Arturo Alvarez-Demalde – Managing Partner at AD4

It’s always good to be practical, but being prepared to take the right kind of risk is of tremendous value.

A managing partner at AD4, Arturo Alvarez-Demalde brings a wealth of experience in venture capitalism and private equity to his role overseeing the firm’s day-to-day operations. A graduate of Harvard Business School and an active member of several alumni organizations and associated causes, Alvarez-Demalde has enjoyed a lengthy career while serving in a variety of international business roles. Proficient in German, English and Italian as well as his native Spanish, Alvarez-Demalde spent close to a decade as a manager with Siemens AG in an area close to Munich in Germany before becoming a partner with Leadgate.

Alvarez-Demalde’s extensive academic background includes degrees from the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires and the University of Buenos Aires, and, of course, also includes the MBA he earned from the Harvard Business School. Throughout his professional career, Alvarez-Demalde has consistently valued any continuing educational opportunity and has worked with exceptional diligence to provide educational and economic opportunities to those who encounter barriers to such opportunities.

These values have manifested in several roles and responsibilities, including with ARIS, an association for which Alvarez-Demalde serves as a board member, as well as the Harvard University David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, for which he serves as an advisory committee member.

Where did the idea for AD4 come from?

With my education and experience, the idea for the business is something that has been developing in my mind for many years now.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I tend to be most productive after some sort of physical activity in the morning. Sometimes that may just be a brisk walk at dawn or a long bike ride, but I simply feel more productive and efficient when I do something physical first thing in the morning.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I’m a natural collaborator, so I try to work closely with people I respect.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

There seems to be increasing interest in ensuring entrepreneurship works to achieve clear societal benefits.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I’ve always valued education and have sought any opportunity to enhance my entrepreneurial acumen.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I worked in agriculture for a brief period in my youth, and while I found it to be somewhat rewarding, I knew that there was a great deal more good I could accomplish for others through entrepreneurship.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I don’t think there is anything I’d change. Even a mistake is an opportunity to learn something valuable for the future.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

It’s always good to be practical, but being prepared to take the right kind of risk is of tremendous value.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

We work exceptionally hard for clients and believe their word will be all the promotion we’ll need.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

There have been instances in which I felt there was more I could have done to stimulate growth, so I have worked hard to evaluate every possible opportunity to achieve growth.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Central America and South America are both in need of significant investment, so there is a real opportunity for venture capitalists throughout the region.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

It was more than $100, but I bought a plane ticket to see some friends and family on something of a whim.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I hired a developer to create some proprietary software specifically for AD4 and our business goals.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“Let My People Go Surfing,” by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Along with Yvon Chouinard, Jeffrey Hollender has certainly had an influence on my approach to entrepreneurship.