Today's Entrepreneur: Gabriel Nipote

Kristin Karaoglu · July 24, 2019 · Short URL:

Be open with your co-founders on both personal and professional levels.

Today's entrepreneur is Gabriel Nipote, Co-Founder & COO of Halla

Halla is an artificial intelligence (AI) company that provides retailers personalized recommendations for food ordering. Halla is helping grocers further explore consumer shopping habits. Halla recently closed $1.4 million seed round led by E&A Venture Capital, along with multi-stage VC investor SOSV. The new funding of Halla will allow them to scale its offerings, gaining more in-depth personalization and forecasting data. 

Nipote is a Los Angeles native, he co-founded Halla while studying economics at UCLA. He brings to the table a deep belief in the agile value of experimenting to create solutions that users authentically need and the entrepreneurial value of constant self-education. In Halla's early days, that included rolling up his virtual sleeves and learning to code from scratch. These days, Nipote focuses on operations and business development.

Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur? 

I don’t think I made a conscious choice. I’ve always enjoyed exploring, experimenting, and creating through my hobbies. I’ve always hated doing things that I don’t feel an authentic pull towards. These behaviors eventually landed me where I am now. I don’t know that I’d label myself an “entrepreneur,” I just enjoy working hard on things that stimulate me, and that happens to be highly accessible under the umbrella of what is considered entrepreneurship.

What are your favorite startups?

I like startups that shoot for the stars and try to turn sci-fi concepts into reality (Ex. Rigetti Computing or Seismic Powered Clothing). I like startups that aim to help people in legitimate need (Ex. Omni Processors).

Why did you start your current company? 

My co-founders share my love for exploring, experimenting, and creating — so we decided to work on something together.

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

It requires discipline. It’s not always easy nor fun. Most of the time it’s hard and you have no clue what to do. You still have to do things. Accepting this and evolving around it to perform your best is beneficial for anybody in any field.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs make? 

Over-professionalism. Trying to be perceived a certain way, trying to do things “the right way,” working ridiculous hours with no aim, or trying to have all the answers. Working on something you believe to be cool/important but don’t truly enjoy fits into this fundamental idea as well.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

  1. Communicate. Be open with your co-founders on both personal and professional levels. Be transparent with the team. Reach out to people. Ask for help. Ask questions.
  2. Learn. Entrepreneurship is one of the best platforms for learning. Take advantage of every opportunity, and assume that everyone you meet knows at least one thing that you don’t… then try to figure out what that thing is.
  3. You need vision. If you don’t know what you want to do you’ll do nothing. Solid vision helps keep passion, creative ideas, and more flowing healthily even in turbulent times.


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Kristin Karaoglu

Woman of many skills: Database System Engineer; SplashX event producer; Author of Startup Teams

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Inspiring a more curious world. 

Halla is the only software company that dynamically profiles human taste to help people make better choices.


Gabriel Nipote

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Co-Founder and COO at Halla