Raising US VC Money from Latin America

Note: A version of this article originally appeared in Inc with the title How to Raise Venture Capital if You’re Outside the United States.

Over the past three years, I’ve been working with 30+ companies that have their bases across Latin America build their businesses. Many of these companies are really US companies that just happen to have a tech and sales team in Latin America and want to raise capital in the US. Others are Latin America B2B companies that would love to raise money in the US, but have found hard sledding.

When I first got started, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find investors to follow in on our companies and our strategies were all wrong. In 2015, I got on a plane to California with Adrian Fisher, the founder of PropertySimple, to take his company to the US market. He’d build an amazing product, similar to Zillow, but in Chile, and 1000+ real estate agents using his product and millions of people using PropiedadFacil to find properties. Continue reading…

Working for Tech Companies In Santiago, Chile

I get multiple emails per month from US and European tech workers who are interested in moving to Chile and want to know what the tech job market looks like. These emails have picked up in frequency both as the Chilean tech ecosystem has grown and as many tech workers explore more options for working abroad after 2016.

Chile’s tech ecosystem has grown by leaps and bounds since 2010, when startup Chile began seeding the Chilean tech ecosystem. Since then over 1700 companies have come to Chile, many of which have stayed and created a presence in Santiago. Additionally, more Chileans have started companies both for the local market and to attack the US market.

The most in demand workers are Ruby on Rails developers, UI/UX designers and online marketers, but there’s also significant demand for native english speaking sales people and customer success roles.

No matter where you work in Chile, you’ll almost for sure make less money than you would in the US. Tech salaries are lower, but so is cost of living. Getting a work visa is very easy; all you need is a job offer and you can get a one year temporary visa, a RUT government id number and everything you need to get started.

There are five options for expat tech workers who are looking for opportunities in Chile: Continue reading…

A Privacy Checkup

From data that we freely give up to private companies like Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Amazon, to data brokers and ad networks that track us around the internet, not to mention government surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden, most of our most personal data is being collected by many different entities. Like any tool, data can be used for both good and bad. And companies that store our data can be hacked to embarrass us, just like politicians and tech people have been recently.

I operate online as if everything I do will be public some day: my search history, my texts, Facebook messages, location data. I think about what data I’m freely giving away to data companies and weigh whether the benefit is big enough to give up privacy. Most people don’t even think about this bargain.

I recognize that anyone who really wants to get my data can probably do it. But I like to make myself a smaller target.

I urge you to take some of these steps to minimize your personal data exposure. Here’s my personal security checkup:

Continue reading…