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4529 Carrera 6
Bogotá, Bogotá, 110311
Colombia

+57 (321) 399 - 0231

Empoderando tendero de escasos recursos para optimizar sus negocios.

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Who We Are

Empoderando tenderos de escasos recursos para optimizar sus negocios.

With previous experience in marketing, market research and food security, Carolina is responsible for market validation, building partnerships, fundraising and implementing Agruppa in Colombia. Combining the know-how from SokoText Kenya with her local knowledge and networks, Carolina has what it needs to implement the business model in the region. Education: London School of Economics, MSC International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, 2013. Experience: Social innovation and business strategy consultant for Fundes and Fundación Corona, Clinton Foundation, NATO, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Ministry of Social Security of Colombia.

With previous experience in marketing, market research and food security, Carolina is responsible for market validation, building partnerships, fundraising and implementing Agruppa in Colombia. Combining the know-how from SokoText Kenya with her local knowledge and networks, Carolina has what it needs to implement the business model in the region.

Education: London School of Economics, MSC International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, 2013.

Experience: Social innovation and business strategy consultant for Fundes and Fundación Corona, Clinton Foundation, NATO, UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Ministry of Social Security of Colombia.

Carolina Medina

CEO & Co-Founder

Serial entrepreneur with experience planning and developing new projects. Prominent skills in team work, financial planning and objective oriented.  Education: Business administration from Universidad de los Andes, Master in Digital Business Management OBS-EAE Business School                                                                   Experience: Former country manager FormaFina Colombia; Co-Founder and analyst of new ventures at INVX investment fund specialized in seed capital. Analyst of investment calls at INNpulsa and Bancoldex. 

Serial entrepreneur with experience planning and developing new projects. Prominent skills in team work, financial planning and objective oriented. 

Education: Business administration from Universidad de los Andes, Master in Digital Business Management OBS-EAE Business School                                                                  

Experience: Former country manager FormaFina Colombia; Co-Founder and analyst of new ventures at INVX investment fund specialized in seed capital. Analyst of investment calls at INNpulsa and Bancoldex. 

Carlos Felipe Gutiérrez

CFO

Verena is an expert in social entrepreneurship who has lived, studied and worked in Germany, Mexico, the UK, Australia and Kenya. She brings her expertise in social innovation and mobile-based solutions for the base of the pyramid to Agruppa in Latin America. Verena builds upon the field experience from coordinating our pilot in Kenya to prototype and scale Agruppa in Colombia.  Education: London School of Economics, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, 2014. Experience: Care International UK; LSE Social Entrepreneurship Society, The Betterplace Lab (think tank on ICT for social impact); betterplace.org (global online donation platform); Startupdiaries.org.

Verena is an expert in social entrepreneurship who has lived, studied and worked in Germany, Mexico, the UK, Australia and Kenya. She brings her expertise in social innovation and mobile-based solutions for the base of the pyramid to Agruppa in Latin America. Verena builds upon the field experience from coordinating our pilot in Kenya to prototype and scale Agruppa in Colombia. 

Education: London School of Economics, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, 2014.

Experience: Care International UK; LSE Social Entrepreneurship Society, The Betterplace Lab (think tank on ICT for social impact); betterplace.org (global online donation platform); Startupdiaries.org.

Verena Liedgens

COO & Co-Founder

Industrial Engineer and Logistics Management specialist, has a wide experience working with companies within the industrial sector. Has already directed high performance teams y holds the capability to move forward and develop work teams. Education: Industrial Engineer, Universidad INCCA de Colombia, Specialist in Integral Logistics Management, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada. Experience: Distribution Center Leader at Alquería S.A.; Logistics Coordinator at Catering de Colombia S.A.; Operative Coordinator at Sidauto S.A. 

Industrial Engineer and Logistics Management specialist, has a wide experience working with companies within the industrial sector. Has already directed high performance teams y holds the capability to move forward and develop work teams.

Education: Industrial Engineer, Universidad INCCA de Colombia, Specialist in Integral Logistics Management, Universidad Militar Nueva Granada.

Experience: Distribution Center Leader at Alquería S.A.; Logistics Coordinator at Catering de Colombia S.A.; Operative Coordinator at Sidauto S.A. 

Alexander Higuera

Supply Chain Manager


Our Story

Agruppa started under the name of SokoText [link to sokotext.com] as a vague idea, when five students from five different nationalities at the London School of Economics escaped the classroom to enter the Hult Prize [link to http://www.hultprize.org]– an international social entrepreneurship competition that had called for business models to tackle food insecurity in urban slums. The more we researched the problem, the more we understood that fruit and vegetable vendors in these low-income neighborhoods  critically affect what people eat. Agruppa emerged motivated by the potential we saw in these micro-entrepreneurs and the opportunity to use simple technology to empower them and improve food security for their customers.

hat’s when half of our team took a plane to Kenya to prototype our vision in the slums of Nairobi. There, we experienced first-hand how hard these micro-entrepreneurs work, yet struggle to run and grow their businesses. Being caught up in a cycle of low capital and small quantities, food supply chains in slums are simply inefficient. Yet, we also experienced how grouping their demand and bringing produce straight from the farm allowed them to access wholesale prices otherwise unreachable. Even more impressively, we saw how these vendors would then often transfer the entirety of these savings to their end-consumers under their own initiative.

After the competition, our cofounder Carolina returned to her home country, Colombia, with the  mission to empower these micro-entrepreneurs and their communities at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Since June 2014, Sokotext Colombia, now under the name of Agruppa, has paved its way into a new continent, adapting the model to the local context and building partnerships with key regional players, as SociaLab Colombia, an incubator of ideas with positive social impact. Our cofounder Verena joined Carolina in March 2015. Together, they are bringing the Agruppa service to  low-income neighbourhoods of Bogota.


Our Advisors

Agruppa has several mentors and advisors who support us in different fields

Mariángela is an investment professional with a strong interest in the development sector. She has extensive experience in impact investment, private equity, M&A, strategic consulting, and most recently in entrepreneurship. During the last four years, Mariángela has been involved in assessing entrepreneurship projects in the Retail, Biotechnology, Energy and Education sectors, supporting the start-ups in the design of their business model, business plans, financial modeling, valuation, and fund raising strategies.

Mariángela is an investment professional with a strong interest in the development sector. She has extensive experience in impact investment, private equity, M&A, strategic consulting, and most recently in entrepreneurship. During the last four years, Mariángela has been involved in assessing entrepreneurship projects in the Retail, Biotechnology, Energy and Education sectors, supporting the start-ups in the design of their business model, business plans, financial modeling, valuation, and fund raising strategies.

Financial Advisor

Mariángela Ramirez,

Project Coordinator for Acumen Latin America

Erin has served as strategic advisor fo Agruppa for the past year, primarily focused on business strategy an investment readiness. Erin rings with her 10 years of professional experience in corporate finance an managemen consulting in the US, Latin America, and Asia. She runs the Agora Accelerator, advising small an growing social enterprises in Latin America, and leading the business developmen and executio of the Accelerato rogram. Prior to Agora she worked in investment banking and trategi consulting at Deloitte and lead th corporate finance team at a solar thermal technology company in California. She has experience taking companie through acquisitions, IPOs, and numerous financial raises and serves as a financial strategy mentor for Startu Chile. Erin has a dual BS in Business and Finance from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Erin has served as strategic advisor fo Agruppa for the past year, primarily focused on business strategy an investment readiness. Erin rings with her 10 years of professional experience in corporate finance an managemen consulting in the US, Latin America, and Asia. She runs the Agora Accelerator, advising small an growing social enterprises in Latin America, and leading the business developmen and executio of the Accelerato rogram. Prior to Agora she worked in investment banking and trategi consulting at Deloitte and lead th corporate finance team at a solar thermal technology company in California. She has experience taking companie through acquisitions, IPOs, and numerous financial raises and serves as a financial strategy mentor for Startu Chile. Erin has a dual BS in Business and Finance from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Strategic Advisor

Erin Milley,

Director for Agora Partnerships