Ep 7: Nora Leary, Launchway Media

Welcome to Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig, where I interview entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the people who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin America.

If you’re new to the podcast, be sure to check out Episode 2 with Adrian Fisher, founder of PropertySimple, who went from selling hotdogs to raising $3m and Episode 5, with Devin Baptiste, cofounder of GroupRaise one of the most diverse startups in the world.

My guest today is Nora Leary cofounder and Head of Marketing and Business Development at Launchway Media, a marketing agency that works with global startups launching in the US.

Nora and I talk about her journey from the US to Africa to Latin America, to leaving a job in Latam to starting her own business. Nora lived in Buenos Aires and started her business there with two other female cofounders, and then moved to Medellin to continue to expand the business

We cover cultural difference between doing business in the US and Latin America, what it’s like being a woman in tech in Latin America, practical tips for getting PR in the US, getting into a US accelerator from Latin America, and tools and tricks you need to be successful launching in the US market. And also emojis.

I’ve been working with Nora and her team for a few months now and it was great to finally get to connect outside of a pure business context. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

I’ve had a great time talking with Nora and I hope you enjoy her story as much as I do. If you do, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher, leave a rating and tell your friends!

If you have questions, think there’s something I should improve or have recommendations for guests you’d like me to interview, please let me know in the comments!

Ep 6: Jose “Caya” Cayasso CEO Slidebean

Jose “Caya” Cayasso, CEO Slidebean

Welcome to Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig, where I interview entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the people who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin America.

My guest is Jose “Caya” Cayasso, a Costa Rican entrepreneur who is cofounder and CEO of Slidebean, a software company that helps people stop wasting time wrestling with presentation design. Slidebean’s product, presentations that design themselves, is used by thousands of people around the world, from students to business executives.
We’ll cover Caya’s journey from Costa Rica to New York to launch his first business, what he learned in his first startup and how he used that experience to create Slidebean, which now has 20 employees in Costa Rica and 2 in New York City. We’ll talk about the fundraising process and Caya’s journey to raising money from Start-Up Chile, 500 Startups, Carao Ventures, Firstrock Capital and of course Magma Partners.
Be sure to listen for Caya’s tips on how to run a business with two offices in different countries, how he thinks about scaling a SaaS business and why he invests time in creating investor updates.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Caya over the past year since Magma invested and it was great to be able to talk more in depth for the podcast. We had a few technical difficulties with the sound at the beginning, but push through, I think it’s worth it! Without further ado, Jose Caya Cayasso.
Be sure to check out his blog post/case study about how he used growth hacking to increase revenue 20x in 12 months.

I had a great time talking with Caya and I hope you enjoy his stories as much as I do. If you do, please subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher, leave a rating and tell your friends! Check out past episodes with David Lloyd, Adrian Fisher, Devin Baptiste, Nicolas Shea, David Basulto and David Assael.

If you have questions, think there’s something I should improve or have recommendations for guests you’d like me to interview, please let me know in the comments!

Introducing The Crossing Borders Podcast

I’m excited to introduce the Crossing Borders podcast (iTunes, Stitcher) where I share the stories of top entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the investors who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin America.

Why?

Over the past 6+ years in Latin America, I’ve met entrepreneurs hailing from countries around the world doing business across borders. Some do business in Latin America. Others use Latin America as a base to target the US market.

They’re some of the most diverse, risk taking, trailblazing entrepreneurs in the world. But when I come back to the US, Latin American startups just aren’t on people’s radars.

They’re mostly stuck on stereotypes of corruption, narcos and failed states. They see Latin America as a monolith and couldn’t tell you the difference between Mexican, Chilean and Argentine food, much less the difference between each country’s business climate.

As Magma portfolio companies started to do business in the US and meet with US investors, they came across this same ignorance of Latin America and its entrepreneurs. US entrepreneurs and investors have slept on Latin America and are missing out on some of the most interesting entrepreneurs in the world. And some of the best stories. Continue reading…

Ep 5: Crossing Borders Devin Baptiste, GroupRaise

Welcome to Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig, where I interview entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the investors who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin America.

My guest today is Devin Baptiste, cofounder and CEO of GroupRaise, a company with more than 50 employees in 3 offices in Houston, Texas, Santiago, Chile and the Philippines. GroupRaise is a platform that allows groups of 15-50+ to book events in more than 6000 restaurants across the united states. These restaurants then donate 10-20% of their bill to the organization or charity of the group’s choice. As Devin puts it, it’s the tastiest way to change the world. Not to mention the most cost effective customer acquisition strategy a restaurant can have.

Devin and I talk about his journey that took him from Houston to Taiwan, Korea, Hawaii, Chile, Germany and back to Houston again, how he thinks about scaling businesses from Latin America to the US, how he raised his recent fundraising round from Techstars Ventures, Kapor Capital and Magma Partners, how he looks at being a minority founder and what its like to run an international business while married with two young kids.

Devin is one of the most interesting people I’ve met in the past few years and I feel lucky to be able to work closely with him on his journey to building a world class business. We had a few sound issues, as Devin was in a target in a thunderstorm and then in his car when we recorded our conversation, but please don’t let my recording issues get in the way of learning everything you can from Devin. Let’s jump right in!

If you liked this podcast, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes or Stitcher and check out the first five episodes with other top entrepreneurs doing business in Latin America.