We interviewed our very own Gonzalo Galindo, Head of CEMEX Ventures, prior to the closing of the application phase of Construction Startup Competition 2020.
Gonzalo, who has worked for CEMEX for the past two decades, recognizes our parent company´s innovation efforts since early in the 1990s. Yet with the creation of CEMEX Ventures, CEMEX´s open innovation unit and corporate venture capital, innovation efforts also focus in construction startups. “We help CEMEX really understand the trends and pain points in the construction industry” starts off Gonzalo, who goes deeper into how CEMEX Ventures searches and invests in solutions that can trigger a benefit and revolution for the industry.
Take a closer look into our Head, Gonzalo Galindo, his approach with entrepreneurs, and how participating in Construction Startup Competition can be a game-changer for everyone participating, not just the winners.
What is CEMEX Ventures´ offer to entrepreneurs?
We don´t try to be a prepackaged solution for entrepreneurs. Whenever we do the due diligence of the different startups, we spend a lot of time discussing with them what would be the exact business plan that we can develop together. We make sure we offer them the best we can for them to actually grow their companies or concepts and be sure that those very unique propositions that they have can reach the market in a much faster way.
In a way, we do fit for purpose development programs for the startups in which we invest. If it’s a startup that can help our clients, we can help them access our client base, which is quite wide and diverse across the world (we have over 50,000 clients trading with us). But, if it’s something much more unique for example, needs of research and development, we can actually connect them with our R&D department and do a collaboration agreement by which we can help them develop the technologies or solutions they want to develop.
At the end, we invest a lot of time in making sure a specific startup has a specific business plan to be developed jointly with us in which we can help them grow and develop their companies.
What do you expect from this year´s competition?
We really have high hopes in this year´s competition. I think that the element of combining this competition with partners with a diverse set of capabilities like Hilti, Saint-Gobain, VINCI and Ferrovial create a consortium of people which can see the construction value chain from end to end with different perspectives. As such, we expect that the startups participating this year will be substantially better in quality, concepts, uniqueness and the innovation that they will bring forward.
We are really hoping to see that entrepreneur with the right idea and concept participate and make sure that its idea can be heard by at least five of the most important people in our area of construction.
Gonzalo Galindo, named one of the most prominent investors in the construction technology industry, and who can be found relaxing to the Delicate Sound of Thunder by Pink Floyd, has one call for startups: PARTICIPATE! “This competition gives startups a lot of visibility. It doesn´t matter if you win or not, this visibility will provide you with a lot of opportunities, either with us or any of our partners.” As an example, he explains how we have invested in startups that participated in the competition on previous editions but did not win because in that moment, they needed more development. “You will be seen”, he adds. And that´s something no startup should miss!
The time is now! Apply for Construction Startup Competition before July 26 and be part of the industry´s revolution: https://www.cemexventures.com/startup-competition-2020/.