Practical Founders Podcast

#68: Bootstrapped and Sold a Successful Startup in Latin America – Bernardo Carvalho Wertheim

Bernardo Carvalho Wertheim is a worldly entrepreneur who grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and then moved to the UK to go to school and start his career in advertising. He kept traveling and eventually settled in Santiago, Chile, where he started a tech startup and participated in a tech accelerator. 

The Bridge started as a community and jobs platform connecting UX designers in Latin America to work at startups and large agencies worldwide. They expanded the services offerings and eventually grew to $10 million in revenue by helping to employ hundreds of high-skilled remote digital-creative professionals. 

In 2023, the Bridge was acquired by Gi Group, a large Italian HR services conglomerate that wanted to expand its footprint in Latin America. Bernie stayed on to help The Bridge serve a global audience and work with other Gi Group organizations across Europe and Latin America.

Latin American Startup Topics Discussed on This Podcast 

  • How he started The Bridge with no money and turned it into a tech startup
  • His experience being part of Startup Chile, a well-known tech accelerator in Latin America
  • The unique opportunities and challenges of growing a software company in Latin America. 
  • Why Bernie eventually chose to sell the company to a large HR services and staffing company
  • How they grew efficiently with a mix of software and services

Quote from Bernardo Carvalho Wertheim of The Bridge

 I think you’re already on the right path if you’re a practical founder and you didn’t take the poison pill of investment and you are trying to build a profitable business. There are some exceptions, but in most cases, that’s what I recommend to software founders. 

“Be patient because it could take you a year and a half or two to make the first dollar. If it takes more than that, then it’s probably too much. Take a job if you need to, in the meantime. You’ll need to put five times more effort into validation of your idea and your concept, especially if you are new to the market.”



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Greg Head recorded this on episode on November 3, 2023 for the Practical Founders Podcast see all of the episodes.

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