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.

Ep 4: Crossing Borders David Assael and David Basulto, ArchDaily

David Assael and David Basulto

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 American.

My guests today are Chilean entrepreneurs David Basulto and David Assael, the cofounders of ArchDaily, the largest architecture website in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese in the world.

Based out of Santiago, Chile and 100% bootstrapped, the two Davids have built a truly world class business on their own terms the way they wanted to from their base in Santiago.

We talk about their story of how they started Plataforma Arquitectura, their original website, while they were still architecture students in Santiago and how they’ve grown the business to four languages, millions of monthly unique visitors , three million Facebook fans and over 80 employees based in six countries.

More importantly, ArchDaily has changed thousands of architects lives from around the world by showcasing them to potential clients, fans and partners when traditional media had previously failed. David and David were the first Chilean entrepreneurs I met when I came to Chile in 2010 for startup chile and I’m excited to be able to share their story with more people. So let’s get started!

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.

Ep 3: Crossing Borders Nicolas Shea

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 American.

Today’s guest is Nicolas Shea, a Chilean entrepreneur, philanthropist and now a presidential candidate running for Chile’s presidency.

Nicolas has been a teacher, started nonprofits, worked in government and built businesses that have expanded across Latin America. He cofounded eclass, one of Latin America’s largest education companies, and was the cofounder of Start-Up Chile, an innovative program that gave foreign entrepreneurs visas and equity free grants to move to chile, kickstarting the Chilean entrepreneurial ecosystem. It’s also where I met Nicolas almost seven years ago.

After Start-Up Chile, he cofounded Cumplo, a peer to peer lending platform that helps businesses access credit more quickly and at better rates than the traditional banking system does. Cumplo has now helped 800+ businesses with more than $200M in loans.

Subsequently Nicolas took a step back from Cumplo to cofound Todos, a Chilean citizen powered political party, and is now currently running for Chile’s President.

So lets get started and 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.