Data for this research was collected during 2015 using surveys, primary interviews with entrepreneurs and publicly available data from CrunchBase, AngelList, and Mattermark. Endeavor Insight’s working definition of a tech company is one that is either actively de-veloping a new information technology or one businesses are Internet-enabled. For this project, Insight began with a starting data set supplied by the Colombian government’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MINTIC). Entrepreneurs con-tacted by utilizing this list were designated as technology entrepreneurs, and their com-panies were target as such. After excluding multinational corporations, Endeavor Insight also combed through “untargeted” companies (e.g. those not found on the MINTIC list and/or those not founded by founders who started companies on the MINTIC list) and included them in the research if they met the above criteria defining tech companies.
In total, 1190 entrepreneurs were surveyed or interviewed to produce a map featuring 678 Colombian tech companies. They were asked the following core questions:
• Where were you employed before starting your company/companies?
• Who inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
• Who invested in your company?
• What companies have you invested in?
• Who was your mentor during the growth and development of your company?
• What other Colombian tech founders have you mentored?
• Have you founded other Colombian tech companies? If you had cofounders, who were they?
• Which of your former employees have gone on to found Colombia tech companies?
In addition, founders were asked a battery of additional questions designed to accumulate information about their backgrounds and characteristics.
Responses to the core questions to create an edgelist of connections among companies, along with a corresponding set of five outbound connection types, each of which is represented by a different colored arrow. Where an entrepreneur has founded multiple companies, his or her most prominent company (based on an index of founding date, number of employees, total investment, and exit sizes) represents his or her influence on the map. Companies are oftentimes connected by more than one type of connection. Where a purple “founder” arrow connects any two companies, the only other arrow that can appear is the blue “former employee” arrow. Likewise, where mentorship and investment occur simultaneously between two companies and their entrepreneurs, only the green investment arrow is included. In the former case, it is assumed that inspiration, mentorship, and investment are encompassed within the act of serial entrepreneurship represented by the purple arrow. In the latter, it is assumed that angel investment comes with a degree of mentorship. Otherwise, multiple arrows can connect two companies.
The size of a company’s circle is based on directed closeness centrality for unconnected graphs. In layman’s terms, the size of a company is a function of the number of first-, second-, third-, etc. degree connections the company and its entrepreneurs have to others in the network. Each ring represents a time period and companies are located on a ring according to the year they were founded. Connections accrue to a company based on the time period in which the connections occurred. Where the year a connection occurred is unknown, Insight takes one of two different approaches. Where there is no year information for an inspiration, former employee, investment, or founder connection, it is assumed that the year of the connection between the source and the target companies is equal to the year the target company was founded. To estimate when a mentorship relationship started where a start year is lacking, Insight reviews mentorship relationships where there is start year information and estimates based on this data.