For Ariel Pfeffer, his latest entrepreneurial adventure began in the Miami International Airport. “I was wondering around, waiting for my connecting flight when I stumbled across a long line of people waiting to buy tickets for the Florida Jackpot.” He purchased a ticket and while he didn’t win the 40 million dollar cash prize, he may as well have. “That experience spurred my latest company: Trillonario,” say Ariel. Trillonario is a global service that allows people to purchase lottery tickets from around the world. Trillonario (Win Trillions is the US brand) is completely online, and functions by tacking on a small service fee onto each sale.
Today, this ten year old company offers lottery tickets in 180 countries and has 20 offices located across the world. “Our biggest challenge is to have a marketing budget large enough to achieve our goals and tackle opportunities,” admits Ariel. “We see opportunities in many different countries, but we don’t have enough structure to go everywhere. At the moment, we are concentrating on Europe and Latin America.”
“Entrepreneurship has always been in my DNA,” says Ariel, two-time entrepreneur. “When I work on a new project, I’m constantly on the move, brainstorming ideas.” The thing Ariel loves best about business is marketing strategy. “It’s my passion,” says Ariel who writes for Puromarketing - a Uruguayan paper.
Today, Ariel hasn’t stopped his entrepreneurial endeavor with Trillonario. Two weeks prior to this interview, Ariel opened Piso 40 – An Angel Investor Club located on the 40th floor of Uruguay’s World Trade Center. “One of the big things lacking in Uruguay’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is funding between 200,000 and 1 Million USD. I’m trying to close that gap by teaching investors the best practices at Piso 40.” At Piso 40, “we aren’t looking for projects that are copy and paste projects from The States. That’s about 90% of the projects we see. Instead, we are looking for NEW, FRESH ideas with innovation behind them.”
“Entrepreneurial spirit is on the rise in Uruguay. Many different things are coming to the market like investor clubs, government programs and accelerators,” explains Ariel. The government is also getting involved through the National Agency of Investigation and Innovation (ANII), providing technology startups with funding between 50,000 – 500,000 USD.
“It’s important that we continue to expand the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of Uruguay,” says Ariel.
Ariel’s family ritual:
“I’m even getting my family involved in entrepreneurship,” says Ariel. His family will sit down once a week for an hour and discuss entrepreneurship or watch something on the subject. For example, he recently shared with his family the TED Talk featuring Simon Sinek entitled: “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.”