Gabriel Flores 0:00
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I have a good friend of mine and co founder of Latino founders. It's actually a Latino accelerator group. Edgar, how are we doing?
Edger Navas 0:19
Thanks, Gabe. Thanks for the invite. I'm pretty stoked to you know, to be on the other side of the mic. For one yes, yeah.
Gabriel Flores 0:26
For those folks are unaware. In fact, Edgar runs an actual podcast as well. So please go ahead and check them out. But today, we're actually going to be talking about clique at digital. So before but before we get into that, Edgar, let's introduce the world who is Edgar, give him a little background.
Edger Navas 0:42
Oh, man, I have a little background. So I'm born and raised in Mexico City, came to the US quite a while ago, you know, first to, for me to get my undergrad. But just a little bit, just before even before that, I went to school to get the prep school in northern Mexico, where I was pretty much sent to do that was the first time I was actually sent, you know, out of my house. The, what's probably called kind of like the the MIT of Mexico structure, the Monterey tech for prep school. So I live there, just an eighth my my parents idea gives was for me to stay at the Monterey Technology Institute of Technology in Monterey, northern Mexico, but you know, I ended up choosing Texas, you know, I was a swimmer back in college. So you made a good opportunity to go swim for Texas State is a great experience. But and ever since then, I stay here. And but 20 years ago, I ended up in Portland, Oregon. Somehow, yeah. But yeah, just so so that. And then, you know, I came here to Portland for a little bit, for about a year, year and a half, then I ended up you know, we got married, when we came back from our honeymoon ended up, you know, coming back, and there was an acceptance letter for grad school in Italy. And, yeah, just came back from our honeymoon. And all of a sudden, we're packing up her stuff to move to Italy. And finding out my wife was, was pregnant already. So we were left to and we came back three months.
Gabriel Flores 2:20
So tell me about the school like, how did how did the kind of how did the transition kind of happened from medical to? Did you apply to prep school in Italy? Or, you know, for graduate school at Italy? And how did that transition happen? Yeah, yeah. Because that, you know, my idea to go to grad school was, you know, I had my top choices, which were the top
Edger Navas 2:41
five European MBA programs. And I was like, Well, you know, what, they're pretty competitive there. And I didn't want to stay in the US because I had in my head back, back then, I had already had the experience as an international student in a US institution. So I'm like, Well, now I want a different perspective. You know, I want to, I want to gain more, you know, more than just not only the education, but that it will world exposure. So I looked at those schools, and, you know, a couple of them, accepted me, but my top choice was, was Dad, which I thought honestly was a long choice. And going back to, like, two years prior, I had a, I had applied and of course, they didn't, they didn't accept me, it's, it's a small program, you know, for, you know, compared to the, to the US ones. Very, very competitive. And I think he was just the token, you know, people like exceptionally smart. And it's a great experience. You know, it was it was everything I was hoping and plus, plus more.
Gabriel Flores 3:40
How do you feel that experience kind of prepared you for becoming an entrepreneur, which we'll talk about here shortly? How did you feel like it prepared you for this moment?
Edger Navas 3:51
Well, first of all, it gave me a ton of context, and I get brought different opinions, working with different cultures, which I think was the most valuable, or one of the most valuable things that I got from the program is being in, you know, working in collaboration with different little the every single culture imaginable. And we're working with Greek people Turkish, you know, Latin Americans, Americans, Germans, so dad, worldview, it was one of a kind, I mean, that's the kind of thing that you read it sometimes in paper, unless you're there like, oh, my gosh, you're arguing Well, in a good sense, and, and listening, learning from other perspectives, and just trying to absorb everything, you know, from the cultural to the way they think, to the way they act. I mean, I think that's one of the ways that it started preparing in a number one start observing, asking questions. I'm probably asking the right questions or you learning how not to ask questions. But you know that you're opening up your mind to be more inquisitive and you know, what's out there, other than watching, you know, we're live in the little bubbles and There's way more of a to the world than than what we think.
Gabriel Flores 5:03
Yes, that's very true. That's very true. Yeah. So let's start let's talk about, click on digital. One, tell them tell it tell the audience what is it. And then let's talk about how you started.
Edger Navas 5:14
Well, clicker we started, it's, we call, it's a platform, to, that really brings down, you know, the digital component to the masses. And I want to say to the underrepresented, because our mission is really to create all these technologies for the people that have been left behind in the digital world. So we're, you know, we're coming out of hopefully, out of the pandemic, and we, we've seen this, this need, you know, for how it's exacerbated, and people are jumping into the digital world. Businesses, everybody that survived was because we were in a digital world. But what we also didn't realize is what we've been doing for the past seven years, is, you know, this accentuated the promo that we've been working on. And it actually has made it worse, that some people are being left behind. You know, some people don't have access, and I'm gonna go over, like, how we found that this is like, I remember reading this article in The Economist, and I think you and I were pretty fortunate we all grew up in, in household, that means certainly, we're not, you know, super well off. But you know, we were comfortable, we always had a good meal, a ruiner. And that's privileged. So that was the first thing that that, you know, that has come to my realization, how privileged we are, even though we think we may have not had been. But you know, going back, I was reading this article and to 2013 or 14, and it said something like, I think that the name of the article think that it is, it is expensive to be poor. And I call my idols like, what, so I started reading about it, and you started doing, listening, and why it's expensive to be poor, and why so many people can't get out of that vortex, the end, and then you start, you know, looking at what, you know, the inaccessibility for certain things that you and I enjoy that are free, or what free, quote unquote, or that we have access to uniform for advertisement, whether it's finance, whether it's not technology, communications, et cetera, to education, you name it, it's accessibility in general. And that's our reading that article, and you know, how certain companies or institutions punish poor people, because basically, because they can, you know, one of them was the credit, heard of the phone card industry, which we were pretty familiar with being in Italy. And then here, we used to try to stay connected with our relatives, and it was absurd. But once you started digging down, like, Oh, my God, you know how much people like poor people depend on them that I wouldn't say poor people without accessibility to a phone or Skype, back, then I'm talking to my this is in early 2010s. And you said, Well, you and I use Skype, and I don't have to pay for it anymore. But most of you know, most of the population don't have access to the internet, don't have a credit card, they don't have that luxury. So they go on buy these cards. And without, you know, without giving you getting into a lot of details, those phone calls, you were basically getting 60 cents on $1 that you imagine just going to Starbucks and paying full price for your cup or your venti cup, and only getting 60% of that product at best. So that was one of the first shocking revelations was like, Oh, my gosh, you know, we, and we had the technology back then to solve it, then the co founders and I, well, we could either turn a blind eye and continue being comfortable, or we can get uncomfortable, and try to solve this. And that's just one of the problems. So with inaccessibility, that digital transformation that left a lot of people behind, and it's still gonna keep leaving people behind. So that was a game that was in essence, real kind of, like, why we started it more than how the house was just like, well, like, let's do it. I mean, are we willing to do this taken a risk? And, you know, see what happened since then? Yeah. That's, that's a good start.
Gabriel Flores 9:16
You know, it's interesting, you mentioned accessibility, because I think that's one piece that a lot of individuals in a lot of different settings, fail to see and visualize. You mentioned, you know, having the fortunate, fortunate being raised, you know, in a household that had food that had access to internet, you know, I'm currently you know, in the healthcare world in particular, you know, some of these individuals are that are in rural communities are very far away from access from, you know, the health care they need, but more importantly from the medications because there's limited pharmacies out there. And so I'm sure people are at home are thinking Hey, Mark Cuban right cost plus or Amazon They don't have internet. Right? So what do you do don't have these these limitations, right? There's limitations that you have whether whether they're from financial limitations or just geographic limitations, right? Some people live in rural communities that just don't have broadband internet yet. You know, right.
Edger Navas 10:19
Now what or like you said, you know, like payments, you can, oh, we have Amazon or Mark Cuban, and you need a credit card. A lot of these people are unbanked or underbanked. So they don't have access to these financial services. So right from the get go, that service won't work. Yep.
Gabriel Flores 10:35
So what are some things that you guys are currently doing to kind of help address the issue?
Edger Navas 10:40
Well, number one, again, first of all, we you know, in our design process in our practice, that's the first thing that we try to do we take the consumer a human centric approach into first understanding what the real problem is, you know, how these people because again, the first mistake also that we've made is like, like, oh, we have a solution, the one that we think you're going to need, and that's classic, like, Oh, we're going to do this, we're going to create an app, we're going to do blah, blah, blah, poem, and then nobody uses and you're like, Oh, crap, like, what's happening? Like, why don't people like why don't people use it like, well, because you're not addressing the real need, and you're not meeting the customers where they need to be, you're, you're one you want to pull them. And that's not the way it works. So number one, is to like, really digging down understanding, and here are the things we're against a privilege is literally like taking a blindfold, okay? I mean, and that's when you realize, oh, my gosh, we're very fortunate to live the way you you do, and you know, that I keep expressing that to my children, it's like, I don't want to sound like, you know, my parents order parents alike. But you aren't, you gotta acknowledge, you know, you may not have what you see in your social media as you're not flying private. But that's nonsense. Compared to you know, what a lot of people, the people's struggles, if you have a roof and the meal, a warm meal, at least three to three times a day, I mean, you're golden, you are extremely privileged, everything else is just a luxury. So that's what we get. That's what we try to understand it like living in these people's shoes. Because if you don't, then you really don't have an understanding of what the problem is, and what solution you can actually bring in. So going back to your question, like, what are we addressing? That is like, how do we how can we narrow that digital divide? And first, we'll see, you know, what's, how wide it is, it is pretty wide, I can tell you, I got even wider, like I said during the pandemic, because, you know, most of it made sense, you know, we were to our businesses got obliterated during the pandemic, because we weren't accessible only when we all got, you know, sent home, the Latino black and brown businesses were decimated at a 44% rate, which was much higher than any other demographic, simply because we were not searchable. Because we don't exist. And our businesses don't have a website, they don't have a transaction mechanism to pay online. So let's go with the basics. If you don't have a website, you don't exist, so. So those are the things that we're trying to number one measure, then address and then okay, now, how do we bring you back into the digital world. And you know, from payment platforms, to the essentials, we did a program with the with the state of Oregon, what we're doing the websites, website packages, with social media packages, basic like is for Latino, black and brown business, small businesses. So number one step, bring into the digital arena. Number two, teach you how to use those tools. And number three, developing those tool. So you can actually receive payments and payments, and you know, keep you benefited from attracting a different kind of consumer and keeping your businesses afloat.
Gabriel Flores 14:08
Know, you, you're kind of starting this business that's really kind of focused on like helping, you know, migrant workers and immigrants, right to kind of help them kind of get inspired get access to things they need. How difficult was it to really start this business? Did you have a lot of support? Or did you, you know, run into roadblocks yourself?
Edger Navas 14:30
No, it's been super difficult. Because first, we you know, we fund it all. We race, some angel capital that gave us plenty of plenty of resources just to get it started to make the initial platform, but again, we run into the roadblocks, okay, we make this technology now. How do we deploy it? And that takes massive amounts of dollars, which we couldn't raise because, number one, you know, we did the whole VC world and people don't understand the problem. because they don't they don't live it. And they don't think it's they don't think even back then they didn't think it was a market. Now, plus forward, the things were a little bit more to say, up until a couple months ago, they were a little more favorable. And we were hoping to we're we're still hoping to raise more capital to really make that make it more scalable. But right now, you know that the main barrier is that, you know, how do we get this to the consumer? How do we make them understand that this is an option that it's and gain their trust? Because that's the most difficult part?
Gabriel Flores 15:38
How do you do it? How do you build their trust?
Edger Navas 15:41
So we did it, you know, we're the first company here in, in the region, I would say, you know, actually north of Los Angeles, that created this digital agency model, because, again, we went with the traditional, we got some recommendations here in town and in Seattle, like, well, we have a very small budget, but we have a budget, how do we reach consumers? And what we heard, this has been 2015 16 is like, what you really don't understand and you know, you know, how to get the market, even in the Latino community? So what we did is essentially, well, if you don't have the answers, we have to come up with the answers. So we created them, we created our model. So we probably have a probably, we have the largest digital presence right now for any Latino Media in the northwest, again, north of you know, the north of San Francisco with a well funded entities. But we created that organically, we then we paired up with some celebrities, you know, in LA in Mexico, and we started creating this agency model where we can actually benefit our clients now, you know, by by handling their social media, with analytics, with content creation, moderation, and curation. And then using it also to grow our own channels, and you know, create that, that, that link with the with the consumer.
Gabriel Flores 17:13
You know, one of the things you mentioned, when you were kind of creating the business is your angel angel capital or angel investor, right, and going through that venture capital route. Tell us about that experience, the experience that you had as a minority, because, you know, I think venture capitalists, you tend to see it sway a different way. Right. What was your experience in that world?
Edger Navas 17:35
Well, it was, it was actually a lot of luck. It was tremendous, because we and that gave us a lot of confidence in the beginning, which was one of the also one of the mistakes. And I can tell you this story, like how we started, we still have our jobs, my co founder and I, we sat down with one of his friends, I said, Hey, my friend has a digital media company here in town, well known, important has money, and he may help us and create ideas. So again, this was just an idea. We didn't have a name. We didn't forget about pitch decks. It was just let's sit down for lunch. We have an idea. There's a problem. We sit down with this guy that I've never met. His name is Joaquin Lippincott shout out to Joaquin. And we're saying he's a tremendous dude. We're sitting on lunch. Again, I've never met this guy. So we're just talking to him like, hey, we have this idea America, blah, blah, blah. And over lunch, it's like, All right, let's do it. And boom, microphone. Like, what? Let's do what? It's like Warren pitching, you know, it's like, we're just asking questions. And uh, you obviously started your company out of nothing. I grew it. represent, you know, you have big clients like ABC and CBS, the Oscars, you know, stuff like that. And also, he's throwing us the first inkind check. Like, let's do it. Let's do it. We'll build the arm. We'll do the you know, we'll come up with a name. Again, we had no we have nothing. So we have a Bretton Alright, so he threw in the first check in Kaiser basically just pulling his team, which was a lot of money and a lot of work just to come up with the first iteration of the program to program a product, our first version of a mobile app just to get it to a point where we can actually pitch to investors. So we got down to like, oh my gosh, so of course we started we you know, went full time. And this is cc. And then we had I had a friend still also on our board that I was talking to him you know, we're friends and we just go hey, you this is what I'm doing and blah blah. But three days later he's thrown us a big check. Big for for an angel. Oh my god this is this is gonna be easy. We got the money just to get started but just again just to get it I mean, weren't we're not even touching them. I was just going to to build an office on crickets man. There was nothing. So we were doing I was I was doing the the rounds here in Portland and, you know, going to all the pitch competitions, you know, doing the right things and just here. No, no. And, you know, I wouldn't I wouldn't put all the blame on the on the VC. So she's like, also we I don't think we had the storytelling really tied to what or you know, the market address. So there were a lot of holes, because I've seen their pitches of go back and revisit him like, yeah, I wouldn't I wouldn't put.
Gabriel Flores 20:33
I wouldn't invested in myself.
Edger Navas 20:36
Yeah, but you know what? So here's, you just mentioned that, that after a while, I was so frustrated. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, she was like, you know, crickets and nothing. And I call her Kenya, which is a good mentor. And so he met him and I talked to him, and I hated this roadblock, if you're frustrated, what's going on? Man? It's like, I want to, like, how do we convince you? Or how do we? What was it? What am I not doing right, that I commissioned? And he gave me the best lighting, honestly, to just like, you know, I didn't know it's like, obviously, we didn't have a deck. And I was like, I invested in you. Like, I know you. I mean, you just you guys came in with lunch. I know, your co founder and all that. But you know, you're genuine, you're honest. And I just, you know, he's don't I bought stock on you. So that's what you need me to be doing. Like, oh, my God, they just lift me up, went out there, we raised a little bit more capital. So we could get it out, you know, get the first product or first iteration, send it to market validate. And then, you know, we started growing organically. But it wasn't to the pace where we needed to scale, because it's a business that for us is you know, the margins are super razor thin. It's it's a volume. It's a volume business. So we need to raise a lot of money to obviously get into a lot of hands. And at that point, we couldn't so we made some partnerships with people in the entertainment world. And that's what gave us you know, that's what gave us enough momentum to at least get it get it moving. But yeah, no, you're right. I mean, lots of barriers.
Gabriel Flores 22:13
Yeah, yeah. Now, is this your first business?
Edger Navas 22:17
real business? Yes.
Gabriel Flores 22:19
Now, what would you say has been kind of difficult going through this, this process of raising money getting the app out, and then actually helping out the community?
Edger Navas 22:29
What is the most difficult spin? Oh my gosh, I want to say that what the most is like everything, just because there you know, is just like a roller coaster days. Yeah, days of like, Man is just kind of call which has been lately. And now you're a little suspicious. But then there's days that it just feels that everything just goes sour. You know, we had problems with security in our platform, we already got hit with cybercrime in the past, and now we're we're come on knock on wood was it's been two years, but we Yeah, just not getting not getting enough capital just to get a you know, to, to a sizable, we knew we had a good product. But again, you know, in hindsight, all those things have prepared us for to make a bit not not only a better product, a better a better pitch on the and what we really want to do who we want to serve. Because I want to say, if we were raised a lot of capital back then I think we would have gotten burned really bad with cybercrime. And I think in hindsight, you're not raising that capital, it probably saved us, or I don't think we would have withstand what I mean, the storm note that it came in 2018 2019.
Gabriel Flores 23:47
Yeah, yeah. You mentioned your product, can you kind of give the listeners at home? A little idea of like, one who is the typical client, you know, for your and then what kind of products would they expect to receive?
Edger Navas 24:00
So yeah, so we created this is this payment payment platform. And we started aggregating service, like I said, the first product was an international long distance, because we what we wanted to do is get rid of that dirty industry. So like, well, you have a card that you scratch, you use one time, and that's in no more, it's about terrible for the environment. Because those cars are not recyclable. You have a ginormous footprint. And they're terrible for the consumer. So like, well, we can use Voice over IP, essentially the same service, but you don't need the physical attributes. So done. Well, we started with one product, one service, then we said, Well, what else can we do? And we started aggregating international payments for long distance. And for also recharging your prepaid phones, which most of the immigrant community use still uses. So we started with a Mexican carrier than a US carrier. And it just started you know, going like that. And to date, we have about 450 products, services in about 50 countries. Wow. So it started with one point Yeah, So we, we recharge at&t In the US the mobile track phone pretty much all the nvns or the, on the prepaid side make from Mexico down to the Patagonia and a couple of countries in the Middle East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. So we're starting to expand the footprint. And what it does is essentially this platform, we enable this platform with other partners like banking, finance, where they can actually plug in into our API, or our platform and offer these products to the consumers. So they can actually make all the transactions at once. Because here's the thing, again, going back to the product design, what we realize a couple of years ago, you know, banks and bank, mostly banking and financial institutions want to go for the Latino market. And you know, they do the typical, they put a poster with the Latino guidance and Espanol to chicken, Agra. And then they lament themselves like, well, people are not flocking to us, and they won't, why don't they trust us when? Well, let me tell you, it's not only Yes, it's a matter of trust number tip number one, but more importantly, is you're not, you're not fulfilling any need. Why is that? There's like we're banking like, well, they don't need you. They don't need a bank. Do you know where the the financial center of the Latino immigrant communities like? No, is the bodega, that's where they go for making their west of the abuser you narrow, like money remittance, their payments to the cell phone, their their bill payment, a lot of them they go and cash your checks, the ones that still get paid by cheque. So in essence, those would take us to financial centers. And then they also they buy their stuff. And it's like a social center like, now, do you fulfill that? No, if you don't, why would they need a bank account? And they're like, why would the bank account they can do this? And there's not one but they already do it? They have their way of doing it. You're not going to convince them to do away with that, to do this? And then what? How do I maneuver? You know, why do I need a plastic thing. So you're not really showing a benefit. Now, in our platforms, like what we would do is enable them to serve as a virtual bodega. Now, you can do all those transactions virtually. So now you actually have a value proposition for that client, and say, Look, you don't need to go to the bodega on Friday, and be in the line special well, with COVID. And touching things. You can do it 24/7 Through her app through you know, or web service, blah, blah, blah. So now you're enabling the consumer to actually save time and money. But now you have a value added.
Gabriel Flores 27:41
That's, that's a great, great point, you know, two things that you've kind of mentioned throughout this, this entire segment is one, understanding the realization that, hey, these I have to go to the consumer and get inside the actual, you know, the market and understand what the consumer needs are, and not assume my own needs are the same as the consumer. Right? That's, that's a big, big piece that you seem to have highlighted. How did how did that kind of, you know, what was the aha moment for you? That made this kind of easy for you? Right. So we talked about what was hard. So what what has been easy, kind of what was that aha moment saying like, this is the thing that's missing? What did you have that moment? Or do you remember that moment? Yeah,
Edger Navas 28:27
yeah, I wasn't working from my previous employer. I was in someone outside of San Francisco, like a rural areas. Were visiting clients. And will, it was one of probably one of my first ones going into a bodega. Honestly, again, we're outside of Palo Alto, like half an hour east, and I want to warn this bodega. It's in a rural community. There's nothing around it. So we go in there, we're talking to the to the owner, and just trying to understand, you know, we were building this automated kiosk machines, where you can actually do a lot of payment processing, or like an ATM, reverse ATM. And the owner of the guy 99 I don't really need it. And all I was doing just observing, like, first of all that, I don't know, it's on a Friday, we were there for about an hour. And within that hour went from being super quiet, to extremely busy in the afternoon, late afternoon. And I'm like, Oh, my God, like what's going on? So instead, I started talking to a bunch of people in line, and realizations and like, holy crap, like, this is something that we could solve. Number one, we're in the middle of nowhere. Everybody had to drive to here. And I started talking to the people like, oh, yeah, we're working on the fields. We're working on the field, and I'm doing transaction only for me. But for other competitors, like because not everybody has a car and you can get them. There's no public transportation to get you to that little Bodega sitting in the middle of nowhere. Talk about accessibility again. So He would come he comes a person with all the money to make the transaction and his little list to make transactions for 10 other people, and the guy behind them is doing exactly the same, and behind. So also you have a long line. And if people are gonna be there for an hour or so, and it's hot, it was hot. It's sweltering. I mean, it's very uninviting, but you know what, it's Friday, it's payday, you know, and they will go collect their check, cash it out. So the store makes a cut of that, you know, check cashing. Now the store social making money and every single transaction in my head, like what's different look at all the friction, and that tightening of the value chain, you have to come from a feel getting the right from someone, you have transactions from X amount of people that are trusting you with their money and, and you're here for over an hour in the heat. And then you're getting host, because every transaction, cashing your check, sending money back home through, you know, the remittance money, paying your phone bill paying your Disney every transaction, here's $1, here's $2, you're getting hosed. And again, it went back to my, to my, the articles, like why being poor is expensive. Yeah. Like, and again, you know, it's just the accessible, like, I can do everything that they that they they're doing here, right here. Yep. On my phone. So why do they need to? Why do they why are they here? Like, sorry? Why can we just reduce or eliminate that friction and bring them to the service to them? You know, that was the moment.
Gabriel Flores 31:39
And that's, that's a great point to the entrepreneur should take a hold of, because what you realize at that moment was it wasn't the bodega owner, that was your target audience. It was the bodegas owners customer. And so I'm asking the bodega owner, their insight, certainly that product, in fact, did not provide them any benefits, in fact, the most probably competitive service. Right, exactly. Right. So So that's, that's one thing I think entrepreneurs should take away from this segment is like, understanding who won, you really really truly unhappy to understand who your customer is, who is your target audience, right? You can't, you can't just shotgun in, visit every hole and see which one makes the biggest impact, that's going to take too long. Right? So one, identify who that is, and then really, truly get in there, get get your hands dirty, get in the community understand their needs. And then once you understand their needs, and I talked about this in healthcare all the time, once you understand their needs, you can target their needs. It's going to help your bottom line.
Edger Navas 32:41
Absolutely, yeah. And again, as part of it, you know, customer journey mapping that out, you know, who your buyer, like you say, who your audiences, who the customer is, you know, make the profile, but that entire journey. And that's when we saw like, oh my gosh, like we could eliminate that journey into compacted into phone. Now, that also poses problems, limitations, and those are the ones that you need to iron out. But at least you can realize they're like, yeah, like you said, the, the store owner is not my customer. He's, I'm being he's actually will be his competition, because I will be eliminating all those hidden fees, which are not hidden, they're like front fees, to for the consumer make it more democratic, like give it access access to everyone to the same service. 24/7. And for free? Yep.
Gabriel Flores 33:29
Yeah, that's very true. You know, it's very, very true. Now, you mentioned who your target audience is, right? How do you market to them? Like, how do you? How do you brand since you know, some of these individuals don't have access to internet? Right, we talked about some of the limitations. How do you brand to them?
Edger Navas 33:48
Well, we did you know, a bunch of them through digital. And that's one of the also misconceptions that we Latinos are the number one consumers of digital media in the nation by far in all demographics. So once we started looking at those numbers, also, smartphone penetration, we were number one. I guess it's like a status symbol that you come as an immigrant, you have to have your truck and your your smartphone. You know, that's one of the things when Yeah, I mean, don't ask me why, but we got to have. So once we started looking at, oh, we can actually reach out again, we were the first one that just focused entirely on digital. And, you know, again, we did our first launch, and we measure every single channel and we're data driven people. So we did TV, radio, print that we did every channel and we build a technology to be able to measure them and I'm talking about this seven years ago. We're really pioneers and working just entire and once we saw the metrics, like how many was no brainers, like look, you know, TV, our customer acquisition cost is boom in the roof up through the roof, and Digital's wreckin digital was so that's We started focusing, again, really looking forward to where the market was moving, and trying to attract influencers, you know, we work, we still work with some of the some some big, pretty big names. And some of them are partners of ours. I mean, they invested, you know, sweat equity into the company, we gave them a little push in exchange for exposure. And once we saw that, like, oh, okay, this, this is really the way to do it. And then we started, like I said, also building our digital on my understanding how that works. Why, why it works, how can how can we make it better, you know, for the consumer, but also for the influencer as well.
Gabriel Flores 35:38
Nice. You know, this this entire time, we've been kind of talking about, you know, click on digital, we've talked about you as an entrepreneur. But you're more than that you also are involved with nonprofits talk a little bit about your involvement in the nonprofit world and why it's so important to you?
Edger Navas 35:56
Well, number one, it's just again, although the problem of accessibility, I really involve myself, and that in the aspect of justice, digital justice, and the board of Asuma, which is just a digital platform that's doing that, you know, keeping bringing people on board online, but also keeping them private and secure. So they're building a bridge in between companies like mobility, utilities, and the consumer and being that gatekeeper for that information, mostly for vulnerable communities the call, also, I'm a part of the board of legacy healthcare. I mean, that that's more on the hillside. And it's part of again, after, after the pandemic is, how do we reach consumers of color? How do we talk to them, you know, and it goes, boils down to understanding what they need, how they consume healthcare? And why do they act that way they do. So for a large organization, it's, it's been pretty, it's been very educational, understanding how that works, and where they want to be. And didn't, you know, you know, the ones that the you and I have been involved with the Startup Weekend, pitch Latino, which is in a part, aspirational, inspirational, and show and give me providing a platform for young Latino entrepreneurs to be able to get out of the shell, try it, and really try to launch a product, convert from idea into product or service. So it's, it's a combination of that, that inspiration, but also enabling them with everything that they they would require with obviously, within the within the means that we can that we can gather, just so they don't go through the same pains that you and I went through.
Gabriel Flores 37:44
Yep. And that's, that's pretty much exactly the concept of this podcast, right, tried to provide some guidance, through conversation, to really provide, you know, give the entrepreneur some type of vision of like, what what it takes to be successful, knowing that there are some pitfalls out there. And so the goal really is to we hope I'm hoping really the audience is getting a good, good education from this from hearing these stories and understanding. You know, success doesn't happen overnight. One things things can happen in a day, right? We live in a data we're born today, we die in a day, and we fall in love. And today, there's all these things we can do in one day. But success isn't really necessarily one of those things that can happen today. Even a lottery ticket only right? Powerball showed us you're gonna have to wait 24 hours before those numbers are built anyway. So. So there's a lot of things that what Edgar, what advice would you give an entrepreneur?
Edger Navas 38:41
I would say, the things that I've learned is that if you want to just try it, and fail, learn and redo. I mean, just just don't give up. Don't think failure is a testament of who you are. It's more like a learning. It's this is a great learning opportunity, great master's degree in how not to do something. But yeah, it's just don't be afraid. Just don't be afraid to just go ahead and do it. And there. What we're saying Latinos, Canada, and what are they going to say about me, you know, for doing this or for not doing that, like, just just do it and see what comes out of it? Obviously, you know, one thing that I do advise is just like, just don't launch yourself into the river without looking at that deeper, not due diligence, you're gonna do the work, you don't expect to say, Oh, my ideas, great. I'm gonna do this, and it's just gonna succeed that, again, doesn't happen like that. You gotta be meticulous, you're gonna be inquisitive. And you're gonna work hard.
Gabriel Flores 39:42
Great, great advice. Great advice. Now for the listeners at home that are interested in connecting with you. Maybe they're interested in being a client are just learning more about you. How can they find you? Do you have websites, social media, where you
Edger Navas 39:53
can find me? Yeah, they can find me click a digital.com on LinkedIn. And if you just Google my name, Edgar Navas, Portland I think it's linkedin.com I was one of the early adopters at linkedin.com/edgar novice. There'll be me on top without beard so
Gabriel Flores 40:10
yeah, without the beard is gonna look a little
Edger Navas 40:14
pre pandemic. Yeah, yeah, yeah, people ask me Oh, that was that 10 years ago no like, no that was like two years ago. That's what I look without. Without the rat in my face. Yeah,
Gabriel Flores 40:25
man. The epidemic has changed a lot. We have all ages a couple of years. I'm telling oh my gosh, I'm telling you. Yeah. And your thank you so much for coming on the show. For those listening. You can follow me at the shades of E on all of the social sites, including Tik Tok. I'm on there. Please subscribe to the newsletter at the shades of e.com you can also buy some swag on the shades of e.com Thank you and have a great night.