Rivers Corbett is an award winning serial entrepreneur, international speaker, and author. Rivers is a founding board member of StartUP Canada as well as the host of the StartUP Canada Podcast Show. He was recently named Entrepreneur in Residence, with Opportunities New Brunswick team, to significantly move the needle on the spirit and actions of entrepreneurship throughout the province. On this episode you'll learn: Where are the startup hubs in Canada concentrated? What verticals are Canada's VC's focused on? When Rivers says startups need to zag in order to succeed, what does he mean by that? What roles should an Entrepreneur in Residence take on with working with a city government?
Karen Contet Farzam is passionate about Technology and Startups, co-founder of WHub.io, Hong Kong biggest startup community. She is immersed in the Startup Scene as a Founding and Board member of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong, Community Leader for Techstars, a Front End Web Development instructor, a Mentor for several accelerator programs, speaker at International Conference like JS conference 2015 in Singapore, French Foreign Trade Advisor, FrenchTech Ambasador and Founder of WomenWhoCodeHK. Karen has been working in Asia for 13 years, starting in Tokyo as JP Morgan Exotic Equity Derivatives Trader to Software Engineer for an IoT Startup, teaching Front-End Web Development and co-founded and built WHub.io, HK biggest startup community. On this episode you'll learn: How homogeneous are the Hong Kong and China markets? Once a company captures the Hong Kong market can they easily expand to Shenzhen or is Hong Kong more so an entry point into SE Asia? Why are B2B Fintech companies, so much more prevalent in Hong Kong than B2C players? Why is the current environment for cryptocurrency and blockchain entrepreneurs in Hong Kong? Karen has helped numerous startups in Hong Kong get off the ground, what advice does she give founders when hiring their first few employees?
Jordan Clive is the Head of Experience Design at Daplie, a personal server that’s easy to use and completely secure. Daplie produces a fully automated server that lives at home or the office and allows you to take control of your digital life. Previously Jordan has founded and worked for startups in Santiago, Chile and Shenzhen, China. On this episode you'll learn: Why is Provo consistently a top 10 city in the US for VC deals? What startup verticals are thriving in the Utah startup ecosystem? Why is BYU such an important part of the startup ecosystem? How does Mormonism contribute to the Provo startup scene?
Dr. Kamau Gachigi is the Founding Executive Director of Gearbox, a non-profit organization that provides members with access to modern machines for prototyping and low volume manufacture. Gearbox also avails training, and incubation/acceleration services in order to broaden access to manufacturing in Kenya. Dr. Kamau was a key consultant in the creation of a science curriculum for the Faculty of Arts and Science at the planned Aga Khan University in Arusha, and the principal consultant in the creation of an engineering curriculum for the planned Kiambu University of Technology and Innovation. He also holds two government appointments, one as Chairman of the Board of the National Industrial Training Authority and another on the Board of the Numerical Machining Complex, a State Corporation. Dr. Kamau is also a member of the Consultative Advisory Group of the Partnership on Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (World Bank and select African Governments). He previously served as the Director of the University of Nairobi Science and Technology Park and founded the Fab Lab at the University of Nairobi, another in a low income area in Nairobi and is setting up a third in a Kisumu. On this episode you'll learn: What was it like for Dr. Kamau to meet Mark Zuckerberg and why was he interested in what Gearbox is doing? Why do a lot of companies looking to enter into Kenya have such a hard time and find that they need to partner with an organization like Gearbox to do so? How does Gearbox scale what they're doing? What's the funding environment for hardware startups in the incubator?
Justin Hall has been a Principal at Golden Gate Ventures since December 2014. In addition to his responsibilities at Golden Gate Ventures, Justin has organized a number of community building events in the Singapore startup scene, including SuperHappyDevHouse.sg, WalkAbout.sg, and FailCon.sg. As principal, he manages Golden Gate Ventures' existing portfolio while sourcing investments across APAC. In addition, he is director for Golden Gate Ventures Annex Fund, focused on follow-on funding for existing portfolio companies. Before Golden Gate Ventures, Justin was previously an Account Manager for Rakuten LinkShare Corporation, based in New York, and managed online e-commerce sales for prominent web-based retailers and service providers. Justin is a New York transplant and fitness fanatic, as well as a huge fan of Chicken Rice and kopi gau.
Say hello to Kago Kagichiri, CEO and Co-founder at Eneza Education. Kago is an internet-less space advocate, having built technologies for last mile mobile handsets. Eneza Education is preparing the next generation of leaders in rural Africa. They deliver affordable, high quality education as interactive lessons, live tutoring and a gamified personal experience to over 1.8M learners irrespective of the mobile device they own in their home. Eneza's learners access nationally aligned primary and secondary, financial and teacher training content for as little as $0.50 per month. On This Episode You'll Learn: How does user acquisition for Eneza differ between a market like Nairobi and more rural parts of Kenya? With the speed of innovation happening in African education, what does Kago see as the future of education in Africa? Will Edtech be a collaborative or a competitive force? How was Kago’s experience raising capital from Impact Funds different than the Venture Capital he’s raised What have been some of the toughest challenges Kago faced while scaling to African countries outside of Kenya?
Amoroso Gombe is the Cofounder and Director of fpesa, where he is building functional money markets in emerging economies. Previously Amoroso has helped HP expand into the East African market and has worked as an engineer at Interswitch, an Africa-focused integrated digital payments and commerce company. On this episode you'll learn: What does the regulatory climate look like for Fintech startups? How does Amoroso think crypto currency will play out in Africa How do Forex markets work in foreign markets? How do Kenya's regulators view the fintech industry?
Afzal Habib and Sabrina Habib are the cofounders of Kidogo, a social enterprise that improves access to high-quality, affordable Early Childhood Care & Education in East Africa’s low-income communities. Working mothers living in East Africa’s informal settlements (urban slums) face a difficult decision of where to keep their young children during the working day. As a result, they are typically left with leaving children home alone , pulling an older sibling out of school to take care of a younger sibling, or using an unlicensed, home-based “babycare” with an untrained caregiver. Kidogo solves this by using a Hub and Spoke franchising model to train and empower women in these area to provide quality care and education. Prior to co-founding Kidogo, Afzal was a Management Consultant at BCG and has experience working with CARE International’s Enterprise Development Unit in Bangladesh and with the Acumen Fund in Tanzania building a pipeline of impact investments in the region. Sabrina leads Kidogo’s Strategy, Partnerships & Impact. She spent 4 years working with the Aga Khan Development Network in Kenya & Tanzania and recently worked with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network to promote a child-integrated approach in the post-2015 global agenda. On this episode you'll learn: How does Afzal define a social enterprise? How is raising capital and your fiduciary responsibility to your shareholders different in a social enterprise? Realistically, how scalable is a social enterprise? What is the current ed-tech environment in East Africa?
Daniel Maison is CEO/Cofounder and Isaac Hunja is CMO of SkyGarden, an ecommerce platform built for African businesses. Business owners that want to use the platform download the Sky.Garden Merchant App from Google Play and set up an account. All they need to provide are their personal details, name of their shop and other shop details such as opening hours, location and mobile money phone number. Isaac previously helped launch Uber into the Kenyan market as well as grew Hellofood Kenya which was eventually acquired by Jumia. Daniel was previously a Regional Director for East Africa for the leading incentives solution company in Africa. On This Episode you’ll learn: How big of an e-commerce opportunity does rural Africa present? What were the biggest sales channels for African merchants before Sky Garden? What are Sky Garden’s best acquisition channels? How does the Sky Garden solve for the chicken and egg problem all marketplaces face?
Dale Beaumont is best known as an award-winning technology entrepreneur, international speaker and the author of 16 best-selling books. Having started his first business at the age of 19, Dale went on to build three different million dollar companies before the age of thirty. One of these companies saw Dale write and publish 16 best-selling books, which have collectively sold over a quarter of a million copies. This was followed by the launch of Business Blueprint, an education company designed to help fellow entrepreneurs build the business of their dreams. Then in 2016 Dale and his team launched BRiN, the world’s first business advisor powered by artificial intelligence. BRiN is a smart-phone App that is capable of providing personalized education and human-like support to every entrepreneur on the planet, all at the same time. Plus to assist BRiN to do her job Dale and his team have developed a library of over 1000 TV quality business education videos. On this episode you'll learn: Where does Dale think AI’s current shortcomings are that the market might have overinflated expectations? Which city in Australia does Dale see becoming the Australian hub for Artificial Intelligence startups? How doe Dale think entrepreneurs should balance putting effort into their personal brand vs. their business or does he think building a successful company will speak for itself? How has Dale seen entrepreneurship and the attitude towards entrepreneurs in Australia change since he started his first company at 19?
Maciej has been involved in building advertising and marketing technology platforms for his own companies and for clients since 2007. He is currently the CEO of Clearcode, a full-service software development house specializing in custom AdTech, MarTech, and data analytics development, and CEO of Piwik PRO, an on-premises and cloud marketing suite that provides 100% data ownership and compliance with privacy laws. Maciej’s career in the online advertising and marketing industries began in 2007 when he co-founded the first blog advertising network in Poland. The company raised capital from one of the leading media portals in Poland and was later acquired. Maciej was also a co-founder of Kanary NEST, a demand-side platform (DSP), which was acquired in 2014 by Gravity4. On this episode you'll learn: When someone like Google opens up a campus, like they did in Warsaw, what sort of impact has Maciej seen that having on the surrounding startup scene? What Polish cities comprise the 2 or 3 primary tech hubs in the country? Poland is traditionally more of a outsourcing hub as opposed to software teams building there own products, how is that changing along with a change in mindset when it comes to startups? How does Maciej think that the Visegrad countries can go about attracting more private capital to invest in their tech ecosystems?
Guillermo Freire is the CEO/Cofounder of Trocafone. Trocafone is a simple way to trade smartphones for both buyers and sellers in Brazil and Argentina, avoiding all the frictions usually involved in a transaction. They buy used smartphones, refurbish them and then resell devices with the same practicalities of a new one, but at 40% of the price. Trocafone has raised over $4.2 Million from the likes of Lumia Capital, 500 Startups, and Richmond Global Ventures. On this episode you'll learn: Why has mobile penetration in Brazil and South America has fallen so far behind the rest of the world? What does the funding landscape look like for Brazilian startups in that middle ground between early stage and private equity capital? What are some of the biggest weaknesses or obstacles that the community faces in becoming competitive on a global level with the likes of Silicon Valley, London, or a Tel Aviv? What are the hot verticals in Brazil that VC’s are chasing?
Rina Onur co-founded Peak Games (largest social gaming company of MENA region) and Hemenkiralik.com (first vacation rental network of Turkey). She currently manages 500 Istanbul, focused on backing exciting startups from Turkey/Turkic region and the diaspora. Rina started her career in the Private Equity world before cofounding Peak games after the 2008 Financial Crisis and has made her way back into the world of investing with 500 Startups. On this episode you'll learn: What unique perspective or experience was Rina able to take from her time in Private Equity into the startup world. Were their any unique advantages or disadvantages Peak Games had being based in Turkey? What are the typical concerns and questions Turkish founders get when raising capital from international or US investors? Does Rina prefer Turkish companies with a distributed, global customer base? Or companies with traction in Turkey hyper-focused on the Turkish market?
Marek Zmyslowski is a serial entrepreneur turned angel investor, currently based out of Cape Town, South Africa. After the Global Financial Crisis, Marek left the investment banking world and started a few companies in Poland including Mementis, Poland biggest online network of funeral services, which he sold in 2013. In March 2013 he traveled to Poland to cofound Jumia Travel, a Rock Internet backed hospitality company which eventually became Africa's Number 1 Hotel Booking Portal. Marek helped the company grow to 300+ staff, with offices in 12 African countries and more than 25,000 hotels in direct inventory. Marek then stepped down and shortly after founded HotelOga where he helped bring Nigeria's hospitality industry online. After his merger with Savanna Sunrise, he relocated to Cape Town where he invests in and works with most promising new technology companies in emerging and frontier markets across the world to help them scale up internationally.
On this episode you'll learn:
What were the early lessons Marek learned when first starting to do business in Nigeria and signing deals with hotels?
If Marek were to start a technology company today with the ambition of scaling across Africa what city and country would he go to and why?
Based on Marek's experience, how does he think an ecosystem like Nigeria can create a local ecosystem of smart capital for Nigerian entrepreneurs?
Outside of the hospitality industry what does Marek see as some of the biggest market opportunities in Africa right now?
Eran Wagner is a Managing Partner for i3 Equity Partners, i3 Equity Partners is an Israel-based, early stage venture fund founded by General Electric Ventures, Microsoft Ventures, and other technology companies. i3 focuses on investments in Internet of Things (IoT) developments and in entrepreneurs based through the Startup Nation. After spending the early part of his career as a serial entrepreneur. Eran entered the world of Venture Capital as a General Partner at Gemini Israel Ventures. Gemini was the first venture capital fund that emerged from the Israeli government's Yozma program in 1993 and focuses in early and seed stage investments in technology companies in sectors that include mobile, digital media, enterprise software, online services and semiconductors.
On this episode you'll learn:
What are some of the challenges that come along with building a startup in a market as small as Israel? How do you companies overcome this?
Based on Eran's experience on numerous boards, what can entrepreneurs do to most effectively manage their board relationships?
What trends have we seen in investing in hardware products in the last 5 years? Why is hardware becoming more attractive an investment field?
What are some of the weaknesses in Israeli startup ecosystem?
Oliver is a serial entrepeneur and investor in the internet/multimedia/mobile space. As founder and CEO of the Austrian startup SYSIS, Oliver and his team won a series of international innovation awards for their intelligent online community games such as Austrian national multimedia award and the Europrix Multimedia. As a small Austrian startup, SYSIS signed up customers from around the globe, including Time Inc. in the US, The Times & The Guardian in the UK and Ericsson with whom SYSIS managed to built a global strategic partnership. In 2000, Oliver sold his first business, FUNDAQ, a subsidiary of SYSIS that pioneered the field of online virtual communities, to Blue-C AG. At the end of 2008, Oliver returned to Austria and switched sides to become an angel investor in Austrian and CEE based startups. Mid 2011 Oliver launched Speedinvest, the first super angel fund in Austria fully focussed on internet and mobile startups. Speedinvest works out of Vienna, Austria and Silicon Valley, USA.
On This Episode You'll Learn:
What were some of biggest lessons you learned or mistakes Oliver made in his first 10 million euro fund that has helped with his latest 100M Euro fund?
How did Oliver decide his initial to follow on funding ratio of 50% and what KPI’s determine which companies to double down on and which not to?
How has Austria’s startup ecosystem evolved over the course of Oliver’s career
Why does Oliver think there has been a lag in funding across Central and Eastern Europe and has he seen signs of hope over the past couple years?
Meet Jonathan Lewy, Managing Partner at Investo. In 2010 Jonathan co-founded MiOrden.com. At the end of 2011 the team sold the company to SinDelantal.com and realized that they lacked strategic advice during our venture. At the end of 2012 they decided to create a VC fir that would help other founders where they were lacking. Investo is a seed capital firm investing in tech startups with high-growth potential. The companies they've funded have gone on to create over a 1000 jobs in different parts of the world. They help startups with business development and programmers recruiting. They also provide seed capital and other strategic advice throughout their partnership with the startups.
On This Episode You'll Learn:
How does Jonathan evaluate the seed market today? Does he think it’s over financed compared to 5 years ago when he started?
Do you believe that in seed stage investing it’s more important to find the right team working on the right problem or focusing more on hard metrics?
What are Jonathan’s thoughts on appropriate fund sizes for Seed stage VC’s?
We’ve seen a huge spike in Coporate Venture Capital through Europe, Asia, and and North America, why does Jonathan think that Mexico Corporates haven’t taken to startups in the same way?
Meet Tim Schumacher, Chairman at Eyeo the makers of Adblock Plus. Tim is the Co-founder and Chairman of Eyeo.com and he's made various angel investments in his career. Eyeo, headquartered in Cologne, Germany, is the company behind popular ad blocking software Adblock Plus which has been downloaded over 400 million times world-wide. In 2001, Tim co-founded Sedo.com, the world's largest domain market place. Since selling the company, he is an active as an Entrepreneur and/or Investor in various start-ups, like Eyeo, Ecosia, Stuffle, BasicThinking, Aklamio, Miomente, Home, Convida, Joblift, Apptopia and others.
On This Episode You'll Learn:
About a year ago when Facebook publicly announced they would be forcing ads onto users even if they were using an ad blocker, what was it like for Tim to wake up and see those headlines everywhere?
Tim has become a very active angel investor in the digital marketing and privacy space, what stage does he like to get involved in and how has his investment thesis changed over the years?
Recently Tim opened up an office in Berlin after primarily running Eyeo based in cologne, why did he decide to expand into Berlin and what are some of the biggest differences between the startup scenes in Berlin vs. Cologne?
Tell us a little about the Cologne startup scene and it’s growth over the past 5 years.
Meet Frank Cottle, Chairman and Founder of Alliance Business Centers. The Alliance Business Centers Network and the Alliance group of affiliated companies is globally involved in all aspects of Office Business Centers and Virtual Office industries. They are headquartered in Newport Beach, California with other global offices and operations. Their mission optimize knowledge and empower business center operators with information and insider knowledge critical to the office business center industry. Alliance Business Centers Network is the leading network of independently owned and operated Office Business Centers. Comprised of over 650 locations in 42 countries, Alliance centers are in every major market in the world. The Alliance Academy is the definitive training solution for members of the Office Business Center industry, as well as all related industries that interact with the Office Business Center industry. They specialize in Executive suites, Office business centers, Serviced offices, Virtual offices, Business center operations, Training, Communications.
On This Episode You'll Learn:
How has the trend of globalization of the workforce changed commercial real estate industry over the past 5-7 years?
With Softbank’s massive $4.4 B investment into Wework, does Frank think this signals a potential winner take all scenario in the coworking market and what is the biggest thing Wework has gotten right?
What does the future of commercial real estate industry look like?
Where in the world are Frank’s hottest commercial real estate markets right now?
Say hello to Rune Thiell, CEO and Co-founder of the Rockstart accelerator in Amsterdam. Rockstart, one of Europe's first multi-vertical startup accelerators, was founded in Amsterdam in 2011 with a goal to provide startups with access to the market, capital, knowledge, and community. Since then Rockstart has become the specialist in building entire ecosystems around specific domains—such as Digital Health, Smart Energy, and Artificial Intelligence. Rockstart is actively building up entrepreneurial infrastructures around the world with its acceleration verticals, as well as early-stage startup programs, Rockstart Impact and Rockstart Launchtrack. Since the inception, Rockstart has invested in more than 100 startups and supported them in their journey to raise more than €45 million and hire more than 600 people. Rockstart is an international team of 40+ professionals dedicated to support and empower startups to become scalable and change their world for the better.
On This Episode You'll Learn:
With Oracle’s acquisition of Wercker, Rockstart now has 5 alumni startups that have been acquired, how has perception and the attention towards deal flow coming out of Amsterdam changed since Rune started Rockstart?
What different traits of the leadership team does Rune think are needed in the early stage vs later stage as the company's scale?
What lessons has Rune learned when it comes to hiring during a state of hyper growth at Rockstart?
What has Rune the most excited when looking forward at the next couple years in Amsterdam tech?
Say hello to Eitan Bienstock, Founder and CEO of Everything IoT. Eitan is an experienced executive, investor and entrepreneur. He founded Everything IoT in 2015 to provide focus and global perspective for the Internet of Things in Australia. With the mission to propel IoT innovation, Everything IoT quickly became a global platform for IoT innovation connecting corporates with startups. Before founding Everything IoT, Eitan spent over 20 years working for fortune 100 companies, venture capital firms, incubators as well as founding couple of startups in Israel, the US and Australia. An ex Intel Capital, Eitan is highly involved in the Australian startup ecosystem as an investor, mentor and startup builder. A recipient of the “Intel Achievement Award”, he was responsible for the development and management of Intel Israel’s incubator program in the late 90’s that resulted in 100’s Million dollars of economic value to the participating companies and a successful NASDAQ IPO ((NVMI). Eitan was Israel rowing champion for a period of 10 years competing in world championships. Currently, he lives in Sydney Australia often enjoying his morning's paddle on Sydney's beautiful harbor.
On This Episode You'll Learn:
Does Eitan see IOT companies as disruptors similar to Uber or Airbnb or does he think partnership with incumbents will be the pathway to success for IOT startups?
What are Eitan’s thoughts on the current market opportunity of consumer IOT vs. B2B?
With this next wave of companies, IOT, drones, etc. What does Eitan think is the appropriate level of regulatory involvement by governments?
What’s an up and coming startup scene in Australia that the rest of the world might not know about?
Say hello to Kago Kagichiri, CEO and Co-founder at Eneza Education. Kago is an internet-less space advocate, having built technologies for last mile mobile handsets. Eneza Education is preparing the next generation of leaders in rural Africa. They deliver affordable, high quality education as interactive lessons, live tutoring and a gamified personal experience to over 1.8M learners irrespective of the mobile device they own in their home. Eneza's learners access nationally aligned primary and secondary, financial and teacher training content for as little as $0.50 per month.
On This Episode You'll Learn:
How does user acquisition for Eneza differ between a market like Nairobi and more rural parts of Kenya?
With the speed of innovation happening in African education, what does Kago see as the future of education in Africa? Will Edtech be a collaborative or a competitive force?
How was Kago’s experience raising capital from Impact Funds different than the Venture Capital he’s raised
What have been some of the toughest challenges Kago faced while scaling to African countries outside of Kenya?
Meet Bill Liao, entrepreneur, philanthropist, diplomat and author, is a co-founder of the social network service XING and CEO of Finaxis AG, a privately held company in the financial services industry. Bill is a special diplomatic envoy for St Kitts and Nevis, with a special interest in sustainable development and the environment. He is also founder and co-ordinator of Neo.org, a global citizenship initiative, and WeForest, which will reforest twenty million square kilometers of stripped land. Bill is dedicated to the vision that business and enterprise, conducted fairly and with respect for the environment, can and will create a better environment for work, life and the world that we all share. This vision is captured in his book: Stone Soup; a Secret Recipe for Making Something from Nothing. Bill Liao is also a European Venture Partner at SOSV, and a co-founder of Coder Dojo.
On This Episode You'll Learn:
As a founder, what value do I get from a specialized VC like a Biotech or Fintech focused fund that I might not get from a more general fund?
How is investing in Biotech Startups different than software or hardware, and what are the important KPI’s in the industry?
Besides Ireland’s corporate tax rate of just 12.5% why does Bill think a large amount of Silicon Valley’s Unicorn are so attracted to Ireland when opening up their international offices?
How are the Cork and Dublin scenes different and which is the bigger ecosystem?
Meet Karen Boers, founder of the European Startup Network and Startups.be. Karen holds a degree in German philology and started her career with View Interim. She went from an interim consultant to office manager and HR consultant, before making the transition to iMinds (formerly IBBT) in 2005. In January 2013, Karen joined forces with Dirk Peusens and became fully self-employed. She now specialized in team dynamics and organizational development from a people angle. She believes allowing teams to develop while working efficiently and effectively towards a common goal is a key success factor that is all too often overlooked. That’s exactly why Karen is also actively involved in Startups.be, as a founder and managing director, developing this non-profit organization into a unique platform allowing tech starters to meet coaches, investors and all kinds of experts who can help them jumpstart their business. She is also a certified Pimento Map consultant.
On This Episode You'll Learn:
What’s the current sentiment towards failure in the Belgium business culture?
What are some of the common challenges that all entrepreneurs face when scaling across Europe outside of their home markets?
What does Karen think is the best way for European countries to encourage and catalyze angel investment into their tech ecosystems?
What sort of things are Europe’s startup community leaders doing to move their communities forward?
Say Hello to Paulin Dementhon founder and CEO of Drivy. Drivy offers occasional drivers a better alternative to car ownership, while allowing car owners to cut down on car expenses. They are a community of neighbors and travelers who share their cars and like to use their resources more efficiently. They have over 2 million rentals a day. Prior to Drivy, Paulin founded Quivaou. Quivaou was a dynamic ridesharing project. The objective was to match drivers and passengers in real time for short urban rides, using smartphones. It was both technically too complex for a beginner, and marketing-wise had no solution to the critical mass problem.