Juan Diego Calle
Work with .co Internet
Juan Diego Calle became involved with .co in 2006; at that point there were ongoing governmental processes examining the possibility of liberalizing Colombia's ccTLD, .co, so it could be registered by the international public as an Open ccTLD. In 2009, he and the newly created partnership with Neustar, .co Internet S.A.S, presented a 1,650 page bid to the Colombian government to operate the ccTLD. In August of that year they were awarded a 10 year contract to act as the registry administrator, beating out big players such as Verisign. There bid was seriously helped by his strong ties to his native country, Colombia.
Mr.Calle became aware of the possible liberalization of the .co ccTLD from a friend; and given that he was working as a domainer at that time, he understood that .com was a limited resource, and that the Internet community needed another strong location to grow into.
Juan was a speaker at the opening ceremony of ICANN 39, which was hosted by Colombia, and was also a keynote speaker at the first .nxt Conference held in 2011. He has noted that ICANN 39 was a great marketing opportunity for .co Internet, and that addressing the ICANN audience was a symbolic moment in his career.
Mr. Calle was named the "Technology Executive of the Year" at the 2011 Technology Leaders of the Year Awards, by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
He was recognized as the entrepreneur of the year at South Florida Biz Journal's Entrepreneur Awards.
Around 2005, Juan founded STRAAT Investments, LLC., he continues to act as its Director. Through Straat Investments, he has invested in projects related to domaining, such as in Federated Travel, which operates sites like ParisHotels.com , NewYorkHotels.com and LondonHotels.com.
Previously, he was the CEO and Co-Founder of TeRespondo.com. TeRespondo.com became the largest online search advertising engine in Latin America and was sold to Yahoo! Inc. in 2005. The project underwent some difficulties and had to be shut down around 2000 to 2001; despite that the traffic of one of their meta-search engines continued to grow. They gave the project another try, this time with less start-up money, a point that Mr. Calle notes can often be an asset to small start-ups. At that time, Google, Yahoo, and Overture.com, were in an all-out war for international dominance; Juan recognized that he couldn't compete with these juggernauts but that he held a coveted expansion market, thus he sold to Yahoo in 2005.
Mr.Calle has described his family and himself as serial entrepreneurs. His father was in the beer business, and Mr.Calle's first business was installing speakers in friends cars in his family's garage.
Juan Diego Calle grew up in Bogota, Colombia; when he was 15 years old the security situation in the country began to seriously deteriorate due to Pablo Escobar and the cartel wars. His parents decided to send him and his siblings to the U.S.; they went on to settle in Miami.
Juan studied Industrial Engineering and Finance at the University of Miami; he is also a graduate of Harvard Business School's Owner President Management Program.
- The Juan Diego Calle Story: How the .CO CEO is Turning a Seldom Used ccTLD Into a Booming Global Brand
- This Week in Startups-Juan Diego Calle of .CO
- Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About .CO
- How to Become an Internet Land Baron- An overview of Calle on the Huffington Post