Chris Heivly is one of the nation’s leading experts in how to turn startups into multimillion-dollar companies. Chris founded MapQuest in 1988 and served in leadership positions for global brands such as Rand McNally and Accenture. His latest book Build the Fort provides insight into getting through the earliest micro-steps of starting your own business through the lense of Chris’s 30 years of experiences in startups, investments, big-company entrepreneurship and community development. On this episode you'll learn: What it means to Chris to be an ecosystem builder? What have been the most important institutions and initiatives in the ecosystem that have catalyzed and created the increased startup activity in Raleigh-Durham? What are Chris' thoughts on how a university can implement an EIR role?
Richard Chowning is the Director of Africa Mentor, solving customers' entry and growth problems by providing sound guidance to navigate the cultural and business challenges in specific regions. This includes
generating and vetting leads, providing entrepreneurs and business owners with business research related to their entry into the African marketplace, and mentoring business owners in developing strategies and business models that are culturally appropriate. On this episode you'll learn: What was the story and inspiration behind Africa Mentor? How does cultural nuance impact the VC conversation around Africa? What are the biggest sectors and opportunities Richard currently sees in Africa?
Leland Rice is the co-founder and CEO of Dedalus Global, an investment advisory firm focusing on emerging markets and emerging technologies. Chairment of the African Fintech Summit, is a global initiative to bring the issues, entrepreneurs, and opportunities revolutionizing finance in Africa to the world’s stage. This bi-annual event occurs each April in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF, and each November in a different African city. How niche does Leland feel a conference should be? How niche does Leland feel a conference should be? What are the biggest questions and challenges Dadalus is solving? What is the current conversation about blockchain in East Africa?
Mark Organ is the CEO and Founder of Influitive, which helps B2B companies mobilize their army of advocates for more rapid and profitable revenue growth. They leverage partners' past successes to produce massive increases in referral leads, reference calls, social media participation and more. Mark first revolutionized B2B marketing as the founding CEO of Eloqua, a world leader in marketing automation software, which was acquired by Oracle for $871M. Throughout his life, Mark has lived in Toronto, Silicon Valley, Chicago and Singapore. He has founded 6 companies, raised more than 15 rounds of financing, hired over 250 people, and built 7 offices around the world. On this episode you'll learn: What are some of the differences in starting a company the second time around? What are the differences in funding impact when obtained via angel investors vs local capital? What advice does Mark have to entrepreneurs navigating exiting a company for the first time?