March 29, 2024

In a recent Distinguished Speaker Series event with Aspire Institute, Marcelo Claure, an internationally-recognized investor and entrepreneur, shared his journey from humble beginnings in Bolivia to becoming a global business leader and investor. Now leading the Claure Group and actively supporting Aspire Institute as well as other initiatives, his life illustrates the power of ambition, hard work, and cultural pride.

Claure grew up in Bolivia, where a modest upbringing shaped his early life. But, he always had ambitious goals for himself. He went to the U.S. for university – a leap of faith that marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey.

“With persistence and courage, any goal is achievable,” he said.

Claure’s first business venture during his college days involved an innovative approach to airline miles. He funded his studies and pursued his dreams of being an entrepreneur. This experience taught him the value of seizing opportunities and embracing risk. 

“The essence of entrepreneurship lies in seeing opportunities where others see obstacles and daring to take the leap,” Claure said.

Although he returned to Bolivia after from graduating Bentley University in 1993 to work for the Bolivian Football Federation, he returned to the U.S. a few years later. 

Creating Brightstar, a wireless services company, in 1997 marked a significant milestone in Claure’s career, establishing him as a global business leader.

“Brightstar was more than a company to me; it was a challenge to change the game in wireless communication, and we did just that,” he proudly explained.

However, an even greater business success was turning Sprint around as a young CEO prior to its merger with T-Mobile. He transformed the company from losing billions a year in 2014 to achieving a positive net income several years later. After his tenure in the telecommunications industry, he decided to become an investor.

As an investor, Claure worked with Masayoshi Son at SoftBank, where he supported many entrepreneurs. He also set up the largest technology fund exclusively for Latin America. In 2023, he decided to return to his roots as an entrepreneur and founded the Claure Group. He now continues to invest in entrepreneurial ventures worldwide.

Beyond business success, Claure commits to supporting young people, education, and using technology for social good as a philanthropist. His work in enhancing education and internet access across underprivileged regions illustrates his belief.

“Investing in education and technology isn’t just about providing resources; it’s about unlocking the potential in every young mind to innovate for a better tomorrow,” he said.

Claure’s ascent from Bolivia to the international stage serves as a testament to the impact of vision, perseverance, and philanthropy.

He continues to embrace his Latin American identity and take pride in his heritage. He owns Club Bolivar, Bolivia’s most beloved football team, and brings his daughters to Bolivia multiple times a year.

“My mission has always been to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity, ensuring that no matter where you come from, the world is your playground,” he asserted.

He particularly works to support emerging entrepreneurs from Latin America to make sure he honors his heritage. As Claure champions innovation and mentorship, he inspires entrepreneurs worldwide.

“Creating positive change through technology has been a guiding principle for me. It’s not just about connectivity; it’s about empowering communities worldwide,” he explained.

Marcelo Claure’s support of Aspire Institute shows his dedication to nurturing future leaders.

“Supporting Aspire is my way of laying down the stepping stones for future leaders who will continue the journey of innovation and impact,” Claure concluded.

He told the group on Zoom that one of them will be the distinguished speaker in a few years. This further illustrated his hope and support of budding entrepreneurs and changemakers ready to embrace challenges and create opportunities.


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