’m going to use your example of the company that you were a millionaire. And then basically the, the judicial system kind of screwed you over because in the end of the other party has better paid lawyers and they are from more familiar with the law and these kinds of laws, you just lose it in court.
You can fight them and lose all your money because you tried to fight them in court. And that’s what we have at all these big companies. I’m not even talking about the Disney’s, but anywhere in dev level. So you basically have to consider two things in the end. What people want is either you go for the biggest.
We go for the, this nice. The Facebook’s even Netflix has experienced that coming up. How much like this knee and the big or big corporations are fighting Netflix to keep them small enough that they can control them because if Netflix blows up and becomes on their level, it’s over for them. So. Yeah, that’s one row.
So, and certainly me, people like to be part and not only service people, people in general, like to be part of the winners. So of course we’re going to stay on Facebook and WhatsApp. I mean, we all had to struggle. Yeah. We’re going to go on signal. I keep laughing till this day. It’s actually been two months already.
So I want to ask all the people that say we’re going to move from signal and we’re never going to use WhatsApp again. I want to ask those guys how that going for you at the moment. So either go to the biggest, are you come up with a niche concept, a really big niche concept, which works perfectly for your niche and a big company from outside is not able to touch it because it’s so much embedded to the culture that people locally want to use it. And they don’t want the big international version. Am I seeing something here?
Sergio: [00:40:18] Good. I, you can. I love what you said and the way to, to take it even further. Most companies in the United States who have something significant proprietary, do not get a patent or a trademark. The reason why is because you have to declare the underlining of what you have in order to register it, once you declare it and it’s public information, then the other part is no is under the hood.
So until you get to a certain scale, then you can register your patent. So that’s a lot of companies are doing that route to your point. And I’ve been, I think that’s a fair ride, but I take from a smaller company in Suriname. Okay.
You are absolutely correct. The, the focus, you know, I I’m, I’m careful here. Here’s why I’m careful. If we found because we’re 90% 98% tropical, right. And Suriname, if we found a particular frog that has this enzyme only in Suriname that helps to fight COVID that is a product you only can find a Suriname in that case is proprietary enough to where you want to kind of register it in a, in an environment where you can, you can race to the race, to the gold.
So that sort of speak. But if you, Oh, I’m gonna build this Facebook for Suriname. Don’t waste your time trying to go get a patent on this, this, like you said, have a niche find that what kind of Facebook you want to build and then double down on that.
Diego: [00:41:58] Awesome. Yeah, just to quickly go to the commentary real quick while we move on as you are talking, Gregory said, radical change the world. And he loved, I guess, the idea how radical and I guess mad you were to, you know, go all the way in Tevin says he’d rather died and share his ideas with, she can be used by the wrong hands. Well mixed feelings about that, but and then to move on quickly to the founding of Piedata and how that pivoted. So Sergio Raul ask here, it started with the founder of PI data. So yeah, after that story, after that crumbled down, how did you conceive Piedata and what does Piedata stand for?
Sergio: [00:42:38] Sure. So I’m gonna start with the latter question. Piedata stands for performance image and exposure. Or the three most common success principles that promote innovation and and, and create innovation, promotes development. So how we started in PI data and we believe that data is the number one commodity in the world. So that’s why we really value data. And I’ll, I have another session on, on, on the performance of your work, right?
How hard you work only a constant 10% of success, the image of how you perceived, who, you know, how people know you from a, from a culture, your, your ethics, your brand is 30% of the value and exposure who, you know, who knows you is 60% of the value so said is I look at everything from a pie glass, because I like to understand what really matters and it’s from a successful principle, but how we started after I spent all my money.
On this, this, this, this million dollar startup I had my rent money left and it was about, I remember it was $1,200 at the time, and I didn’t know how to, how to make it up to my wife a week prior to this announced member Friday we were signing I, I reached out to my grandmother who happened to be the, the, the, the, the, the secretary general, the time for cancel to say, Hey, I want to come back to stoop, to Caribbean to help really present this this new payment system, you know, you know, give me a splat to speak on stage.
You know, I pay whatever, so, Oh yeah, come on. So on Monday Thursday, she calls me, says, sir, are you still coming? You know, I’m actually on Tuesday to present, I’m sitting here. Like I just lost a million dollar deal, you know, I’m, you know what I’m gonna talk about? Like, it’s done. Then I thought about it. I said, you know, when Guan doors closes, this is where my, again, failure in my past was always followed by success only because I couldn’t stay there.
So I always remember, Hey, I can’t go lower than this. You know, I’m gonna lose my I’m gonna lose my place. I had my, my daughter wasn’t even born there at the time. Yeah. So I had no kids. I said, my wife and I don’t figure it out. If she’s, if she’s with me, she’s gonna ride that. Right. Just I’m that radical. Right. You married me. Right. He told you, you were in for the, for the long haul here. So I said, I didn’t even tell her what happened. But what I did was I bought two tickets to the bar, to The Bahamas, with my last money. So I said, honey, I’m sorry, but we lost the deal. It’s not going to go. What do you mean? Just, I didn’t want to talk about it. Lots of deal. But listen, I’m gonna go to The Bahamas.
All right. So I’m going to Bahamas. So now I’m in Bahamas. I’m on, I’m on I’m in the room at the cancer event, seeing all that I’ve seen the Telsur executives at the time he had their Currie who’s represented students. He was the the, the chairman at the time, really crushing the game. This is when, when the record was, was prime, was he was chasing, not just Suriname.
He was changing the region, right. He was preparing to really develop a ecosystem that would flood the Gates of Suriname. Female was alive at the time and he had people from The Bahamas, a lot of executives. And I remember it was a young man at the time called William Mahler was on stage. He was the only young guy there.
Right. So you would a resort, nice place. You know, all the executives don’t know the real on any case, unless the executives brought the child to the event. Right. But it’s the guy with a suit he’s presenting on stage young cat. So I’m in a crowd. I have method to present because my old company just died. I can’t go on stage and live for these people.
So I said, you know what? I want to stage that, you know what, my last startup, we had some challenges. Here’s the story. But the problem that I see in, in in, in, in this room is that me and William are the only young people here and you guys are making decisions that affect us. And we have no say in the room, what if we can get more young people involved in making decisions that allows us to be both proactive and be inclusive because we’re, we’re teaching technology, you know, First first, I’m gonna tell you there wasn’t my friend at first, he was you know, it was, it was, it was it was it was William, not William.
My gut, my brain out of Bahamas is going to come to me. Oh my gosh. William first name come to me. And he’s the one who says search, I believe in you before, before EGA Sounders, who was our first investor in Suriname. You know, he, he was the one that, you know, what, why the proposal I submitted. And I’m gonna tell you that the, the, the decision was when I talked to William Mahler, I asked William, I said, William, you got award, you got 10th year, a thousand dollars.
You got to stay to present what happens next? And I said, nah, that’s, that’s the search. I’ll go home. Leon Williams is his name. It’s coming back to me, Leon Williams. He, you know what I’m I’m going to go home. And I said, what if, what if we can come every year? What, when every year, and they’re going to listen to what you got to say.
He said, man, I’m open to, to what you got to say. And I met a few other people, like at the time Giana, who was a radiographer for cancer at a time. And you had Jamie was like, she was working at the with cancer at a time with, with administrative. And I kind of brought the young people that I started at time together and say, Hey, what if we come together and work along with telecommunication executives to push forward mandates, like don’t shut down.
What’s there was talking about shutting down WhatsApp. John, can you believe that at the time? Right? Don’t shut down WhatsApp, embrace it. And let’s be at the cutting edge and build a solution together. Our proposal that a few nos went to the board twice presented twice. And I got one chance to come and present it in Suriname manager.
The next counter event happens to be in Suriname. So that’s the first time we came a Suriname, brought some of the top executives from all around the world. At that time I had, I really talk to to, to, to the whole team mill team. So what they were doing down here. So we wanted to kind of bring in a support ecosystem from diaspora to help educate, inspire, educate, and sustain the Caribbean innovation that was Piedata has born.
Diego: [00:49:26] I want to actually quickly follow up on that. After you, I guess, proposed it brought here, presented it in Canto here. Yeah. What was generally the reception and what’s the current state on how that’s going.
Sergio: [00:49:40] Great. So at that time it was someone Amanda, see your mom.
Right. Why did these young guys here, what are you gonna talk about? We had a few executives that were like, Oh man, this is awesome. We need more young people involved in decision. And we had a few old dogs who were like, no, you can put it on the political spectrum or you could not. But it was, it was, it was, it had both sides.
Right. And after the, at the event, there were three things that I saw in the behavior of the people. One, they didn’t realize how much we knew because we had speakers like Ryan Kopinsky Miguel Rodrigues. Right. We had strong, like guys who come on, they’re presented Jana was crushing it on stage. Right?
So we had really strong individuals who are from the region who came back, who were saying, Hey, no, we can do this. Right. We invited some executives as well to come speak. And it really brought light to locals that are, are, are stating that maybe we can support an environment where young entrepreneurs like had the TMIL was this, this was when TMIL was hot.
This, when TMIL was the number one acceleration program or incubation lab in the Caribbean, right. I’m telling you research done at the time. And
we did the event, got first investor EGA sounder from Domo CMO. Sankoh’s shout out to DJ for giving my first. Yes, the first guy who came to me, I got to, I’m going to pause real quick because I want to tell you something about the people who are listening easily. Sandra’s he’s done well, but I’m gonna tell you what he’s done for so many other entrepreneurs in the Caribbean.
He saw our vision and supported it, not just. You know, by giving us form, but putting this money where its mouth is year after year after year in developing and giving us opportunity to put an ecosystem together. We went to The Bahamas when Jimmy went to Trinidad when different islands Barbados, and we hosted events, hackathons, and started with the programs there.
And we just had an idea guys, by data started quiet to us, becoming a business. We started with just an idea of bringing in together the best innovators and developers together to build solutions. So we had hackathons, which was our, our, our, our, our, our business model at the time. Essentially predicated around bringing in engineers and developers, put them in a room for three days, no only bathroom and, and, and, and, and food breaks.
And they got a short period of time. What we learned at the time was it was so much more needed after the hackathon. In order to build a product and sustain the product. But we learned that last year when we launched sonar, which was the first disaster management image communication solution, where I said radical, radical head-on again, I ain’t doing nothing else.
We’re going to double down on this. This is going to work. Sonar is going to be it. And Diego, I will tell you, man, I have been through eight different islands. I have talked to the highest and the lows, and it was such a, such a hard experience to actually get funding for a startup that we burned out. I mean, I lost, I lost everything again.
I mean, you know, again, radical flying my team, going here, flying, going there. I mean, and you know, again, Going all in and what I learned different differently to your question earlier, John, the difference between my first radical is knowing when it’s, at some point you’re going to have to pivot right.
Move on. And yeah, because the solution wasn’t going at a pace that I wanted to and needed to, because I can support my teammates financially also, also just from a, from a Social, we were dying, right. It became toxic. You know, you’ve been in this relationship when you’ve been toxic, right. I’m partially to blame, right.
From a leadership at to learn how to deal with everything was sweet for years now, we’ve got to deal with controversy, how to deal with teammates on a leave and it was toxic. But the one thing that I I’ll tell you that at the different at this time is that. I learned that in order for you to move to the next stage, you have to order the grab.
The next hand, you gotta let go of the old hand. And one of the hardest decisions that I had to make was to put sonar on the shelf, you know, separate or let my team, you know, we all separated, you know, given the, the, the, the blessings. And then I started focusing on supporting my family and building a business.
And the, the, I, the, the, the nights of being in a hackathon rooms, then the scrambling and being meeting with developers and on a set and development cycle helped me to develop the PI data who has not became a development agency who is designed for developing solutions, whether it’s websites, mobile applications, SAS products for celeb, some of the biggest celebrities in the United States.
Medical offices. You know, we’ve been really, really blessed to have a vast for, of customers to help to the development individual space. So that’s how we’ve been. We came here and that’s how we’ve been able to maintain Piedata. And now we’ll move on to the next page whenever you’re ready, Diego.
Diego: [00:55:48] Yeah. I just want to quickly ask about at this stage with sonar, you had, I guess, greenlit investment you had some yeses. So aside from the team, how do you deal with investors? People who have a stake in you already? Cause that’s even deeper. How do you, I am not sure how many digits we go with there, but how do you own that?
Sergio: [00:56:13] For sonar? Yeah, for sonar, there is nobody who put more money in than me. First of all. Second the team at the time who needed to build the solution, couldn’t get to the MVP. Right? So we were pitching sonar without having a fully functioning product to raise money, to finish the product where the developers, we had a team, but we didn’t have a fully functioning product.
At the time, the development team that won the hackathon was supposed to build the MVP. Then they couldn’t get to the MVP. So what I did was I built MVP right? I was so desperate to raise money that I’m getting my toxic waste. Right. I’m just, I’m just giving you the, getting the bad of surgery. Right. And I learned from that experience as well, but my, my desperate to success was so relevant at the time that.
Because, because I want to, so not to succeed so bad, I didn’t wait for the other team to finish it. I gave them a timeframe and they can finish it at the timeframe. So I utilized a no code platform for the first time to build the sonar MVP. And that was my first introduction of, Oh, okay. It’s over now. And that was like four years ago.
Diego: [00:57:48] So yeah, you actually took it out of my mouth. It’s exactly where I want it to go with the no code. Cause here’s the thing I’ve been part of hackathons. And usually you build stuff, you got all these technical people, you got these engineers building code, complicated stuff. And in the end what’s being pitched is some fancy mock-up this is how it’s supposed to work.
It’s the idea. That’s how most of the hackathons were one I’ve been bought from support teams. I’ve been part of hackathons and that’s how you just get over the finish line. So what I want to ask now, MVP for the people listening is minimum viable product, and this is what you got to have to, you know, test it out, find product market fit.
So you Sergio as a, I guess not the technical person, you’re the idea guy, you know, you’re running a business. How, like, first of all, can you define what no code is for the people who have never heard about it? And how did you, were you able to get to that MVP stage at that fast pace.
Sergio: [00:58:54] when you, when you have a family to support, you become very resourceful as a young man. My first child, knowing where my family live in the past, I had to figure out a way to make money. What I also experienced is that I had developers who knew how to build things, but they need money to build it. So I was stuck because I knew I wanted to build a new house to build it, but I didn’t, I couldn’t code, I couldn’t write Java or Python or, you know, a Ruby.
Right. I couldn’t write, I didn’t go to school for that, that my, my, my, my undergrad at business. Right. So I started developing no code solution for a small, a couple of small friends of mine making 500 to a thousand dollars for application. Utilizing a platform like business apps to build my application.
And I essentially developed it early on when Saddam built other applications on shadow. And I started developing these solutions that will cost enterprise level five, $10,000 to build from scratch. At the bare minimum, I was able to sell it for a thousand dollars cheaper, but essentially managed it better, provide more service support the founder of the company better.
It had all the bells and whistles you would need. I just didn’t have to pay a bunch of money and a bunch of developers and time to do it. So no code is essentially a, I’m trying to, to explain it to your TA for non-technical and technical people and simplest way. It is an environment that users. Gooeys, right. We call it gooeys. That essentially are visual elements that are programmed already for you. So for example, when you’re writing code, you want lines of code.
You’re going to have to give the computer instructions to start something, to finish something in this particular format, whether it’s front end or backend, these gooeys are already written for you. In fact, most developers who develop now real coders use this already, but they just use the actual code script to put it into their code.
They don’t most developers right now, ask any developer who writes really programs. Right now I can’t find a one programmer who wrote every single line of code. Every single. I can’t find that one. You know, why. Because if there is some form of you always going to have one, who’s going to come in to chat, like, come on.
That’s me, that’s me. I’m waiting for you to come on in. Right. But most, most developers what essentially utilize scripts to integrate with, with the open-source solution to integrate within their software, customize it a little bit, right? Make some adjustments to, to provide it. So with no code, it essentially gives you those visual elements where it’s not, it used to be very drag and drop.
So we’re not talking about Wix right. Or web flow, which is like, you know, you take it in slash and write it had no logic. It had no data, right. Those were the first early on of no code solutions. However, no, since 2019, 2020, specifically 2020, no code has evolved significantly. Why? Because. AWS, Amazon web services enabled different net sentiment instances that allowed you to have micro level services, which enabled agencies to build no code solutions for anyone to be able to utilize those pre-written codes, then customize their own logic while managing their infrastructure that sits on the same server, like AWS, that any other platform that’s in the cloud spurs.
So essentially the programmer who spent six months writing code to push the code from their server to the cloud is doing the same thing. The person who’s no code. What’s the two weeks to build it, push the cart because they both sit on the cloud. Now, anyway, they have the same infrastructure, infrastructure, security.
They have the same enterprise. I manage my data. I can pull my data. I can integrate. And the API I want. Right. So no code has 2020. The pandemic has done has promoted what we call citizen centric development. that’s no code.
Jean-luc: [01:03:46] Hey, so it’s funny because I know quite some developers and it ran from 10 years ago. No, no, no. I want to ride my own court. I want to write my own code. It’s like, okay, we’re going to copy these two lines of code because it’s just easier to can we white-label this, you know, it’s is I, I think for people it’s interesting to know that this isn’t just something that’s happening with, with coding, it’s happening with content creation as well, because like 20 years ago, Television productions and now the same productions are done with a mobile phone.
And basically, there are two, two kinds of people who are really profiting from this because the people who know how to write serious code, they of course get paid a lot of money because they really know how to code. And then you have the, the, the people who can commercialize it and think there’s no code and make it into something that actually solves a problem or brings value to the end consumer.
And they’ll profit from it as well. Which, which basically, I mean, we have a lot more questions, but we already passed the hour mark. So we want to close down with, with one final question and the kind of it comes around to things you have mentioned before. We course, we briefly spoke about MVPs minimal viable products.
And we also spoke about no-code and you, especially specifically to us, since the pandemic, since 2020, no code, it’s the access, getting to all these solutions online has become so much easier. So if I’m a young, aspiring are a young starting entrepreneur in Suriname, and I have an idea, like what advice could you give them through the process of finding an MVP?
Like what are the minimal standards for an MVP and where can I search for no code solutions that I could actually start my business from home?
Sergio: [01:05:45] Oh, great question. So if you’re watching this video, listening to this podcast I want to invite you to come to nocodecaribbean.com. It is an online Academy that allows you to register and do exactly that. You’ll be able to one learn tools and resources or how to build it. So you’ll be able.
Yes. Thank you. You’ll be able to Join a cohort. We’re launching a cohort in Suriname here very shortly. We’ve been working in speaking to a lot of institutions who Suriname as well. So if you’re Suriname we work closely with Rajiv who’s one of our, Surinamese ambassadors down there. So we’re really excited about having him kind of spearhead the, the no code of Suriname.
We’re actually launching Trinidad that in, in last week we kind of doing our first cohort in Guyana as well. So we are, I want to invite you to take to the, join our community because you’re going to be able to, I know people who are in a group chat this morning, being alone, who are going crazy, cause they’re like, yo, I’ve been looking for this.
And you finally kind of like, w we have we have a sharing culture. We want to give you as much information. So if you’re a young person and you went to the website, you you signed up, there are three platforms that I like to give away. My favorites, why I use them a lot. Again, I’ve got to warn you.
There are not just drag and drop. They’re not the Wix builder or Squarespace. Don’t think of it like that. I can, I have an AWS API. I built; I’ve managed a lot of interesting things with these no code solutions. So there’s please. The misconception. Have an open mind. The first one is Figma, F I G M A figma.com.
Figma, in my opinion is so powerful. It’s the most embedded solution with a lot of different third parties, because you can essentially do your workflows, your designs your graphics, everything, and the reusable all the way down to the productions in Figma right? So highly, highly recommend Figma. The second one for development and it’s world. We now, now for a lot of developers called bubble. Bubble that I Oh, a bubble is my purse. One of my personal favorites. Why? And I recommend it to any young, young no co a non-technical founder is because one is free, it’s free. And so you can build a website tonight on bubble for free.
You have the bubble icons on it, but you’ve got a website for free, right. It’s a narrative, right. And I’m not talking about just informational website. No, you can have an entire structured. They have a nonprofit package to hit hint second. It is the most integrated, no cost solution right now. Because I can basically integrate any I can do from Google API.
So virtual technicians, I mean, I can, I can build any, I could integrate any solution with it. The, the, the third one there’s two of them that are like, is there is there, which is the premium version of, of more of the beta oriented, no code, right. If you’re trying to have a table and structure, you start off using Excel spreadsheets, right.
You started doing that, that, that is really, really beneficial for you to utilize. And then if you like into IOT solutions, I it’s, it’s a platform called two-year two UIA is really good for you know Bluetooth or, or, or machines or hardware components to integrate with them. So, but to make it easier for your audience, I would definitely start with those two.
Now, listen, I, I use other ones, right? I use a lot of other ones that have a friend in the United States called next code. She’s a female founder. One of the only minorities who are leading have their own platform. And you can go on next code right now and build you a mobile app right now.
Right? It’s going to just going to cost you about two, 300 bucks, but guess what? You save $10,000 in development down the line, and you can get your MVP faster. You can learn a bit works, and if it doesn’t work, you iterate and move on. So I hope I answered your question by giving you at least a few key platforms.
Diego: [01:10:02] No, there is definitely. And yeah, I I’ve, I’ve noticed the same trends actually like February I, that. Opened my space and yeah, Rajiv here was on social convos before, as well as the great to hear that you’re working with them. And definitely some things people can look forward to. But with that being said, there’s so much more we can talk about, but we’ve hit time.
And I think it definitely would like to, you know, as things develop, have you on in a future episode, but currently you’ve already mentioned you’re spearheading no-code Caribbean and things. People can look out to. Where can people find you? What can people look forward to? And any final thoughts you can lay them out now?
Sergio: [01:10:51] Absolutely. Well, first let me start off by saying thank you, Diego. And, and Jean I’m a huge fan of this channel believe me, right? Trust me. You may not, you may not get all the accolades, your roses right now, but I’ll give them to you guys. What I can and I, I just, I’m just a commend you to, for the consistency and providing value and content that actually helps young people in, in, in Suriname, in the Caribbean as well.
So thank you so much for this platform. You can find me or reach out at no-code Caribbean. For our cohort. So in Suriname, we’re launching this month, we’re launching our first cohort. I really want to talk to my Suriname audience. If you’re a young student, I know you’ve watched a lot of Jean’s an episode when it comes to sports as well.
Right. I want to tell you this, this initiative, this cohort is for you, right? I’m going to dedicate as a serial entrepreneur to your success. I want to, if you’re a female, but I highly recommend women. I wanna talk to my female listeners right now. If you’re a young women between the ages of 18 and older, and you’re looking of trying to learn a new skills that you can make money right now, I advise you to go to no code Suriname, sign up register for our first cohort, because what we’re gonna do is we’re going to allow you to learn in eight weeks.
You’re going to learn. How to utilize tools, what tools are out there and then being able to program it. So at the end of the, out of the eight weeks, you would know how to build the website. You would know how to build the application and you won’t know how to have to learn how to no code. Right? So I highly want to recommend me to come there if you want to connect me on LinkedIn.
The, the, the, the, the link, the address is Sergio Pengel LinkedIn and I am super, super excited to come and come post pandemic back into the region.
Yeah, basically it’s based in Suriname at the helper. So are in Suriname, a bent and your you’re, you’re set up based at the marker as to believe as to be coming out the helper and a no code Caribbean sign up and let’s build the future together. The goal is to educate 100 female in Suriname by the end of this year, that’s my strong, bold goal.
And I know by doing that sooner as a whole will move up in the ecosystem as a technology leader, as it should be.
Diego: [01:13:49] Thank you for that. bold callout and we are here to help keep it accountable.
Jean-luc: [01:13:55] Yes. Also the comments Marvin says double tap, but also I want to point out because we’re giving a shout out to one of our female listeners Tanja who says she’s a no coder as well.
So shout out to Tanya for also dropping in and being one of the females who would drop the comments on today’s episode. So that’s awesome.
Diego: [01:14:19] That’s awesome, Sergio, and appreciate you being on we’ll drop all the links. We’ll follow up after this to get all the links, put the links in the description for all the listeners.
Guys the episode, this episode, if you’ve missed it, if you’ve got friends who’ve missed it. Definitely people interested in no code in technological developments. This episode will be released on Saturday on our streaming platforms as weekly. So share to them comment. This helps us, you know, reach more people.
The more people we can impact the better, but. Take your step. And with that being said, thank you, Sergio, for tuning in.
And definitely with that being said, Jean-luc roll us out and we’ll see you in the next one.
Jean-luc: [01:15:03] Yeah. So quickly just like Diego said the episodes where we out feel free to re-watch the episode Gregory said I won’t be able to join.
So I’m re watching the, the following a follow-up episode soon goes actually for a row. Sorry. I pulled in all the wrong comment for a little saying, like I have to go, but he will listen to the recordings afterwards. So that’s an awesome initiative. And that’s what Tanya says. And I think we can definitely close it off.
Sergio: [01:15:35] No. I was going to say shout out to Tanya because I love my famous female founders. So Tanya, you’re definitely welcome. We got some good stuff for you, so we’ll connect offline.
Jean-luc: [01:15:45] Awesome. Hey Diego already said it. We’ll be back next Tuesday at nine o’clock many. Thanks to Sergio. Thank you. And as always, this was Social Confoes see you next Tuesday at nine bye-bye.