The Global Startup Movement - Startup Ecosystem Leaders, Global Entrepreneurship, and Emerging Market Innovation

Host Andrew Berkowitz interviews startup founders, ecosystem builders, investors, emerging market players, and economic development thought leaders about the startup ecosystems in their cities.
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The Global Startup Movement - Startup Ecosystem Leaders, Global Entrepreneurship, and Emerging Market Innovation





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Jun 27, 2017

Meet Dzenan Skulj, founder of Parttimerz. Parttimerz is a kickass freelancing platform featuring premium grade freelancers of diverse background and specialization. Unlike other freelancing platforms, they believe that less is more and are determined to give their clients the best in class freelancing service that money can buy. They've built a freelancing platform that’s unconventional and disruptive. While everyone who’s got something to offer in terms of services to their freelancing community is welcome to join for free, only the premium grade freelancers are guaranteed long and prosperous freelancing careers. In other words, they’ve designed a system which rewards top performers on monthly basis with a generous commission and at the same time weeds out the underperformers. This way they ensure their clients expectations are always met, if not exceeded.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

What is the story of Parttimerz’s founding?

How does Parttimerz differentiate from other freelancing platforms?

What was it like growing up as an entrepreneurial kid in war torn Sarajevo?

Current state of entrepreneurship in Sarajevo?

Jun 20, 2017

Meet Yat Siu, Director and Co-founder of Animoca Brands. Animoca Brands is a Game Developer and Publisher for branded content such as Garfield, Doraemon, Ultraman and others that went public on the ASX in January 2015. Yat moved to Hong Kong in 1996, where he set up Hong Kong Cybercity, the first free web page and email provider in Asia. In 1997 he joined AT&T Solutions' System Integration practice, but left in 1998 to set up Outblaze, which developed innovative web-based multilingual white label communication and collaboration services. Yat's steady leadership and vision steered Outblaze through the Dotcom Bubble and several subsequent crises. Outblaze became a world leader in white label hosted web services, winning numerous awards and accolades.Yat Siu was called a World Economic Forum Global Leader of Tomorrow and a Young Global Leader of Tomorrow. He has numerous awards for his contributions in business and society.

On this episode you'll learn:

What was it like navigating through the dot-com bubble in Hong Kong?

Why did IBM acquire Outblaze’s messaging platform?

With the hundreds of thousands of games on the App Store has mobile gaming hit a point of saturation?

What are Yat’s VR predictions over the coming years?

Jun 13, 2017

Meet Daniel Araújo, Daniel worked at Google for almost 5 years as an Analyst in the Branding Sector, where he studied Internet trends and consumer behavior. is building the first fully fledged information assistant for any professional. To do that, they first need to understand the right context of each one of them, their priorities and which companies would benefit most from their product at this point in time. Attentive is starting with one specific use case in mind: sales teams. Have you ever tried to keep up to date on all news about your leads and clients? Maybe you set up a Google alert or tried to follow people on LinkedIn, but that's a lot of manual work. With Attentive connected to your CRM, they can get all of those insights directly to you, effortlessly.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

In an interview with Small cap Nation Daniel said that as an Intelligence company, you must win the US market first? Why is that?

Does the incumbency advantage in AI with companies like Google and Microsoft owning some of the world’s largest data sets concern Daniel?

What is Daniel’s criteria and outside perspective on what areas in the US he finds the most enticing to locate to?

Does Daniel believe AI’s overall capabilities are being overestimated by the broader market?

Jun 6, 2017

Meet José Cayasso (commonly known as Caya). A Costa Rican graphics designer and entrepreneur. Jose was a Trainer and Senior Support Agent for Intel, covering Desktop Boards and Processors for the North America Region; he obtained extensive experience with hardware and software support over the course of 6 years. In 2011, Jose founded Saborstudio, a creative content company. Their first startup, Pota-Toss, was an iOS game crowdfunded on Kickstarter and released to the App Store on October 2012. It was deemed by Techcrunch and CNN as "The Next Angry Birds" and having its graphics compared to a Pixar movie by Business Insider. Pota-Toss was installed in over 300,000 devices that year. Saborstudio was also the first Costa Rican startup to be selected for a major US Accelerator. In November 2012 jose was selected as a one of the 40 Under 40 Costa Rican innovators by El Financiero Newspaper; and was also named an Innovation Champion by the Costa Rican Ministry of Science and Technology. Jose was also invited to speak at the 2013 TEDx Joven PuraVida Conference in Costa Rica, along with speakers like Luis Von Ahn and Michael Lindenmayer. In mid-2013, Jose founded Slidebean, a simplified, cloud-based presentation tool. Slidebean was part of Startup Chile, one of the most important accelerators in Latin America and then selected for Batch 11 of 500 Startups, one of the top US Based Accelerators according to Forbes and Techcrunch. Slidebean has been featured in Techcrunch, TheNextWeb and The Economist, as the third most valuable internet startup in Costa Rica.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

Who are the players involved in early-stage funding in Latin America?

What were the biggest value adds going through Startup Chile and 500 Startups?

How conducive is Costa Rican culture with startup culture?

How effective are Latin American government in fostering their startup scenes?

May 30, 2017

On this episode we interview Lahiru Pathmalal, CEO and co-founder of Sri Lankan Ecommerce startup Takas. Takas started in 2012, with an initial goal to empower the consumer in Sri Lanka to easily access anything they desire. Their market approach has always been based on trust and great customer service, as result of this; they were the first to introduce the cash on delivery payment method. Thanks to their strong customer base, they have grown to one of the most trusted e-commerce sites in Sri Lanka. Lahiru Pathmalal has a BA in Political Science, and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Queensland. He has worked in United States, Afghanistan and Australia in child care. And has also worked as the Program Coordinator at the International Center for Ethnic Studies in Sri Lanka.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

What’s other countries would Lahiru consider to be similar markets for him to replicate his business model that’s working in Sri Lanka?

What is the current landscape of e-commerce vs. brick and mortar in Sri Lanka?

What logistical challenges does Sri Lanka present for Takas?

How active are the Lakan Angels and what verticals do they typically focus on?

May 23, 2017

A 20-year entrepreneur, speaker, & globally recognized growth strategist, Marissa’s lifetime legacy mission is to educate, equip, & empower 100 million entrepreneurs & leaders with the skillsets and mindsets they need to reach their greatest potential. As CEO of Successful Culture, Marissa helps CEOs master the 3 most critical aspects of business growth: leadership development, strategy formulation & execution, and organizational culture assessment & improvement. She also helps CEOs select and implement highly effective advisory boards using her patented SCALE™ Model, which is an essential strategy for any business looking to grow exponentially. She is a Chapter Chair for Women’s Presidents Organization (WPO), and is responsible for the facilitation and growth of groups of up to 20 women business owners with revenues ranging from $2 million to more than $150 million. Marissa is a Leadership Mindset columnist for Inc. Magazine, and is an instructor & strategy coach for Inc’s online entrepreneurship education program, Inc.Edu which leads start-up entrepreneurs through an intensive business growth curriculum. She is the author of “My Company ROCKS!” Eight Secrets to a Growth-Driven Culture That Keeps Employees Happy & Engaged,” which provides specific strategies on how to build a culture that fosters employee loyalty, engagement, and excitement. She is also the author of the #1 best-selling book on advisory boards, “Built to SCALE: How Top Companies Create Breakthrough Growth Through Exceptional Advisory Boards”. The book leads businesses owners through her SCALE™ Model to strategically select, compensate, associate, & leverage advisory boards for breakthrough growth. Marissa is also SmartCEO Magazine’s syndicated columnist, penning a column entitled “Get on Board” which advises business owners how to strategically build advisory boards to fuel organizational growth. Marissa’s 20-year entrepreneurial journey started in 1995 when she founded Information Experts, a strategic communications and education firm, in 1995, that served more than 15 federal agencies. She launched her firm as a solopreneur with a $35,000 contract, and led/grew the organization to approximately $15 million in revenue until she resigned in 2012. Under her leadership, Information Experts won more than 80 awards for creativity & leadership, was named to the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies for 2009, 2010, and 2011, won the 2010 SmartCEO GovStar Industry Star Award, and was known as a trailblazer in establishing an extraordinary employee-centric culture that fully supported work-life integration and a core value of “responsible flexibility.” Marissa’s passion of mentoring other leaders motivated her to launch Successful Culture in June 2012. Through Successful Culture she applies her 20 years of experience to help leaders achieve their highest potential, build exceptional organizations to engage & inspire employees, and keep top-level talent. She was named as a 2009, 2010, and 2011 SmartCEO Smart 100 participant by SmartCEO Magazine, which recognizes the top 100 CEOs in the region, and was named as a 2008 BRAVO Award winner, which honors the region’s 25 most influential women CEOs. In 2011, she was one of the first honorees to be inducted into the SmartCEO Hall of Fame for outstanding and exemplary women’s leadership. She was named as one of Washington’s Top 100 Technology Titans for 2009 by Washingtonian Magazine and was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Marissa was also named as one of greater Washington’s “Women Who Mean Business” by the Washington Business Journal, which honors the region’s “most influential and powerful” women executives. Marissa holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Development & Organizational Development, is a credentialed coach certified by International Coach Federation (ICF), is certified in Instructional Systems Design, and is a Certified Mastermind Facilitator.


On This Episode You'll Learn:

What value should entrepreneurs expect from their boards?

How important is culture to a small startup?

What’s appropriate advisory board compensation?

What are the challenges of scaling culture?

May 16, 2017

Meet John Gavigan, Executive Director at 43North in Buffalo. John is a Business owner, executive and management professional with 20+ years’ experience providing strategic, operational and sales leadership to start-up, turnarounds, expansions and established businesses. His skills include executive level relationship management, human resource management, business planning and implementation, sales management, sales, and marketing. 43North is the world’s largest business idea competition with $5 million in cash awards presented annually to attract entrepreneurs and startups to Buffalo, NY. Winning teams also receive free space in 43North’s incubator, mentorship and access to the START-UP NY program, which allows new companies to operate free of New York State taxes for 10 years. 43North is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion plan and it operates through grants from the New York Power Authority and Empire State Development.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

What developments in Buffalo’s startup scene have happened in the past 5 years?

What were some of the challenges the 43North team faced in scaling the competition?

What startup verticals is Buffalo strongest in?

How are leaders in the Buffalo startup ecosystem collaborating with other ecosystems in the US?

May 9, 2017

Meet John O'Nolan, Product designer turned startup founder. John spent the majority of his career building publications for large companies including Microsoft, Virgin Atlantic, Nokia, EasyJet, Ubisoft, and various others. After a two year stint as the Deputy Head of Design for WordPress and watching it turn into a website builder, he set out to create a new publishing platform focused on modern journalism: called Ghost. Ghost was founded in April 2013, after a very successful Kickstarter campaign to create a new platform focused solely on professional publishing. Their mission is to create the best open source tools for independent journalists and writers across the world, and have a real impact on the future of online media.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

What did you learn as Head of Design for Wordpress that you were able to use when founding Ghost? J

ohn has spoken publicly about his interest in open source business models, where does Ghost’s approach fit in?

What are the differences between being venture backed and being crowd-funded?

What does John think is the future of written content online and how do content publishing platforms such as Ghost and Wordpress fit into that model?

May 2, 2017

Meet Chris Wade, Venture Partner at Octopus Investments. Chris is a seasoned entrepreneur, advisor and investor in early stage technology companies, most notably co-founding Cambridge Positioning Systems, which pioneered location solutions for the global mobile phone industry. He has acted as an advisor to various Venture Capital Groups as well as the UK Government. Chris has successfully invested in, built and exited numerous early stage companies, creating value through strong strategic alliances with blue-chip corporates in Europe, Asia and North America, making him a unique and valuable sounding board to both General Partners and portfolio Companies.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

How did Chris get into Venture Capital?

After having spent time as the UK government’s Head of Venture Capital investments What challenges did Chris encounter transitioning to a Limited Partner role?

How has AI talent accrued in London over the past few years?

Apr 27, 2017

Say hello to Nina Achadjian and Alicia Garabedian of HIVE Ventures. HIVE invests in and partners with early stage startups worldwide, from Silicon Valley to Armenia. Their mission is to help catalyze the global Armenian tech ecosystem by investing in Armenian founders or companies that hire talent in Armenia. They provide funding, operational guidance, and access to their network of world-class talent and advisors. HIVE also promotes innovation and entrepreneurship among the next generation of aspiring Armenian founders through events and workshops. HIVE offers seed and early-stage equity investment. In addition to capital, HIVE partner's with their entrepreneurs to build stronger and more impactful startups.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

What is Hive Ventures investment philosophy?

How can Armenia best engage with it’s diaspora?

How has deal flow evolved in Armenian tech over the past few years?

What technology verticals are Nina and Alicia most excited about?

Apr 25, 2017

Meet Pegor Papazian, CEO and cofounder of Bazillion Beings. Pegor was formerly the CEO of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia. He was head of project development at the United States Agency for International Development. Prior to his position with USAID, he was Vice President of Strategy and Product Development at Prosum Inc., which was ranked among the United States' top 200 fastest growing private companies by Inc500. Before joining Prosum's founding team, Pegor was a founding partner at Design Technologies Consulting, a business simulation and geographic information systems company in Barcelona, Spain. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Architecture from the American University of Beirut.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

How does Pegor think the future of bot discovery will play out?

Why does Armenia have such high quality of techical talent?

What industries are the future of the Armenian economy?

How did Armenia’s startup scene development in the 2000’s?

Apr 18, 2017

Meet Luis Cuende, co-founder and project lead of Aragon. Aragon is everything you need to run your company on Ethereum. Cap table, governance, fundraising, payroll, accounting, bylaws, etc. Aragon companies are extremely customizable, and you get everything in a unified, beautiful interface. Aragon was born to disintermediate the creation and maintenance of companies and other organizational structures. They are inspired by Nobel prize Ronald Coase and his paper "The Nature of the Firm" and Yochai Benkler's "Linux and the Nature of the Firm." Both explore the concept of company. They believe that the blockchain and the Internet are changing the incentives for companies to exist, and are building tools for the next generation of companies that will take advantage of these changes. Luis has been awarded as the best underage European programmer in 2011, is a Forbes 30 Under 30, a MIT TR35 and was an Advisor to the VP of the European Commission. He cofounded the blockchain startup Stampery. Prior to founding startups, he created the world's first Linux distribution with facelogin.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

How does Luis see the growing trend in the centralization of computing with the rise of the cloud clashing with the growing trend of blockchain?

Why did Luis feel he needed to leave Spain in order to raise capital for Stampery?

What has Luis’s experience been moving from Madrid to Barcelona?

What cryptocurrency is Luis excited about that most people have never heard of?

Apr 11, 2017

On this episode we meet with Jeff Amerine and Michael Iseman of Startup Junkie Consulting. Startup Junkie Consulting is a globally proven social venture. Along with working with startups, they also work in depth with existing ventures up to approximately $15MM in annual revenue, from all industry verticals. They help with all aspects, from starting up, to scaling up. Startup Junkie's goal is to provide services to entrepreneurs and venture leaders that are higher quality than if they were to pay for them. They’ve helped build venture communities from Canada to South America. They specialize in supporting ventures innovating around and within retail, consumer packaged goods, supply chain (transportation and logistics), food, and data analytics. However, they also provide in depth support, consulting, and assistance to new ventures and existing ventures from all industry verticals. Startup Junkie is led and operated by veteran and women entrepreneurs.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

What traditional industries is Northwest Arkansas known for that laid the foundation for this wave of growing tech companies?

What advice would Jeff give to startup leaders in other towns and cities throughout the midwest?

Jeff has given a TedX talk on the IDEA framework for a startup ecosystem, how has that framework played out in Fayetteville?

What sort of pipeline has the University of Arkansas created to funnel student entrepreneurs into the Fayetteville startup scene?

Apr 4, 2017

On this episode, you'll meet Simon Cant of Reinventure, and Danielle Szetho from FinTech Australia. Simon is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Reinventure Group. Simon has spent his career working on innovation, both through venture and corporate innovation. As an innovation specialist at CANTT Associates and before that, WhatIf! Innovation, with a focus on disruptive innovation, he advised clients such Tennis Australia, UBS, NAB, Suncorp, AMP, Fairfax, News Limited and APN News & Media and Transport for NSW. Prior to that he worked with entrepreneurs, in both commercial startups, at TiNSHED Angel Group and social ventures at Social Ventures Australia. Over Danielle's 12+ year career she's cultivated a diverse set of skills from leadership roles in functions such as Strategy/Transformation, Business Development, Product Management, Data Analytics, Advertising/Marketing and Design/UX. Her career goal is to lead innovative, high performing teams to deliver projects and products that improve the way people live, work and play. In doing so, be a strategic, collaborative leader that drives transformational change - and has fun along the way!

On This Episode You'll Learn:

How are Australia’s banks approaching innovation?

Where in the Fintech Stack from Mobile Device to Bank Account do Simon and Danielle think is the most defensible position?

What gaps in Australia’s financial services industry are currently being pursued by Fintech startups?

How have Australian banks evolved since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis?

Mar 28, 2017

Say hello to Hillel Fuld, Co-founder and CMO of live broadcasting app ZCast. Essentially ZCast is a new way to host a Podcast. You can broadcast your unique message to the world with just a tap with no need for designated rooms or fancy equipment. Simply choose a topic and invite friends to begin live streaming your audio. You can also tune in to live podcasts from other users, and use the live chat feature to join the conversation with the hosts. You're able to go through the landing pages of your favorite casters to catch up on their previous content. With ZCast, it’s easy to access live, recorded and upcoming casts. When he's not focusing on marketing for ZCast, Hillel blogs for many influential sites including TechCrunch, Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and others. He also mentors startups across Israel in different accelerators including The Google Launchpad, the Microsoft Ventures accelerator, Techstars, The Junction, and more. Hillel has been named Israel's top marketer, has been featured on CNBC, Forbes, and many others and was recently added by Google to its marketing experts program.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

Out of all the companies Hillel advises and mentors, are there any common struggles that he finds Israeli startups face while scaling to other markets?

What’s the best vetting process for entrepreneurs to find value add advisors?

How should founders think about compensating strategic advisors?

What is the most important factor in Hillel’s opinion to attribute to Israel’s tech explosion?

Mar 21, 2017

Meet Jane Lu, CEO and founder of Australian online women's boutique Showpo. Jane founded Showpo back in 2010 from her parents’ garage. She previously worked in accounting and corporate finance, but after returning from a year abroad, was inspired to ditch the “cubicle life", so she quit her job to start her own business. With much enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, she set off to start her first business, which failed spectacularly. However, Jane was undeterred and got right back on the horse, starting the online fashion brand, Showpo the following month. What started off with a laptop and two shelves of clothing is now an online global fashion empire, shipping to 45 countries. Through being disruptive in the retail space and capitalising on the use of social media, Showpo now boasts a cult social following of over 1.6 million. Jane is a keynote speaker, is heavily involved in Australia’s startup scene and has been nominated for numerous awards, taking the title of Cosmopolitan’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 and Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia in 2016. Jane is extremely passionate about promoting entrepreneurship and women in business. She co-founded the group "Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine", a business group that promotes and encourages girl bosses around the world. Since its inception in August 2015, the group has experienced enormous traction with 14,000+ members and meet up events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, LA and San Francisco.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

Jane has been ignoring traditional advice regarding funding and how to scale. What specific advice about raising capital and scaling does she disagree with and why?

Focusing on the future of online fashion, where does Jane see the future of technology integrating with fashion?

ShowPo has 1.1M followers on Instagram, 850k like on Facebook what has Jane executed on at ShowPo to gain such a large and engaged following?

Jane has said that new businesses should focus on one social media platform in the beginning, as a new business how do you decide what social channels are right for you?

Mar 14, 2017

Meet Blake Larson, Head of International Growth for Hong Kong based same-day delivery service Lalamove. Blake has spent his career leading teams and overseeing operations during periods of high growth for both Fortune 500 companies and tech start-ups across four continents. In his current role, Blake oversees Lalamove’s business outside of Mainland China. In the past Blake served as the managing director of Rocket Internet’s Easy Taxi in Hong Kong and oversaw Business Development in the region from 2013 to 2014. He graduated from ESADE Business School in Spain and NUS in Singapore with an MBA, and University of Iowa with a BBA in Finance and Marketing.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

As Lalamove scales throughout southeast asia, has Blake found that they’ve been able to replicate their Hong Kong playbook in other countries?

What are some of the biggest challenges in same day delivery logistics in china?

How does Lalamove encourage referrals with their product experience?

How has Blake seen the Hong Kong startup ecosystem evolve during his time there?

Mar 7, 2017

Meet Marie Chevrier, CEO and founder of Sampler. Marie is a young entrepreneur originally from Montreal, Canada. She started her career in advertising at J. Walter Thompson in Toronto. From there, she had the chance to work at a venture capital firm in New York City. After a few years there, Marie came back to Toronto to merge her passion for marketing and technology. Marie started Sampler with a vision to transform the way consumer packaged good companies distribute promotional offers. Sampler is an offer management and analytics platform that helps brands and their agencies distribute product samples and coupons more effectively online. The Software as a Service platform helps marketers target consumers and measure the effectiveness of their campaign in a way that's revolutionizing traditional sampling strategies like in-store demos or experiential marketing. Sampler helps marketers integrate their strategies into their own re-marketing channels, gather deep insights about their potential consumers and continue the conversation with them past trial.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

What’s the best way for a startup selling to an Enterprise or SME client to get their first initial pilot programs?

Do companies typically use sampling as a lead generator to an upsell or are their goals brand awareness and word of mouth?

What is Sampler offering the Sampling industry that wasn’t available before?

Marie founded Sampler back in 2013, can she walk us through the evolution of Toronto’s tech scene since then?

Feb 28, 2017

Meet Nav Athwal, CEO and founder of San Francisco based startup RealtyShares. RealtyShares is an online marketplace for real estate investing that is transforming the real estate investment landscape. RealtyShares offers investors access to pre-vetted real estate investments and an ability to invest for as little as $5,000 from the convenience of their laptop or tablet. Nav has over a decade of experience in real estate as an attorney, broker, and investor. He lectures at UC Berkeley Law School and the Haas School of Business, and is often featured on CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business. He holds a JD from UC Berkeley Law School where he was class Valedictorian. Nav also writes about online investing, real estate, crowdfunding and fintech for Forbes, LinkedIn, Pulse and his work has also been featured by TechCrunch, and Inman.

On this episode you'll learn:

Why does Nav think the Series B is usually the toughest round for companies to raise and what lessons did he learn going through that process?

Besides crowdfunding software, what other opportunities does Nav see in real estate for software companies?

How does Nav see machine learning fitting into RealtyShares platform and how does it give them a competitive advantage?

How was Nav able to solve the chicken and egg problems that every marketplace faces so quickly?

Feb 23, 2017

Say hello to Patrick Muhire, Co-founder of Rwanda based startup VugaPay. VugaPay is a Payment gateway system whose goal is to create a cross-boarder mobile money platform for the Unbanked individuals from emerging markets. This will enable mobile money users to 'transfer money' using any GSM phone locally or to other countries with mobile money services needless of queuing at banks or via Traditional wire-transfers. The product has been designed to meet the needs of this special customer segment.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

How big of a market is Rwanda for VugaPay?

Is Patrick still focusing on growth in Rwanda or has he already gotten to the point where he needs to start launching into other markets in Africa?

Before VugaPay Patrick started RwandaTV on which he had almost 100k users. How did that come into existence and is he still working on it?

How has Patrick been able to build a money transfer system that works across networks?

What are VugaPay’s best user acquisition channels?

What social media platforms are most popular in Rwanda?

Feb 21, 2017

Meet Toyin Umesiri, Senior Manager of Strategy and Governance at Walmart. Toyin has leveraged years of Global ERP implementation in driving strategy and designing IT governance frameworks at Walmart. She's collaborated with C level & market leadership to design multi-year roadmaps across multiple domains. Her main focus is on leveraging Walmart's scale and global talent footprint to drive a faster, better, cheaper model of large scale implementation. She's embedded in driving the strategy of Legacy to ERP transformation efforts, and facilitating partner relationships as it relates to designing the most effective Resource framework for global markets. Toyin was also responsible for guiding the implementation strategy for Global Vendor Sourcing to Payment areas: Source to Contract (S2C), Procure to Pay (P2P), Real Estate Facilities Maintenance (REFM), Indirect Procurement (IP) & Inventory. She works with cross functionally at the leadership level to gain alignment and ensure solution delivery is Best in Class.


On This Episode You'll Learn:

How can Africa best engage their Diaspora to further catalyst economic growth on the continent?

What major trade gaps currently exist between US and Africa, and how we can we best close them?

What advantages do you feel you have being an African immigrant in the US?

How would Toyin describe the Nigerian Culture?

Feb 16, 2017

Meet the CEO and Co-founder of BitPesa, Elizabeth Rossiello. Elizabeth has lived and worked in Kenya since 2009 and knows financial services from the Mara to the Board room. BitPesa is a Pan-African FinTech Start-up that offers fast, efficient, and low-cost B2B payments to and from African bank accounts and mobile money wallets. BitPesa has operations in six African companies in East, Central and West Africa and a license from the FCA in the UK. BitPesa was the first company in Africa to offer digital FX brokerage and is the largest market-maker in the sector for African currencies. With offices in Nairobi, Lagos, Dakar and London - they have local teams that understand the difficulties of making payments to and from the region. They work with brokers around the global, settling in real-time between Africa and Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

What’s the cost of operating in Nairobi relative to Lagos or cape town?

How does BitPesa simplify B2B payments across the African Continent?

What does the seed funding landscape look like in Nairobi?

What’s the criteria for launching a new African country?

Feb 14, 2017

Meet E Aboyeji, co-founder of Flutterwave. E considers himself an impact entrepreneur who is passionate about building the future of Africa. Over the last seven years he has been a youth activist at the United Nations, President of a student owned media company and a serial entrepreneur who has started, grown and sold angel and venture backed companies in the impact entrepreneurship space. He also contributes significantly to several efforts to build sustainable impact enterprises by bringing together financial, social, political and human capital together to support other impact entrepreneurs as an Entrepreneur, Angel Investor and Advisor. In May 2016 E founded Flutterwave. Flutterwave is one simple API for processing payments across card, bank account and mobile money platforms in over thirty African countries. Flutterwave has processed over $20 million in transactions to date for clients that include Paystack, Page Microfinance Bank, and Access Bank. The founding team has several years of experience working at global technology companies like Google Wallet, Andela and PayPal as well as several African Commercial and Central Banks. Flutterwave is a US company, headquartered in San Francisco, California.

On This Episode You'll learn:

What was it like meeting Mark Zuckerberg and what in particular interested him about Andela?

What does E see as the best role for African governments to play in allocating public resources to further catalyze innovation?

When founding Flutterwave E mentioned how it was a solution for major challenges you witnessed building Andela. Walk us through your experience going through those problems.

Through E’s work with Flutterwave, what does he see as the future for blockchain and bitcoin to play in the African economy?

Feb 9, 2017

Meet Akin Sawyerr the founder and Managing Director of Feleman, an impact investment and advisory firm. Akin invests in and mentors young organizations, and uses his network to unlock value in marginalized communities. He started the company over 2 years ago to leverage the knowledge and experience he gained in the developed world to solve problems in emerging markets. He's also a Co-Founder of Market Atlas which provides a way to conduct market, investment, and country research in Frontier Markets. Prior to his entrepreneurial adventure, Akin spent over fifteen years in management consulting and corporate America. He's worked for two global consulting firms, and 4 fortune 500 companies. His career started working for the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C.


On This Episode You'll Learn:

What’s Akin’s definition of impact investing and on a macro level why has it recently increased over the past few years in Africa?

What are Akin’s thoughts on how mobile payments will play out across the African continent?

Where does Akin see the infrastructure of bitcoin and the blockchain as a whole fitting into Africa’s development?

A lot of the conversation when it comes to innovation is around fintech and companies like Interswitch Limited in Nigeria or MPesa in Kenya, where else does Akin see opportunity?

Feb 7, 2017

Meet Chris Folayan, co-founder and CEO of MallforAfrica. Chris has over 20 years of experience in C level roles in marketing, technology development, and acquisition roles in various USA based High-Tech companies, and startups. Prior to developing the MallforAfrica app and platform Chris was the Founder and CEO of OCFX Inc. a globally recognized, award winning Software and Web Design Agency serving clients such as SONY, LSI, Cisco, HP, EPSON, TYCO, US Government, Visa, BestBuy, CapitalOne Finance, EMC and many other companies. Chris managed global relations with clients in over 50 countries and multi-million dollar projects. He graduated from San Jose State University in the heart of the Silicon valley with a BA in Marketing.

On This Episode You'll Learn:

What were the problems Chris was solving that was preventing Western Brands from selling into Africa?

When considering expansions into other markets in Africa, what does Chris find to be the biggest challenges?

Chris has said that “The American or British marketing plans will not work in Africa. You need an African marketing plan.” What does he mean by that?

Where does Chris see the future of technology integrating with brick and mortar retail in Africa?

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