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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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Sep 22, 2020

Jeroen Corthout is the co-founder and CEO of Salesflare, a simply powerful CRM that automates data to build better relationships and make more sales. It's a fast, visual and easy-to-use sales machine. Salesflare is the most popular CRM ever on both Product Hunt and AppSumo. It also got featured on TechCrunch and Entrepreneur.com. Prior to Salesflare, Jeroen was helping companies to implement their new CRM, marketing and sales. Jeroen is also a founder of Doctura that works with tech startups and healthcare companies and fuses modern technology with new ways of doing business.

On this episode you'll learn:

1. In what ways has the Belgium startup ecosystem evolved over the past couple years? [5:35]

2. What policies implemented by the European Commission have been truly helpful in creating a unified European market for startups to expand across? [14:50]

3. In it's current form, what is the biggest weakness in the Belgium ecosystem? [19:01]

Sep 15, 2020

Host Andrew Berkowitz covers 4 key macro trends that have been greatly accelerated by COVID-19 in 2020 and are opening up new and exciting opportunities in the global startup ecosystem.

Sep 8, 2020

Douglas Ogeto is the coFounder and CEO at LudiqueWorks and has built the largest community of game developers on the continent. He is an entrepreneur with 8+ years of experience in Technology, Branding & Community Building. He has co-founded 4 startups in Game development, Education, Advisory & Branding and has played a key role in designing, planning and execution of entrepreneurship & impact related projects in Sub-Saharan & West Africa, having worked both in the private and NGO sector.

On this episode you'll learn:

1. What is the biggest hindrance to African Esports taking a broader spot in the global industry? [6:32]

2. What companies and games are investing in Africa to support a league? [7:40]

3. What are the most played consoles across Africa? [12:15]

Sep 1, 2020

Part 2 of a 2 part miniseries on the topic of innovation in infrastructure in emerging economies. As a result of the twin crises in public health and the global economy, inequities in the current economic paradigm have been laid bare, as have debilitating weaknesses in global supply chains delivering critical goods.

Decisions made today shape the built environment of tomorrow. The continent with the fastest growing economy today is Africa, and this will continue to increase. This week's speakers will shine a light on the African continent, share a diversity of perspectives and challenges from the private and public sector, and offer solutions for sustainable, equitable infrastructure development in the 21st century.

On this episode you'll learn:

1. What does the current road infrastructure in Africa look like? [4:53]

2. What does the current state of ICT infrastructure across Africa look like? [11:50] 

3. What are some alternatives for investing in early stage in Africa? [21:15]

Aug 25, 2020

Part 1 of a 2 part miniseries on the topic of innovation in infrastructure in emerging economies. As a result of the twin crises in public health and the global economy, inequities in the current economic paradigm have been laid bare, as have debilitating weaknesses in global supply chains delivering critical goods.

Decisions made today shape the built environment of tomorrow. The continent with the fastest growing economy today is Africa, and this will continue to increase. This week's speakers will shine a light on the African continent, share a diversity of perspectives and challenges from the private and public sector, and offer solutions for sustainable, equitable infrastructure development in the 21st century.

On this episode you'll learn:

1. How can hemp serve as a key input into Africa's growing construction and textile industries? [7:30]

2. How can Africa accelerate the velocity of capital accessible to local entrepreneurs? [11:50] 

3. What incentives do African banks have that disincentives them from giving SMEs and entrepreneurs loans [21:15]

Aug 18, 2020

Franco Goytia is a serial entrepreneur; currently the CEO of Caspr Biotech, a startup he co-founded at the age of 23. Caspr is using Crispr technology to make better and more accessible molecular diagnostics solutions.

Prior to this, at the age of 21, he founded Ando a B2B last-mile logistics solution in LATAM. He did this while studying Economics at Universidad de San Andres in Argentina. Ando was acquired by Moova in 2018. Some of his notable achievements include being selected for the US Dept. State Young Leaders Initiative (YLAI), being an alumni from the Westerwelle Foundation as a Young Founders and having participated of the Indie Bio acceleration program for biotech entrepreneurs in SF.

On this episode you'll learn:

  1. What is CRISPR and what can it do? [2:20]
  2. How has the COVID-19 fallout affected the Buenos Aires startup ecosystem? [14:00]
  3. How was CASPR originally using CRISPR to combate the Zika Virus?[18:15]
Aug 12, 2020

Akin Sawyerr is the Strategy lead for Decred, where he leads strategy and governance functions, and supports the proliferation of Decred across Africa. Decred is an open and progressive cryptocurrency with an system of community-based governance integrated into its blockchain. He's also an early investor and director of Splash Mobile Money, the largest mobile payments company in Sierra Leone. Akin is a long time executive and entrepreneur operating in mobile money, remittances, and payments in sub Saharan Africa.

On this episode you'll learn:

  1. What use cases within Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is Akin most excited for and why? [3:20]
  2. What aspect of DeFi does Akin think will have the biggest impact across Africa? [10:48]
  3. What are the best assets to peg a stablecoin's value to?[14:05]
Jul 28, 2020

Ian Hathaway is co-author of the new book The Startup Community Way, on entrepreneurial ecosystems published in July 2020 and has published for prominent research institutions, universities, businesses, and periodicals. He is a frequent contributor for outlets such as the Harvard Business Review and The Wall Street Journal.

Currently, he leads product development for ecosystem advisory at Techstars, where he works with entrepreneurs and community leaders around the world to support their path towards building better ecosystems. Ian is a startup advisor, mentor, and investor, including at The Fund. He is also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, co-founder and board member at the Center for American Entrepreneurship, and a research fellow at Boston University.

On this episode you'll learn:

  1. How do think tanks affect policy on entrepreneurship and venture capital [5:39]
  2. How did Ian end up co-authoring The Startup Community Way with Brad Feld? [14:35]
  3. Has COVID-19 accelerated Ian's thesis on startup ecosystem development or has it altered his framework? [21:12]
Jul 21, 2020

Bill Ottman is an American Internet entrepreneur and freedom of information activist based in New York City best known as the CEO and co-founder of Minds. Minds is a free and open source distributed social networking service that uses the blockchain to reward the community with ERC20 tokens.

On this episode you'll learn:

  1. A comparison between the geopolitical implications of Google investing large amounts in a country versus Huawei investing [7:01]
  2. How did India's banning of Chinese apps affect consumer behavior of the average Indian? [15:20]
  3. Why data privacy issues can have serious geopolitical consequences[21:12]
Jul 14, 2020

Host Andrew Berkowitz breaks down the recent drama surrounding the rapid rise and fall of Chinese coffee startup Luckin Coffee from it's founding 3.5 years ago through it's widely successful IPO and eventual collapse on April 2, 2020 when Luckin disclosed that an internal probe found that its chief operating officer had fabricated 2019 sales by about 2.2 billion yuan ($310 million). Additionally, Andrew discusses the next in line to become Asia's coffee unicorn and most serious competitor to Starbucks in the region, Indonesia's Kopi Kenangan.

On this episode you'll learn:

  1. Luckin Coffee's initial rapid growth and expansion throughout Middle East and Asia [2:00]
  2. What were the fraud allegations made by Muddy Waters Research again Luckin?[3:59]
  3. Who is Asia's next coffee startup most likely to become a regional powerhouse and compete with Starbucks?[9:55]
Jul 7, 2020

Ashish Singal is the Founder and CEO at CoinSwitch.co and Sequoia-backed CRUXPay, an open protocol simplifying the way people use crypto. It enables users to create a human readable CRUX ID which can be used to send and receive payment request, connect to dApps with a single click while ensuring an experience matching that of online fiat payments platforms like Paypal/Venmo or ApplePay. Ashish is a former Amazon developer and a leader of the team that built Amazon Prime's 1-hour delivery model. Ashish is a well-known figure in India's cryptocurrency space and an expert on the issue of the cryptocurrency ban in India.

On this episode you'll learn:

1. What was the effect of India's Supreme Court reserving their ban on crypto trading in March of this year? [4:22]

2. What's been the relationship dynamic between India's cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and regulators? [9:00] 

3. Where are the different cryptocurrency startup hubs emerging in India? [14:10] 

Jun 30, 2020

In part 2 of our podcast mini-series we look at the investor perspective of the current state of the global seed and growth stage investing environment. Our 2 guests today include Sean O'Sullivan the Managing General Partner at SOSV, a global venture capital firm providing multi-stage investment and investing in 150 companies, and Tien Wong CEO at Opus 8, where he provides strategy and fundraising advice to technology companies and investors. Opus8 organizes tech networking events as well as fundraising missions for private equity and VC firms to meet overseas LPs.

On this episode you'll learn:

How Sean has adapted his global vc and accelerator programs and how to think about approaching the post COVID-19 era - [6:01]

The difference between navigating market down turns as an entrepreneurs with a company of 15 vs as an executive with a company of 2300 employees  - [13:26]

How this is affecting startup valuations and deal flow in the United States - [16:05]

Jun 23, 2020

In part 1 of our 2 part mini-series we dive into 3 different sectors ranging from delivery startups to CRISPR-based diagnostics as well as 3 geographies including Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and Argentina. Our 3 guests today include Syed Sair Ali, Cofounder and CEO at Lahore, Pakistan based Eat Mubarak, Jurgen Descamps, the General Manager for Securiport based in Sierra Leone, as well as Franco Goytia, cofounder at CASPR Biotech based in Buenos Aires, Argentia and Silicon Valley.

On this episode you'll learn:

How delivery startups in emerging economies are being affected by COVID-19 - [6:38]

How Sierra Leone's experience with Ebola helped shape it's response to COVID-19 - [8:45]

How has COVID-19 affected the Buenos Aires Startup Ecosystem - [20:05]

Jun 16, 2020

Abdulaziz B. Al Loughani is co-founder & Managing Partner at Faith Capital, a venture capital practice that is focused on the GCC. He is also co-founder & CEO of Floward, a full-fledged flowers & gifts e-commerce platform. Previously, Abdulaziz was the founding Executive Vice Chairman of the Kuwait National Fund for SMEs Development, a USD 7bn independent public institution responsible for developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Kuwait (2013-2017). Prior to this role, he was a co-founder and Managing Partner of Talabat.com until 2010, and has since then been investing in technology startups and has been involved in a number of local and regional entrepreneurial initiatives. Abdulaziz has also previously served as Director at Global Capital Management, the alternative investments arm of Global Investment House “Global”, where he has played a major role in managing key investments within the Private Equity Group of Global.

Listen in to learn the following:

How does the Kuwait government conduct investment promotion for their startup and business environment? [4:30]

What’s the state of venture capital as an asset class in the Gulf region? [9:55]

What’s the state of Commerce across the Gulf region? [13:00]

Jun 9, 2020

Omar Christidis is the founder of CEO of ArabNet, a digital media venture with the goal of spearheading the Arab Web and Mobile movement, and encouraging its expansion worldwide, was founded by Omar Christidis in 2010.

Born in Lebanon, Omar holds a BA in Ethic, Politics, and Economics from Yale, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. After his studies, Omar worked as a consultant where he was exposed to exciting and innovative digital developments. After spending a year working for Sheffield Investment Co., Omar decided to return to Lebanon and join his family business, International Business Alliance Group, a corporate event-planning firm that he sought to revitalize.

Under the IBAG umbrella, Omar launched the Web and Mobile Business Summit in 2010. It was the first of its kind in the region to focus on entrepreneurs and the digital economy. Its success drove Omar to develop ArabNet, which organized a regioin Road Show, boosting its brand.

ArabNet is the first platform of its region that targets the startup scene by bringing together private corporations, government entities, investors and non-profit organizations, among others. Having played an essential role in driving the growth of multiple young companies, ArabNet enjoys a loyal network of fans. Its impact extends beyond the revenue and jobs it creates – ArabNet catalyzes the local entrepreneurial ecosystem through the thousands of entrepreneurs and hundres of companies that attend its event and read its articles.

Jun 2, 2020

Joy Ajlouny co-founded Fetchr in 2015 , a Silicon Valley-backed tech company that was created to tackle the Middle East’s “no address” issue, which has been long been a hindrance to growth in emerging markets. She facilitated $52 million in initial investments in Fetchr, as well as $41 million in a series B round in 2017. The company now successfully operates in five countries with a 3500-person staff, and was dubbed the number one startup in the Middle East by Forbes.

Ahead of founding Fetchr, Ajlouny was the driving force and sole entity behind the e-commerce luxury fashion platform Bonfaire. Acquired by Moda Operandi––a fashion e-commerce giant owned by LVMH and Condé Nast––in 2013, just two years after its launch, this was only the start of what would develop into a long-lasting relationship between Ajlouny and the fashion industry. Ajlouny works as a consultant for fashion startups, and Venture Capitalists.

May 26, 2020

Christopher M. Schroeder is a Washington D.C. and New York City based entrepreneur and venture investor. He co-founded HealthCentral.com, one of the nation's largest social and content platforms in health and wellness, backed by Sequoia Capital, Polaris Ventures, The Carlyle Group, Allen & Company and IAC Corporation. The company was sold to the health media publisher, Remedy Health, in January 2012 where Schroeder remained a board advisor. 

Schroeder was invited to speak and mentor at the Celebration of Entrepreneurship in Dubai in 2010, one of the first major gathering of tech startups in the Middle East, and it began his journey that became Startup Rising. In thirteen subsequent trips to the region, interviewing over 150 entrepreneurs, investors and global tech leaders, he has written extensively about startups and technology in emerging growth markets for The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, AllThingsD, TechCrunch, Pando Daily, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider among other publications. He speaks regularly around the globe, and sits on the board of advisors of The American University of Cairo School of Business, the Jordanian incubator Oasis500, the Middle East online entrepreneur information platform and network wamda.com. He was named one of LinkedIn top 50 Influencers.

May 19, 2020

Mr. Ahmed El Alfi is the Founder and Chairman of Sawari Ventures a Cairo-based venture capital firm. Established in 2010, the goal of Sawari is to help transform Egyptian and MENA region economies through the creation of high impact businesses. In 2011, Sawari created Flat6Labs, its own startup accelerator. Flat6Labs immerses startup entrepreneurs into real-world challenges of creating and managing sustainable enterprises.

Before Sawari Ahmed was a veteran investor and venture capitalist from California with over 25 years of experience in top executive and management positions. Investment track record over the last 17 years includes the execution of numerous successful transactions in technology, Internet, healthcare and financial services at various stages of development. Has executed many rewarding exits, including several IPOs on the NASDAQ. 2006, CEO, EFG-Hermes Private Equity; then founded Sawari Ventures.

May 12, 2020

Erick Pinos is Americas Ecosystem Lead at Ontology, a high-performance public blockchain and distributed collaboration platform. In addition to his role at Ontology, Erick is President of the Blockchain Education Network (BEN) and a graduate of MIT, where he was President of the MIT Bitcoin Club and a researcher at the MIT Digital Currency Initiative.

Ranked 30th on CoinMarketCap and listed amongst the top blockchain projects in China, Ontology’s unique infrastructure supports robust cross-chain collaboration and Layer 2 scalability, offering businesses the flexibility to design a blockchain that suits their needs.

May 5, 2020
Amir Hegazi is a lifelong entrepreneur, with over 20 years of startup, tech, e-commerce, and digital media experience. He is the Managing Partner of intoMENA Group, a consulting firm that helps international companies do business into the MENA region. Amir was previously the Director of Marketplace at Souq.com, the region's largest e-commerce platform (recently acquired by Amazon.com). He helped build Souq. com's marketplace from the ground up to account for a sizable portion of overall sales volume. He is also one of the early pioneers of digital media in the region, having launched the largest online TV network in the Arab world at such companies as JumpTV and Talfazat. He is the Author of Amazon.com bestseller Startup Arabia, which was recognized as one of the top global startup books of 2019. Amir is Egyptian-American. He grew up in California and has been living and working in MENA since 2005.
 
Apr 28, 2020

Host Andrew Berkowitz shares his thoughts that changes need to be made in how we approach building startup and innovation industries in frontier markets. Some ideas to move us forward include

  1. Focus capacity building efforts on selling in-demand skills on global freelancing sites
  2. Invest in programs to empower Diasporans in US, UK, and Europe to build companies
  3. Provide a sandbox framework for digital currency startups to set up shop in your country

For full blog post visit - https://thegsm.co/?p=1953

Apr 21, 2020

Koichi Saito is the Founder and General Partner of KK Fund, leveraging his experience in the internet sector, finance expertise and investment experience at PE and VC fund.

He previously worked at IMJ Investment Partners as Director and responsible for IMJ's startup investments across Southeast Asia such as iMoney, Bukalapak and Zipmatch.

Prior to IMJ, Koichi worked at Private Equity Fund founded by George Soros, and was engaged in several corporate and hotel acquisitions.

Koichi holds a MBA degree from IE business school in Spain.

Apr 14, 2020

Marek Zmysłowski is a Polish-born entrepreneur and executive, focused on online businesses in Frontier and Emerging Markets.

He co-founded Jumia Travel - Africa's Biggest Hotel Booking Portal listed on NYSE as part of Jumia Group and HotelOnline.co - a Travel Technology Company. In 2014, he was chosen as one of the Ten Most Important People in Tech by IT News Africa Magazine. He is a Lead Mentor at Google's Launchpad and World Bank's XL Africa Program.

Check out his new book,

Chasing Black Unicorns: How building the Amazon of Africa put me on Interpol's Most Wanted list, on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Black-Unicorns-building-Interpols/dp/0578562472

Apr 7, 2020

CK Japheth is building The Innovation Village; Uganda’s launchpad for leading Innovators and entrepreneurs co-creating the future through the smart application of technology to unravel challenges and create unique solutions. He works with mission-oriented entrepreneurs to capture new value from digital—creating products, experiences, and businesses. Formerly he was Head of Talent at Uganda's largest utility, his mandate was to put the best Talent behind the company's Corporate strategy. 

Kai Isand is an advisory board member at Garage48 one of the longest running startup organisations in Estonia as well as a Program Lead at Accelerate Estonia, a startup minded agile innovation project initiated by Estonia's Ministry of Economic Affairs and powered by Tehnopol Startup Incubator and Startup Estonia.

Jussi Tapio is the main organizer of Hack the Crisis Finland. He's a super business-minded executive with a lot of international experience. However he is not the traditional salary man but a pain-in-the-ass straight shooter. Extensive 360° corporate background has not made him a cynic but an expert in the harsh realities of change management.

Mar 31, 2020

Alexandre (Alex) Lazarow has spent his career working at the intersection of investing, innovation, and economic development in the private, public, and social sectors. He is a venture capitalist with Cathay Innovation, a global firm that invests across Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Previously, Alex worked with Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm that has invested over a billion dollars in hundreds of startups around the world. He has served as a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company, a financial regulator with the Bank of Canada, and an M&A investment banker with the Royal Bank of Canada.  

Alex is an adjunct professor specializing in impact investment and entrepreneurship at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. He is a Kauffman Fellow, CFA Charterholder, and a Stephen M. Kellen Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.Comm from the University of Manitoba.

Preorder his new book: Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs--from Delhi to Detroit--Are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley here -> https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1633697584/

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