Meet Our Entrepreneur In Residence From The Dominican Republic
By Vela Wood
Howdy, folks! So who’s this guy from the Dominican Republic and how in God’s name do you say his name?? Okay, let’s get that out of the way. Repeat after me: Aristides (AH-REESE-Tee-Dez) Rubio (ROO-bee-o). Yes, you can read that over again. No, I’m not related to the Florida Senator.
Now that we’ve gone through the hard part, I should probably tell you I am an attorney and entrepreneur in the Dominican Republic. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from the Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), where I graduated magna cum laude, and a LL.M. in International Business Law from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. I focus my legal practice on corporate transactions, commercial litigation, contract disputes, intellectual property, and transactional work. I’ve also clerked and served as a consultant for former Chief Justice Jorge Subero Isa and Justice Julio Cesar Castaños at the Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic.
As an entrepreneur, I’m passionate about disruptive technologies that deliver rich social returns and create enormous value. My first venture right out of college was eCompany, an online legal services platform that allows users to incorporate their businesses, secure intellectual property rights, file business licenses, and handle day-to-day compliance challenges without the inconvenience and high fees of traditional law firms. A few years later I partnered with El Abonado to launch El Abonado Dominicana, a universal app that allows Spanish-speaking users to follow Major League Baseball and Dominican Winter League Baseball game day pitch-by-pitch, results, and baseball-related news. My latest venture is cobroy, a digital platform that combines smartphone technology, crowdsourcing, and a data driven approach to provide customers with on-the-ground intelligence in real-time, while enhancing work execution and resource management. Users download the app and get paid to complete tasks listed by our customers, such as monitoring product availability, validating product display and placement execution, or ensuring that products are correctly priced.
The reason I’m in Dallas right now is that I’ve been selected as a Professional Fellow in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI). YLAI is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and implemented by Meridian International Center. YLAI aims to empower Latin American and Caribbean business and social entrepreneurs to transform their societies and contribute more fully to economic development and prosperity, security, human rights, and good governance in the hemisphere . Over 10,000 applicants started the application process, more than 4,000 applicants completed it, and 250 young entrepreneurs and changemakers from Latin America and the Caribbean were selected. By providing us with the training, networks, and tools needed to attract new investments and in-kind resources, YLAI hopes to generate $1 billion for emerging business and social entrepreneurs by the end of 2017 .
Through this program and the YLAI Network my goals are to (1) build connections that will define my future; (2) learn best practices on how to reach out to potential partners and/or investors; (3) validate and scale up cobroy.