Ep 29 Brenna Loury, Working Remotely Across Borders

In this episode, I reconnected with my friend Brenna Loury, one of the original founding team members of Start-Up Chile, and the current head of marketing and PR at Doist to talk about her experience of learning a new job in a new country, the challenges and rewards of working across borders, and how she helped bootstrap a tech startup that now has more than 13,000,000 users worldwide.   

Brenna shares how her company now manages more than 50 employees in 20 countries, all of them working 100% remotely. She offers tips on how to best position your company to start working remotely, mistakes startups should avoid when pitching ideas or raising funds and a formula for hiring top-notch employees. The conversation is packed with useful information and inspiring stories you don’t want to miss!

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Landlocked Bolivia Pushes to Create a Startup Ecosystem

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Bolivia, named after Simon Bolivar, the Venezuelan leader who played a major role in Bolivia’s independence from Spain, is wedged between Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Bolivia is an amazing country of contrasts with unmatched deposits of silver, tin, zinc, natural gas, and enough lithium to power all of our modern devices for centuries, With all that, Bolivia should be a wealthy country. But is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, only slightly better off than Haiti.

Since its “discovery” by the Spanish in the 1500s until today, Bolivia has historically been on the short end of the stick in deals and wars with Spain, Britain, the United States, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, all in partnership with its small upper class that has historically exploited its natural resources a labor.

Bolivia is known for natural beauty and underdevelopment compared to its neighbors. From the world’s largest salt in the southwest, Salar de Uyuni, where visitors can find pink flamingos in the 11,000 sq-km landscape, to rainforest, El Camino de La Muerte and other natural wonders, Bolivia is an incredibly interesting country. Continue reading…

Ep 28 Neil Coleman, Creating an International Market Expansion Strategy

What would it look like to manage sales teams and business units in multiple countries simultaneously? On this episode of Crossing Borders, my guest Neil Coleman shares exactly what that looks like, and offers advice for companies looking to scale sales teams and business internationally.     

Neil Coleman is an Irish entrepreneur and technology professional. His interest in tech started while he was attending Dublin City University and he has since gone on to manage international teams for IBM, Google, AdRoll, SAY Media and Snapchat. This is one conversation you don’t want to miss!

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The Rise and Fall of Venezuela: A Self Destructing Economy and a Talent Exodus

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Lately, Venezuela has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Whether it’s to cover hyperinflation, lack of food, or the plummeting economy, coverage of the former Latin American powerhouse is dire. As of 2017, Venezuela was home to 31M people, with the highest concentration in Caracas, the capital. A reported 2.5 million Venezuelans have fled and 90% of emigration has happened within the past 15 years as the economy has worsened.

In the past, Venezuela was a shining example of established democracy in South America, but due to political unrest, the economy has taken a turn for the worse. The 750% inflation rate (which is actually probably higher) has led to insurmountable shortages or basic goods and turmoil for citizens. It’s to the point where some restaurants ask you to pay your bill when you order your meal, because prices will be higher after dinner. The average wage for those lucky enough to have a job is now US$11 month, of which only US$5 is actual money. The balance is a food allowance, which makes it nearly imposible to survive.

You can find entrepreneurial, talented Venezuelans on Upwork and other platforms working abroad and earning money in dollars just to have enough money to survive. Others have turned to mining Bitcoin using subsidized electricity. Most of the most talented people have left the country. I’ve run into medical doctors driving Uber in Houston and Miami, lawyers and engineers running property companies in Chile and extremely talented people working across all professions all around the world. Continue reading…