How the SABF helped me in studying and learning

The amazing thing about the SABF is its great community. Period. Everything is possible thanks to the hard work of many people. SABF also nucleates a large number of intellects, it’s a “magnet” that attracts those who have much to give and receive. It is a very nice experience. This entry also tried to adapt to the themes of previous posts (mentoring and the area of ​​learning and problem solving).

I was a member of the SABF 2016 organizing team. Something great is that one has a mentoring program, among other things, that is, a person dedicated exclusively to talk about everyday things in general. Something I noticed was not taking enough advantage of such program. I only met once with my mentor, and although I asked a lot of questions and learned a lot, not organizing myself during my course of faculty, made it impossible to continue the program. Having learned of the error, luckily, I had a second chance. In August of last year, during the conference, the three most important days of SABF, I met Esteban (Tibi), who was an organizer of SABF 2011. He was in the same department as I was, in Information Technology (IT). I told him that I was having trouble with programming, that I had trouble solving programming problems; Moving from the problem to the paper or to the computer was my biggest problem, not a question of syntax. Tibi told me that he wanted to do a mentoring program, in which he would code with another person and learn from it. And I wanted to participate. Along with Yemel (Yimi), one of the IT department’s inductees, who also wanted to organize this with Tibi, I started meeting once a week in Voltaire and learning more and more. This learning helped me remove the fear I had in solving problems related to programming and to deal with them more easily, as well as to pass the college programming course (where I got an average of 9.25 points out of 10). Voltaire is a coworking space where several people and start-ups work. But it is also a community, where I got help from many and had a good time!

One of Warren Buffett’s commandments is to surround yourself with those people you admire and who you want to be. I think Mentoring is one of the best things, since it is a feedback, in both directions. Also, the role of the university is important, as it seeks to facilitate the problem-solving environment (one of the most important fields for being an engineer) and once again, to strengthen ourselves intellectually and socially through these extraordinary communities (and also approaching them!) 😊

And you, what are you waiting for to join a student organization in your college or university? There are many universities that have in their checklist “to participate in an organization”.

Success and the power of mentorship


“And you ask any successful person how they got to where they are today, chances are they’ll tell you about a mentor they had somewhere along the way.”– Barack Obama[1]

People are complex but, in a great way, we are defined by our environment and ambitions.  Having clear objectives, is the first step towards success, because after that moment you can work towards them.

Today, looking backwards, having gone through university and some first professional experiences I’m convinced that a mentor can bring down obstacles.  The first time I came across a mentor formally was during my participation in the SABF team and I will always be grateful for her dedication.

A mentor gives you the means to improve personal and professional skills. It raises awareness of your strengths and weaknesses to better align yourself towards your goals. It inspires you and brings more confidence when facing challenges.  It´s important to be open minded to receive advice and be willing to work on it.

To find a mentor the most important thing is to learn to approach people for advice.  And to take the most out of the relationship, you have to be honest about your own personal and professional objectives.

Without doubt, if you seek for a mentor you will win opportunities to meet interesting people and enrich your experiences.  Always be open to give advise, people are amazing!

This is a generic blog post

I am not an expert in marketing or in publicity. I am just a user, a TV watcher… one of the bunch. I have no idea what technique is better to use in order to get an idea across, or how to sell something to an unknown person. But there is something I do see when I watch TV commercials: generalisms (or, better put: generic-isms).

I wish not to criticise nor discuss the marketing campaigns that we see on television nowadays. I wish only to turn your eyes towards something that you may or may have not noticed: there is such a preconception about anything (about everything) that we connect images with ideas without even analysing them. We believe that if something is white, it is pure; if there is a poor boy, it is about solidarity; because there is someone smiling, life is beautiful and easy…

Do images have anything to do with the product or service that we are being sold? I mean, besides the inherent image of the product itself, everything else that goes with it: is it really there for a reason? Are we trusting the seller because it has decided to show us generic images of people or objects without meaning, but carefully selected to unchain a visual association?

And more importantly: are we basing our purchasing decisions in such generic images?

If it is white, I should buy it because it is clean.

This doctor seems happy, he is certainly trustworthy.

The baby seems to have slept well. Why don’t we trust this brand?

I would like to invite you to watch this very short video (less than 3 minutes) about generic branding.

What are your thoughts about it?

Better not to see you

One morning, while I was on the bus on my way to work, I suddenly saw a teenage girl carrying a back pack with the word “UGLY” on it. Without noticing I was staring at her, thinking that she was just a few years younger than me and that she wasn’t ugly at all. On the contrary, she had really nice features as well as hair and a unique skin for a girl of her age.

While looking at her, intrigued, these thoughts went around my mind: “ Does she really consider herself ugly?” , “ Did she hear this from someone?” , “may she know she aint an ugly girl?”

Continue reading…

Let’s save Seba

TODOSxSebas  is an initiative from Sebastián Corbat’s family and friends to try to get him a marrow transplantation. Sebastian is  37 years old and he has a genetic affection called  XLP. It is a rare almost always fatal disease that affects only boys. To date only about 100 families and 400+ boys have been diagnosed worldwide. Because of it, 4 of his brothers had already died. Now hi has aplastic anemia, a complication that afects 3% of the people with XLP and if he doesn’t get this bone marrow transplantation, he can not sourvive. We need to get 974.000 USD to cover the expenses for his travel to Boston to get the treatment. The objective is to get it in the least amount of time as posible to make this 1 year procedure in the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA. With the treatment he has 75% chance of survival. We thank you all for all the help you can give us by:

  • Donations: there are many ways to do  it, for more information go to the web site.
  • Diffusion: we made some math and with 450.000 people, donating U$D 3 we will get to the amount that we need. Help us with diffusion through the facebook group or ussing the hashtag #todosxseba on twitter.

The entily organizing team of the SABF, his friends and family, we thank you all for your help. For more information you can send an email to info@todosxseba.com.ar

Useful ideas to get financial aid

Today, Cezary Tarnowski from Poland bring us some helpful ideas to help you get the financial aid you might need to get to Buenos Aires, Argentina to attend the South American Business Forum. It is our wish to give every one the opportunity to participate in the forum so we will be there to help you through the whole process. If you have any questions regarding this topic you can always write to students@sabf.org.ar

Continue reading…

On Motivation, Opportunity Cost and Ideas

This article is part of a series about going from “I’d like to start a business” to having a small start-up running, and beyond. If you haven’t read the previous articles, I recommend you do so by going to the first one, which includes a small table of contents.

Continue reading…

How to get financial aid to take part in the SABF: two successful cases

We know that when applying to the forum, travel expenses often play against some participants. Although we would like to pay the tickets to everyone, we are not financially able to do so yet. That’s why we are bringing  you testimonies of two Brazilian students who managed to get a sponsor to travel to Buenos Aires and attend the SABF. We hope these stories urge you to apply to the forum regardless of economic constraints and try to do your best to get the help you need. Remember that the organizing team is there to help you in everything you need.

Continue reading…

From Idea to Startup in 7 Posts: Presentation

With this post I’m opening a new space in this blog that I will call Bringing the “B” (as in “Business”) back to “SABF”. This first series will be all about going from “I’d like to start a business” to having a small start-up running, and beyond that. I invite you to follow it, leave your comments and ask questions.

I will start by telling a bit about myself. In 2008 I began the BA in Business Economics at UTDT. A year later, I embarked on my first entrepreneurial project: I built, with two friends, a social network for our university’s students (ditellianos.com.ar, we shut it down a year and a half ago). Also that year I participated for the first time in  SABF, an experience that had a great impact on me in many aspects.

The year after that (2010) got even more interesting. In February I travelled with two friends from college to London, where we took part in the Entrepreneurs International Challenge’s finals at LSE (the week-long event combined team competitions with talks and workshops). When we came back to Buenos Aires, the three of us started planning the creation of Cena Plus, a web-based restaurant reservations system (an OpenTable.com clon for Latin America). As if that was not enough, in the second half of that year I did an ERASMUS Semester at Prague’s University of Economics, another lifechanging experience. We closed 2010 by launching CenaPlus.com the second week of December.

During 2011, we focused on growing Cena Plus, afiliating more than 90 restaurants in Buenos Aires and processing hundreds of reservations. But of course we faced tough competition. Last December, Cena Plus was acquired by Restorando.com, this industry’s leader. By the end of last year I graduated from college and, as it was agreed in the acquisition deal, I joined Restorando’s team. Today I work with them full-time. (Oh, and in 2011 I participated in SABF once again)

In all these years I learned a lot: if I began a new start-up today, I would have a great advantage and I would do things somehow different from how I did in the past. That “advantage” and those lessons are what I will try to pass on with the series.

I’d like to be clear about something: little of what I’m going to write is completely new. You can find most of these ideas spread through other blogs, books and talks. In fact, the lessons I learned come from a mix of experiences and an insaciable hunger for learning about these topics from any resource I can put my hands on. The value I intend to create lies in bringing all these ideas, ways and methods closer to the SABF community, in a didactic and entertaining format, and mixing them with personal experiences and lessons (and possibly those of other SABFers as well).

I will focus on web-based business (that includes offline-online hybrids). The decision is based mainly on two reasons: 1) my richest experience comes from that industry and 2) it’s very likely that if you are reading this and thinking of starting up a business, it will be web-based. As a matter of fact, in order to avoid making the series too abstract, with each post we will be following the creation of an imaginary start-up of this kind.

I’ll finish by leaving a roadmap for the weeks to come, with the titles of the post’s of the series and, below, some resources you might want to take advantage of if you didn’t know them.

(You will get access to these articles by clicking on their names every time we upload a new one)

  1. On Motivation, Opportunity Cost and Ideas
  2. Validating your Idea
  3. Minimum Business Plan
  4. MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
  5. I already have a working and tuned MVP… Now what?
  6. Co-founders, Culture & Team Dynamics
  7. Funding


SABF 2012 Launching

After seven years of work and with huge expectations, the SABF is heading for a new challenge: the organization of the next of the forum, to be held on August 3-5, 2012 in Buenos Aires. This is why we would like to invite the entire SABF community to the official launch of this eight edition of the South American Business Forum where we will be presenting the new organizing team, the main topic for the conference and the objectives we set for the next year. We will have the presence of speakers and jurors from previous editions as well as alumni and community members who have supported us all these years.

We will also close the 7th edition which had over 3000 students registered at our website coming from 112 different countries and the support of 27 sponsors and 10 non-profit organizations. We will highlight the conclusions derived from the intense discussions that took place under the general topic “Facing Exponential Times”,  as well as present the organizational achievements during this year’s work.

The launch will take place on December, Friday the 2nd at 18:00 at the auditorium of the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires, located in Avenida Madero 399. If you want to join us, please contact Celeste Molina, member of the organizing team, to confirm your attendance. You should send an e-mail to celeste.molina@sabf.org.ar. If you have any other questions please contact us at info@sabf.org.ar.

We look forward to seeing you there!