Fernando Machin, CEO of Boxes, tells us how they look for the seamless integration of hardware and software to make the greatest retailing devices.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Fernando Machin: We are good. We see the Covid and supply chain shortages as a challenge to learn, build and grow.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Boxes.
Fernando Machin: Boxes is a LATAM startup that started from a group of young innovators while we were studying at a university in Montevideo, Uruguay.
We managed to get a grant from our University, and we were working one year in a bedroom till we got our first prototype.
Now we have partnered with more than 10 CPG companies in LATAM. Last year we were accelerated by Techstars, one of the largest startup accelerators in the USA. We have already launched our first devices in the US. We are now part of Greentown Labs, the largest cleantech incubator in the country.
How does Boxes innovate, and how does your company market its product/services online?
Fernando Machin: We do not market online. At Boxes, we’re combining physical & digital technology to democratize convenient, affordable & sustainable retail.
Here you can see some videos of our devices in action:
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Fernando Machin: Of course, we were hit. We have a presence in malls, gyms, and universities. All of those places were shut down.
But we tried to be as pragmatic as possible. Here you can learn about one solution we launched where we market PPE products in multiple locations. When we launched the solution, THE CAF- DEVELOPMENT BANK OF LATAM– selected our innovation as one of the best in Iberoamerica to fight Covid-19:
We have a presence with this solution in malls, airports & retail stores. We have distributed more than 200.000 PPE products to prevent Covid, among others https://youtu.be/cmu0B0K1JfI.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Fernando Machin: Not anyone in particular.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Fernando Machin: We do not see direct competition in the markets in that we are developing our business.
Your final thoughts?
Fernando Machin: The main challenge is to stay focused and calm.
There is a British proverb that I like very much, and it says: Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and expect to be surprised. I think the latter is what usually happens.