Sebastian Arnold and Rodrigo Ortiz are IE University alumni who studied the Dual Degree in Business Administration and Law. After graduating in 2019, they launched their own legaltech startup called Clamo.
Having brought their product to market, they’re now looking to catalyze their upward trajectory and grow as a company. Sharing their story with us, they highlight how IE University has helped them throughout their entrepreneurial journey with the resources and tools they needed to develop this project.
Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and your backgrounds?
I’m Rodrigo Ortiz and my partner is Sebastian Arnold. We studied business and law together at IE University and graduated in 2019. I’m Mexican but was raised in Spain, and Sebastian was born and raised in Austria. Aside from our background in business and law, we also learned to code full-stack web applications. After graduating from university, we founded Clamo together with David Falusi, a Hungarian who initially came to Madrid to work for a startup called Pagantis. The three of us have been working together for more than a year and a half now.
Can you tell us more about your legaltech startup, Clamo?
We landed on the idea for Clamo after several pivots from a different idea. We were originally working on peer-to-peer arbitration to resolve freelancer disputes more efficiently. After many phases of validation and consequent iteration, we found an interesting way to resolve disputes between consumers and companies. We’re really passionate about the idea and we believe that we can empower consumers by giving them a platform on which they can raise their issues.
Clamo is an independent mediator with a tool for consumers to raise, manage and resolve their customer service issues with any company in any industry. By creating this tool, we are positioning ourselves as a hub for customer service and can gather data on customer satisfaction (and more) to help companies improve their processes. This allows consumers to use the tool for free as we also sell tools to companies to improve their customer experience.
How has IE University affected your ability to achieve what you have so far?
IE University makes sure you learn the lean method of entrepreneurship with their wonderful lineup of teachers and courses. It also accompanies you in the journey by providing resources such as Area 31 and the impressive network of alumni. But what it does best, without a doubt, is infecting you with the entrepreneurial spirit, something that is key for students in order to take the leap.
What is the most important aspect to being an entrepreneur? How did you manage to mix law, business and technology all into one project?
We think entrepreneurship is about being able to handle constant uncertainty and reacting well to adversity. It’s a constant struggle with a lot of ups and downs, but the lessons you learn can’t be taught in a classroom.
For us, the defining factor that allowed us to mix all three fields has been dedicating the time to learn them and forming a strong, specialized team. We’re really happy about launching a software product that’s been entirely developed by the three of us, avoiding the high costs of development and making us truly lean.
How do you feel about your journey as entrepreneurs? Do you feel like you’re making an impact?
We started working together a year and a half ago, and we’ve already learned more than we ever thought we could about ideation, customer validation, product development, digital marketing and more. Part of the journey has also been learning how to deal with rejection and going back to the drawing board. Of course, seeing your hard work in progress is very fulfilling. We want our biggest impact to be a fairer platform for consumers to be heard and companies to become more customer-centric.
What would you recommend to future IE University students who are starting their own business?
We would recommend they commit to an idea, dive deep into it and find ways to start working on it now. It’s going to change form, but that’s exactly what you want. In order to develop the project, you’ll probably need a team of people that complement your skills and share the same passion as you. And most importantly, make sure you’re not chasing romanticized notions of entrepreneurship because there’s also a lot of tough work.
What do you think is the key to success?
We’ll have to see about that. So far, we can tell you how to succeed in building a product and getting it to the market, but we still have a long way to go before we can call ourselves “successful.” We do think that one of the many keys needed is to be resilient and very, very persistent. Want to know more about their startup? Visit Clamo’s official website