Get to know our Endeavor Mentor Martin Gallone, General Partner at Abstra Technologies, in this mentor spotlight.

Why did you decide to join the Endeavor Network?
Back in my MercadoLibre days, I saw up close Endeavor’s impact—boosting entrepreneurship and building a supportive community. I always wanted to be a part of that community. But life and work got in the way, and I couldn’t dive in the way I wanted. Now, things have lined up just right, and I’m ready to put my all into this. I’m excited to roll up my sleeves, give back, and help the next wave of entrepreneurs find their footing and succeed.

Could you tell us about your background and why you became a mentor?
I’ve been in the tech, e-commerce, fintech, and telecom world for over 20 years, reaching executive roles at companies like MercadoLibre, MercadoPago, Tigo, and TigoMoney. I’ve tackled everything from launching startups to steering major digital transformations across Latin America. My journey into mentoring is driven by a desire to pass on what I’ve learned and to learn from a new group of entrepreneurs. I’ve been where these entrepreneurs are and understand the challenges and the breakthroughs. Now, I want to help them navigate this exciting but tricky landscape, sharing the insights and strategies I’ve picked up along the way, while also absorbing new ideas and perspectives from them.

Having played a key role in the development of MercadoLibre, what was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you and the team address it to help create the eCommerce and fintech landscape we see in Latin America today?
Believe it or not, one of the biggest challenges I faced during the early days at MercadoLibre was convincing my parents—that dedicating my time to online business was not a waste, and that people would indeed shop online in the future. 

The challenges at that time were many, but I can summarize that the main one was designing an ecosystem simple enough that even our grandmothers could use the platform with ease. We knew great ideas were vital, but execution was everything. To address these challenges, we built a diverse and dynamic team capable of pushing boundaries and driven by the challenges and seemingly impossible tasks. Our focus was to create the best possible user experience, not just leveraging technology for its own sake. We fostered a culture that was obsessively user-centric, ensuring that our products were intuitive and accessible to all. This has significantly shaped the eCommerce and fintech landscapes in Latin America today.

Consumer behavior is continuously evolving, and tech companies are at the forefront of this, what can entrepreneurs do to use these behavioral trends to their advantage? Are there common mistakes founders should avoid?
In the fast-evolving world of tech, entrepreneurs need to stay nimble, humble and a bit paranoid. Keep an eye on changing consumer habits and pivot when necessary. Moving from opinion-based to data-driven decisions is crucial. The big mistake? Getting too comfortable with the status quo. Always be ready to shake things up and innovate based on insights from data—that’s how you stay ahead.

Do you have any general advice for entrepreneurs?
My top piece of advice for entrepreneurs is all about focus. Prioritize it, maintain it, live it—because execution is 99% of the job. Secondly, invest in building the best team possible. It’s the sense of purpose that will draw brighter minds to join your team.

Lastly, embody authenticity, humility, and passion as a leader. This combination not only drives success but also fosters a strong, committed team that believes in your vision.

What are you reading?
I love Twitter for quick insights, but there’s nothing like books when you really want to go deep on a subject. I just finished “The Canary in the Coal Mine” by Cecilia Denot, which is essential for understanding the myths of intolerance that affect our current days. I’m also revisiting some favorites: “Principles” by Ray Dalio and “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond, both of which provide profound perspectives on different aspects of human progress and success.

These responses have been edited for grammatical purposes.