Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in finance and business solutions but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Paulo Leocadio, Independent Researcher, Engineer, Data Scientist & Private Investor of Zinnia Holdings LLC, located in Coral Springs, FL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My core business is an umbrella company that invests in different areas. I describe one of its arms as a hedge fund, which invests in pre-cash or early-stage investment startups, acting in areas contributing to the betterment of our lives.

Another arm works with international funding agencies (e.g., USTDA, World Bank) in strategic projects for governments around the world. On these projects - known as "technical assistance" - we help governments around the world to meet their goals through digital transformation, Cloud technologies, AI, machine learning, analytics, and data sciences.

Another arm is a company dedicated to solving business problems with modern applications, Cloud-based solutions, Blockchain technologies, and machine learning. We have a team of eight highly qualified Berlin-based engineers, all of them with academic engineering degrees. We work with SMBs adopting fast development/fast deployment strategies.

Tell us about yourself

I have Electronic Engineering and Computer Sciences degrees, with a master's degree in International Business and post-graduate certifications in data sciences, solid state physics (VLSI design), and Marketing Excellence.

The above paragraph is important to highlight my passion for academic research and my productive role in publishing their results through recognized channels.

I have an extensive career in computer science and professional services. I worked with the state-of-the-art and latest technologies. I started designing microprocessors, moved to the development of different micro-processed devices and interfaces, machine-level software development, and finally ran large professional services (Consulting and Support Services) and multi-country organizations. I need to learn, and it is as important as the air I breathe. I learn by researching and designing solutions to solve the problems of countries' and municipalities' governments using technology and applied sciences.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Being recognized and organically receiving invitations for publishing and participating in large, country-wide strategic projects.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

To have your operation laser-focused on its core business and, at the same time, be able and agile to diversify when the opportunity arises.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Back in the 1950s, Silicon Valley pioneers adopted the mindset of favoring openness over hierarchy, risk over stability, and innovation over the tried-and-true. After decades in Corporate America, adopting this mindset was my cry for freedom. I thrive on being steps ahead when it comes to solving problems with technology and applied sciences.

The world as it is today bubbles up with opportunities for individual consultants, freelancers, and small business owners to start and succeed. Not all of them will stand out from the crowd.
The tips I give to those willing to make a difference are:

  1. Always favor openness over hierarchy
  2. Always take risks over accepting the stability of your comfort zones
  3. Always deliver by innovating over "let's see what others are doing in similar projects," the good, but not great, tried-and-true.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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