When clients engage Open Advisory Partners, they benefit from the
collective experience of the partnership and our staff. While one of
the four partners will be the primary contact and lead relationship
manager for any given engagement, our clients can expect all of us to
be actively involved and knowledgeable about their challenges and
both those we left and those we currently live in. Andrés, Tigre and John play senior roles with Endeavor, the leading non-profit organization promoting entrepreneurship across the globe.
Andrés is on the board of Endeavor Miami, John has been a Senior Advisor for Latin America for over 15 years, while Tigre has been one of the most active mentors in the Miami area.
John chairs a foundation which oversees the largest entrepreneur training program in Cuba, and Eric is a Board member of a leading natural resource protection advocacy group.
Three of us were born abroad – John in Cuba, Tigre in
the Dominican Republic and Andrés in Venezuela.
Also for three of us, we and/or our parents fled adversity in our homelands – Andrés from Venezuela, Eric’s from Eastern Europe, John from Cuba – so we have a deep appreciation for the embrace of, and the values of, this country.
Tere Canida and her son Brian,
émigrés from Cuba, have invested with us
over the last decade
John was born in Cuba and his family (American expatriate father and Cuban mother) arrived in Miami in 1960. They relocated to Texas, then to Venezuela and Peru. After receiving a degree in economics from Princeton University, he began a 25 year banking career, first at Chase Manhattan in the bank’s investment banking subsidiary. After Chase he spent seven years at First Boston and Credit Suisse First Boston in both New York and London, rising to be a director in the equity capital markets area, overseeing IPOs and other stock offerings. This was followed by 12 years at Goldman, Sachs & Co, focused entirely on Latin America. He became a partner in 2000 and was appointed CEO of the Latin American region, which had revenues in excess of $400 million.
Following his banking career, John was a partner in both a private equity and a hedge fund before starting to invest in early stage companies. His first investment in 2009 was Open English, where he met Andrés and Tigre (then CEO and CFO), and his squash partner Eric decided to invest in the company also. He became the company’s first chairman (2010-15) and remains active on the board.
In the Miami area, John is also a director of itopia, a Google Cloud partner, and is an advisory director of the language services provider ProTranslating and the casual dining group Sushi Maki.
John is a Senior Advisor to Endeavor Global, the leading non-profit organization promoting entrepreneurship in the developing world, and has been actively involved in entrepreneur mentoring and selection with that organization for the last 15 years. He is also a member of the Council of the Americas and the Council on Foreign Relations.
John has been dedicated to various non-profit and policy initiatives related to his native Cuba since 2004. He is the chairman of the Cuba Emprende Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization which supports the largest entrepreneur training program and the only incubator/accelerator programs on the island. He was one of the Cuban Americans invited to the White House to meet with President Obama ahead of his trip to the island in March of 2016. He is also a director of the Cuba Study Group.
Andrés was born in Caracas, Venezuela, to a father in the diplomatic corps and a mother in academia. He grew up in eight countries spanning three continents, and this experience stimulated a passion for language learning which inspired his career.
He dropped out of Venezuela’s premier engineering school (Símon Bolívar University) in his fifth and final year to launch his first company, Optimal English, which provided in-person English language instruction to Fortune 500 executives based in Caracas.
Andrés pivoted to develop an online platform for English language instruction, and Open English was born. Open English became the #1 online language learning platform in Latin America driven by innovative cable television advertising which frequently featured Andrés himself in humorous situations. The Company is now known as Open Education as it includes Next U, the fastest growing online technology skills learning platform in the region. Open Education has cumulatively enrolled 600,000+ students and has raised over $120 million in venture capital.
Andrés met John as an angel investor in 2009, the same year Tigre joined the Company as CFO, and Eric invested soon thereafter.
Andrés is a multi-faceted entrepreneur involved in many high-impact projects in Miami and Latin America. He has been actively involved with Endeavor, the leading non-profit organization promoting entrepreneurship in the developing world, and is a founding board member of Endeavor Miami. He travels frequently to the region to host conferences on success and entrepreneurship. Andrés and Open Education have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Miami Herald and leading news outlets in Latin America.
Babson College, ranked #1 globally by U.S. News & World Report for its entrepreneurship programs, recognized Andrés as “Latin American Entrepreneur of the Decade” in 2018.
Eric is a born and raised New Yorker. He is a graduate of Hobart College, Columbia University’s School of International Affairs and studied law at The Sturm College of Law, University of Denver. After law school he worked as a corporate finance attorney at Curtis Mallet in New York, before pivoting to the venture capital / asset management space.
Eric first worked at Aurum Capital and then for 14 years (2002-2016) as the Founder and Managing Partner of Whitecap Advisers, LLC. Whitecap’s principal focus was on investing in highly structured, specialty finance products across a broad range of asset classes including consumer finance, real estate and asset-based lending. The Firm’s funds made over $2 billion in investments. Alongside Whitecap’s funds, Eric oversaw a private portfolio of high net worth and family office investments in both commercial and residential real estate.
Eric was an early investor in Open English, and was introduced to Andrés and Tigre through John. He continues to be an active early stage investor and advisor, focusing primarily on tech-enabled companies in the finance, education and food sectors. He is an investor in and a director of Miami-based itopia, a Google Cloud partner.
Eric is dedicated to various non-profit organizations and currently serves on the Board of Western Resource Advocates, whose mission is to protect the land, water and air resources of the mountain region of the United States.
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