One of the most expected days for all belvoers has finally arrived: Belvolution 23, our annual company kick-off.
This year, we got to share experiences with our 150+ colleagues in 3 countries and celebrate after a year of hard work and amazing accomplishments. 2022 was a big one for Belvo: as the company turned three years old, we hosted our first Open Views conference with over 2.000 participants and experts from across the globe, received an investment from Citi Ventures, onboarded dozens of new customers across Latam, and evolved our platform with a payment solution and upgrade existing ones. It was a year of growing and consolidating our position as the leading Open Finance data (and now payments!) platform in Latin America.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder we couldn’t wait to get the team together to celebrate these accomplishments and set ourselves up for another successful year. So how could we make this the best possible kick-off for 2023?
This year, we celebrated our offsite in three different locations: Barcelona, Mexico City, and São Paulo, each event lasting for two days. During our many sessions with Belvoers and guests, we discussed strategy and what it means to win in 2023: making the best choices to foster our culture and optimize execution, with sessions dedicated to country operations, product, different verticals of our solutions, such as data enrichment and payments, as well as debates with guests and partners who brought diverse experiences to the table.
After what has been the closest to a normal year since the pandemic, we’ve all felt the impact of in-person gatherings, and #Belvolution23 was no exception: new colleagues got to meet for the first time, our remote workers got to visit the offices closest to them and get immersed in a new location, and getting to know each other better helped us align our objectives and kick off the year of work with eyes on the prize, fueled by a spirit of collaboration.
For Raúl Catalán, Senior Frontend Engineer, Belvolution23 represented an opportunity to get immersed with the Belvo team and meet new colleagues. “The annual company kick-off allows you to meet new colleagues and get to know people outside your usual area. For example, seeing the heads of different areas and getting to know better the mission of Belvo in each area. It was super interesting for me to learn more about Product from Ray (VP of Product), for example”.
Aligning our mission and learning together 🎯
The common thread during all the sessions, in keynotes and panels that mixed Belvoers and guests, such as customers and investors, was the incredible opportunity ahead of us this year. Yes, the macroeconomic situation is challenging and we’ll need to take it to the next level to reach our ambitious goals; but the Open Finance tailwinds are stronger than ever in Latin America, and we have the best team in place to be successful in our mission.
In this sense, focusing on company culture and execution is the road to success: “Our culture is one that joins us together to enjoy and learn from each other every day. It is every single Belvoer, with their willingness to go the extra mile to accomplish our goals and to help other team members, what makes this journey of growth so enjoyable”, says Uri Tiontoré, co-founder and co-CEO at Belvo.
I think this experience will boost productivity in Belvo in a very positive way. It makes us better at prioritizing tasks based on long-term goals, and we’re more prompt to help our colleagues because we can put ourselves in their shoes.Mar Vergara, Tech Writer based in Argentina who attended Belvolution in São Paulo
In addition to the speakers from the Belvo team, we were proud to welcome to our stage Jorge Lluch (Co-founder of Abacum) and Sonia Fernandez (Partner at Kibo Ventures) in Barcelona; Federico Ranero (COO of Kavak), Pamela Valdés (CEO of Beek) and Brigitte Brousset (Head of Business Financing at Mercado Libre) in Mexico City; and Rodrigo Nakaura (Co-Founder of Blipay), Mónica Saggioro (Co-Founder of Maya Capital), and Luis Bitencourt (CTO Loft) in São Paulo.
Bringing customers such as Mercado Libre or Blipay to our gathering is especially valuable to our team’s understanding of Belvo’s impact on the ecosystem and how our solutions play a role in improving the financial lives of real people across our countries of operation. For our Senior Customer Success Manager Mila Almeida, the opportunity of interviewing Rodrigo, Co-Founder of Blipay, for this occasion has helped her share her work with teammates and provide an in-depth view of a customer’s routine with Belvo for people in areas that don’t usually have close contact with the client.
“This is an opportunity to show the customer’s use case and evolution to the team, understand how to help them better and get their needs close to the company, generating new insights ”, says Mila. “For me personally, participating in the event in a direct matter and bringing inputs and information to the team was very meaningful, and we had good feedback from colleagues who learned from the session. This is also helpful for the customer – Rodrigo mentioned he was happy for participating because he also believes these exchanges are beneficial”.
Having fun as a team 💃
In addition to inspiring talks and panels, we also took this opportunity to gather as a team outside of the work environment to foster the personal bonds that strengthen our teamwork: there were lunches dinners, happy hours, and parties filled with conversation, activities, and, of course, the best our local cuisines have to offer. 😋
It was a new experience for me to be able to personally meet a large part of the team and get along together, and especially in Mexico! A country that is very similar to us in Colombia and that I personally love in its culture and food. I am definitely a happy belvoer for having had this experience.Melissa Rojas, Marketing & Comms Executive in Colombia
This year, we also invited Belvoers to a different kind of closing dinner: in each country, we divided the team into random groups of up to eight people and invited them to choose a different place to go to: from pizza places to wine bars or barbecue, this gave our colleagues a chance to get to know different parts of the team, foster conversations as a group and, why not, marvel at local delicacies for the ones visiting a different country.
For Mar Vergara, Tech Writer based in Argentina, Belvolution meant traveling to Brazil and being in an office for only the second time since the pandemic hit. “Meeting my colleagues was lovely and refreshing for sure. I went to Brazil knowing people were going to be nice and welcoming – Eu acho que these are intrinsic traits of Latin Americans and Belvoers but, as always, they went above and beyond”, says Mar. “Language barrier aside (I thought Portuñol was gonna do it but I was so wrong), I felt part of the Belvo-team since day one. “On Friday, we all went to have lunch in a really nice place that allowed us to enjoy our day and have some fun. I had lovely chats with a lot of people and was able to get to know them better. The Belvolution is great because you understand Belvo’s “big picture” through the sessions and panels, and also it allows you to get closer to (or get to know) people”.
“Having known only Tapas and Paella as Spanish food, I was blown away by the specific experience of locals consuming calçot. The pleasure in people’s faces when tilting their head back, eyes in the sky, opening their mouth wide and dropping the delectable onion into their mouth.. will be memorable”Max Weber, Head of Security, who is based in Germany and attended Belvolution in Barcelona
We documented some moments from this experience in this video.
We couldn’t be more excited about what is coming ahead of us and how prepared we are for 2023 to be an epic year for Belvo: we are sure that 12 months from now we’ll be able to look back and congratulate ourselves on another amazing year of accomplishments and impact.