Julia Römer is theCTO and co-founder of Coolar. She initiated the Berlin based startup Coolar in 2014 and has since focused on developing the technology on which the Coolar cooling system is based. Previously she developed patents for components that enable comparable cooling systems for industrial applications. Coolar develops a new cooling system for household fridges and many other applications which is powered by solar thermal energy and operates independent from electricity. Coolar enables reliable cooling for people without access to stable electricity. The eco-friendly startup won the second prize at Darboven Idee – the most prestigious award for women with promising business concepts and pioneering business ideas. Coolar also won Chivas' "The Venture". According to jury chairman Frank Thelen, the jury decided in favor of Coolar because "it has truly innovative technology and has a strong social impact".
On this episode you'll learn:
When pitching VC’s how does Julia approach pitching the social good component of Coolar vs. the broader clean energy market opportunity?
What’s the current investment landscape for hardware in Germany compared to software?
Why has Germany developed such a robust Clean tech startup scene?
What’s the cost of operating in Berlin compared to surrounding European cities?
Kristel Kruustük founded Testlio in November 2012. Testlio is a community of verified mobile testers with a platform that integrates into your team’s development process. Testlio takes a quality versus quantity approach when it comes to both testers and prioritizing issues, resulting in faster development cycles and improved apps.
On this episode you'll learn:
What is Kristel's thoughts on the mantra of move fast and break things?
What’s the right balance of getting new features and iterations out into the market vs. ensuring quality of your code before shipping?
What are the most important skills founders should look for when hiring a QA tester?
What does Kristel attribute as the most important catalyst for Estonia’s development into a top European tech hub?
With companies such as Testlio, TransferWise, and Skype coming up through Estonia, why has Estonia turned into an innovation hub within Europe?
Mark Sears is the CEO and founder of cloud factory. After doing tech startups in Canada and the US for about 10 years, Mark has spent the last 4 years living in Nepal and using his unique blend of technology and business experience to develop CloudFactory towards creating work for 1 million people. He started his career as a software developer with Sun Microsystems before finding his groove in the world of startups. Moving into technology evangelism and product management roles he helped a 5 person startup grow to 130 employees across 4 international offices after raising $48 million in venture capital. Mark then raised angel investment, launched and managed his own startup company for 6 years before coming to Nepal and starting the CloudFactory adventure.
On this episode you'll learn:
What lessons did Mark learn and what will he do differently when approaching his Series B round?
How should businesses approach navigate the “on-demand economy” amongst the trend of crowdsourcing, outsourcing and the mass proliferation of freelancers?
How will the forces of AI and globalization impact businesses and workers?
How has Kathmandu’s startup scene developed over the years since Mark founded CloudFactory?
Basit Mustafa is the CEO and Founder of Voltaire. Voltaire is a startup that helps pick winning juries with actionable information delivered into the courtroom on-demand. Basit and his team went through Telluride's Venture Accelerator and is headquartered in Telluride, Colorado. On this episode you'll learn: Why is there a divergence between the advancement of tech and the lacking progression of the legal space? What advantages as an entrepreneur does Basit feel being in Telluride gives him? How does sales in the legal industry compare to when he ran a multi-million dollar sales operations for IBM? Being an ultra-marathoner and avid skier, what tips can Basit give from a health and wellness perspective to entrepreneurs in order to promote peak performance?
Jake Hare is the Founder & CEO of Launchpeer, an app development agency focused on growing startups in the Southeast. Since founding Launchpeer in 2014, Jake has grown his team to 15 people and has worked with dozens of startups, 74% of which went on to raise funding. Launchpeer will be launching their own accelerator this spring. On this episode you'll learn: What has Jake found to be the biggest challenge in scaling a client service model? How does Jake look to differentiate his accelerator program and what advice would he give to early stage entrepreneurs looking for the right program for their startup? What is the Charleston Digital Corridor? What does Jake find to be the most common obstacle early stage the entrepreneurs he works with face?
Almaz Negash is the founder of the African Diaspora Network, whose mission is to harness and engage the intellectual, financial, philanthropic and entrepreneurial capacity of Africans and friends of Africa in support of economic and social development across Africa. Since 2010, the African Diaspora Network (ADN) has energized collaboration among Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, philanthropists and African diasporans to uplift its local community towards the benefit of Africa. ADN is dedicated to providing virtual and physical forums to accelerate access to resources that foster partnership, knowledge sharing, and advance investment opportunities. For the last two decades, Almaz has sought to improve the quality of life of communities through local and global partnerships and by advocating policy change and crafting new social programs to provide individuals with needed resources to elevate their status. On this episode you'll learn: What are some of the biggest challenge Africa faces in terms of economic development over the coming years? A lot of emerging markets are trying to engage their Diaspora’s to ignite growth in the developing information age. What has Almaz seen to be the best way to go about this? What areas does Almaz see as the biggest opportunities in African tech?
Praveen Velu is Cofounder of Mimetic.ai, an artificially intelligent personal assistant that schedules meetings. Mimetic is based out of Singapore and one of the city's fastest growing AI startups. Previously, Praveen was head of business and network development in Singapore for both Disney's Maker Studios and Yahoo! On this episode you'll learn: What developments in AI over the past years has sparked the recent growth in AI-focused funds and AI startups? Does the incumbency advantage of Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their massive datasets concern Praveen? Praveen started working for Yahoo! in Singapore in 2011, how has the tech scene in Singapore evolved since then? How many years until a majority of interfaces are conversational as opposed to the traditional UI?
Mat Dellorso is Cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer for Wealthforge where he leads company strategy and growth and is a frequent industry speaker on how WealthForge is powering the future of private capital markets. On this episode you'll learn: How has the Fintech startup ecosystem in the US evolved compared to consumer facing Finch What was the biggest challenge in solving the chicken and egg problem in the early days? How the startup community in Richmond has evolved over the past few years? What are some of the largest regulatory challenges in the Fintech space?
iBillionaire was founded by Raul Moreno and Alejandro Estrada in 2013 as an app that tracks the investment strategies of the world’s top billionaires. The information on the holdings of Wall Street magnates like Carl Icahn and Warren Buffett was not only hard for the average investor to compile and understand, but also difficult to gain access. iBillionaire harnessed this information and introduced the iBillionaire Index (NYSE:BILLION), which curates the 30 U.S. equities in which a select pool of billionaires have allocated the most assets. On this episode you'll learn: How does he approach user acquisition strategy and is it different in Asia than in the US? What are the most common investment habits of the billionaires on the platform? What are the biggest challenges Argentina tech scene is facing? Raul's most important lesson learned during his time going through 500 Startups.