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“If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business.” —Simon Sinek

João Marinelli loves this Sinek quote about people and business because, as he says: “I love people and love working with them!” To João, entrepreneurship is all about people, and “our power to transform our realities and reinvent (in a positive way) the status quo.”

To João, the truly amazing thing about entrepreneurship is the way that it gives life to people’s creativity, and helps them use their creativity to change the world. “I think that’s why I dedicated almost six years of my life to studying entrepreneurship and being an entrepreneur,” João said. He’s currently working for Darwin Startups, a Brazilian accelerator—named the best accelerator in Brazil by Associação Brasileira de Startups—where he has “freedom to use my creativity and entrepreneurship to develop new products or approaches.”

People, Communities, and Leadership

“I love people, communities, and leadership,” João said, explaining his constant involvement in Techstars Startup Weekends. He attended his first as a participant in 2014, and then got involved with making more happen. He organized three Techstars Startup Weekends, in 2015, 2016, and 2017, growing his responsibilities over time, until in 2017 he became a Facilitator—and since then he’s already facilitated 17 events! “I love it!” João said.

In 2018, João worked with Techstars Brazil to redefine the Community Leader Academy (CLA), and together created a new program for training CLs. The first CLA of 2019 took place at Caxias do Sul/RS in the south of Brazil, in February. As João described, it had a “new model, new style, new ways to work, new dynamics, more people and more hands-on.”

By the end of the event, 16 cities had events planned for their communities for a whole year. “The impact was giant!” João said, with great satisfaction at seeing his hard work pay off. 

Every day, at work and as a Techstars Community Leader, João is “working hard to deliver the best experience for Brazilian ecosystems and entrepreneurs with great and good content and energy.”


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