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?