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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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Now displaying: 2020
Dec 1, 2020

Kago Kagichiri is the Global Head of Innovation for Sokowatch a tech company that revolutionizes access to essential goods and services by connecting small shops to the digital economy. It enables informal retailers to order products at any time via SMS ormobile app, and receive free same-day delivery to their store. This makes it easier for shopkeepers to source goods and helps manufacturers ensure that their products are consistently available to consumers.

He was previously the cofounder of Eneza Education, a learning platform supporting millions of 10-25 year olds, because I believe that young people are denied opportunities to leverage their technical skills, hunger to learn, their lack of bias and natural desire to change the world. 

Kago has dedicated his life to implementing solutions that automate solutions to people's problems at scale, especially for those will little or no prior technical skill. I've focused on plug-and-play solutions around "legacy" but extremely familiar technologies like SMS/USSD and Voice.

On this episode you'll learn:

  1. The story of Kago's departure from Eneza and his journey to connecting with Daniel Yu from Sokowatch. [2:50]
  2. What are the key problems Africa's SMEs face that the Sokowatch platform solves? [9:05]
  3. A dive into market sizes in East and West Africa. [16:01]
Nov 17, 2020

Aviv Shalgi is the CEO of energy tech startup, Solar Simplified, a platform that matches renters and homeowners who care about the environment and want to save money on the electricity bill with local solar farms.  For 6+ years he's been a Board Member, Mentor and Advisor for multiple startups and not-for-profit organizations. He previously led Dormigo’s business and corporate development efforts (until its acquisition), driving organic and inorganic growth, and was responsible for partnerships, alliances and bringing innovation to the real estate and hospitality industries. He served for 4 years as in IDF’s Visual Intelligence Corps (9900, Israel’s “Eyes in the sky”) as a Captain, where he founded a unique cross-branches innovation team, earning the Major-General of Intelligence Corps award for Creative Thinking, and trained 100+ trainees in satellite operations.

On this episode you'll learn:

1. What technologies and public policies have advanced over the past decade that has allowed for the introduction of new business models in solar? [3:35]

2. What is Community Solar? [8:22]

3. What can we realistically expect from solar power generation in the 2020's [16:12]

Nov 10, 2020

Nicolas Brien is the CEO of France Digitale, the largest startup lobbying organization in Europe, with 1,500 startups and 100 VCs as its members, as well as the newly appointed President of the European Startup Network, a common voice for European startups composed of 24 national startup associations from across Europe. He previously was the Director of Studies of Kantar-TNS Sofres (WPP) and a senior advisor to Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the Spokeswoman of the French Government.

On this episode you'll learn:

  • Why the European Startup Network released an official call for a Buy European Tech act, to allow federal governments to favor domestic startups in their public procurement process.
  • When did global tech companies like Google and Facebook start to be associated with negative geopolitical consequences amongst European countries?
  • How does the lack of M&A culture amongst European corporations get changed to provide more exit options within the local startup ecosystems across the continent?
Nov 3, 2020

Inbal Arieli is a founder of Synthesis, a global leadership assessment rm, and author of Chutzpah: Why Israel Is a Hub of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Born in Israel and raised on hummus and chutzpah, Arieli fostered her entrepreneurial skills during her mandatory military service, serving as lieutenant in unit 8200, the Israel Defense Forces’ elite intelligence corps. After completing her military duties, and for the past twenty years, she embraced leading executive roles in the flourishing Israeli tech sector and has founded a series of programs for innovators, where she currently holds board seats.

Arieli holds an LL.B. Law, B.A in Economics and an MBA, all from Tel Aviv University. A force to be reckoned with, she was featured as one of the 100 most influential people in Israeli tech and as one of the top 100 tech business women speakers in the world. She lives in Tel Aviv with her spouse and their three sons.

Oct 27, 2020

Host Andrew Berkowitz highlights the 5 digital nomad visas that are available from Caribbean countries as we head into Winter.

Oct 20, 2020

Justin Bannon, CEO and Co-founder of Boson Protocol, a decentralized infrastructure connecting smart contracts to real world commerce and its data.

Boson Protocol aims to change the world of commerce by enabling enterprises, organizations, and customers to bridge the divide between digital decentralized technologies and the transfer and trade of physical goods. Creating the de facto infrastructure to achieve this with minimized arbitration, cost, and trust, Boson Protocol is taking eCommerce to the next level with use cases including; loyalty and rewards, crypto exchanges, games, and tokenized networks amongst others. 

Leading the charge at Boson Protocol is serial entrepreneur Justin Banon. Justin previously spearheaded the Travel Experiences Division of Collinson, where he managed a group of global loyalty rewards platforms including LoungeKey, Mastercard Airport Experiences, and Priority Pass — the latter of which he scaled twenty-fold from $50m to $1bn per annum revenue during his tenure. 

On this episode you'll learn:

1. How does arbitration work on a decentralized protocol? [5:23]

2. How can small crypto and blockchain to take on giant corporations? [13:31]

3. Which is currently the bigger challenge for DeFi startups, the technical challenge or the user adoption challenge? [18:33]

Oct 13, 2020

In 2021, The GSM will transition away from our weekly flagship episode to a recurring mini-series format. Our first mini-series, Ecosystem Arabia, will launch in January 2021 and feature stories, candid insights, and conversation with some of the MENA region's leading startup ecosystem stakeholders. On this episode we go back 3 years to revisit one of our first podcast mini-series, breaking down the pillars that make up a thriving startup ecosystem.

Sep 29, 2020

Tsolmondorj Natsagdorj is the Cofounder and CEO of YungBet is a blockchain decentralized social gaming platform that provides a secure, reliable, borderless ecosystem. He was born in Mongolian. and grew up in the US, while a student at George Mason he started Tokenplay, a blockchain gaming distribution platform in 2017 that was acquired within a year for $2.4M. He then traveled back to Ulaandbaatar, Mongolia where he helped to build up the nascent blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem there and now advises multiple Mongolian startups and ecosystem stakeholders.

On this episode you'll learn:

  1. Does the Mongolian consist of mostly expats and foreign tech companies or are there more local entrepreneurs getting traction?
  2. What traditional sectors are the biggest in Mongolia that should be the target of innovators and disruptors?
  3. Does Mongolia present a fertile landscape for cryptocurrency and blockchain entrepreneurs?
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.

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